Sheldon Waugh, MSc, PhD


US Census Bureau I currently work at the US Census Bureau as a Data Scientist. I currently provide expertise in the applications of data science (interdisciplinary analytical, statistical, and programming skills) to develop data-driven solutions for difficult business challenges. Works with stakeholders to improve Census business outcomes by leveraging analytic, statistical and programming techniques to collect, analyze and interpret large or complex data sets to develop data-driven solutions. Improves efficiency and/or quality in Census Bureau research and production activities through state of the art data science methods including, but not limited to, machine learning, neural networks, Natural Language Processing, anomaly detection, regression or association analysis, data mining, data matching, big data principles, web scraping, operations research, business analytics, data visualization, predictive analytics (including forecasting), and/or statistical analysis.

US Army Public Health Center and One Health I previously worked on implementing One-Health data-driven solutions on surveillance databases including incorporating spatial resolution and developing advanced data management methodologies and techniques within animal disease surveillance programs in Central Asia and with the United States Army’s Veterinary Service.

My primary research goal, at the time, was to develop and/or improve the accuracy of surveillance, spatial and genomic public health databases in semi-developing and/or developed countries, through the integration of other large heterogeneous and/or unstructured datasets. This will be done by creating health modeling programs and subroutines that will collect, compile and integrate useful health data to:

  • Observe and predict the burden of disease within companion animals groups, using surveillance data
  • Determine and predict spread and distribution of zoonotic and vector-borne infectious diseases.
  • Allow easier access to more accurate and realistic ecological data.

Additionally, I’ve focused on developing tailored ‘Big data’ approaches that can facilitate the analysis of multi-dimensional heterogenous data such as metagenomic, expression and phylogenetic data combined with clinical metadata to explore system biology approaches investigating various comorbidities associated with zoonoses.

In 2017 -2018, I joined Jason Blackburn’s Spatial Epidemiology & Ecology Research Laboratory (SEER Lab). The SEER Lab is an interdisciplinary research laboratory jointly housed in the Emerging Pathogens Institute and the Department of Geography at the University of Florida. SEER Lab is focused on questions addressing the ecology and spatio-temporal patterns of diseases. SEER Lab research is focused primarily on bacterial zoonoses, those bacterial diseases that affect both animals and humans.

Currently, I work at the Army Public Health Center as an Epidemiologist for the One-Health Division, in the Veterinary Service and Public Health Sanitation Directorate. The current projects I have been focusing on are:

  • Government and Privately-owned Animal Worldwide Surveillance System (GPAWSS)
    • Chief scientist and co-project manager for GPAWSS. GPAWSS is a surveillance platform designed to provide surveillance data to inform commanders and VCOs of the distribution, frequency, and incidence of various companion animal diseases. The platform uses multiple heterogeneous data streams including: Remote Online Veternary Record (ROVR) EHR data, laboratory data, and data from a civilian corporate companion animal practice. Data in GPAWSS is managed by the One-Health Division and is displayed on an interactive, web-based platform (Tableau and R-Shiny) tracking disease frequency and incidence globally. GPAWSS also has outbreak detection capabilities.
  • Modernizing the Data infrastructure of the Veterinary Services and Public Health Sanitation Directorate (VSPHS)
    • The VSPHS is currently at a crossroads in terms of the organization of data in a manner that allows forincreased collaboration with outside organizations and encourages creativity and the discovery of noveldata sources and research methods. i) The project intends to: Establish a data etiquette protocol withinthe VSPHS in order to establish a data standardization protocol, simplifying future data integrationwith outside organizations ii) Restructure the data storage structure of the directorate, establishingstandardized databases, per division and housing them within the Army Engineer Research and Development Center (AERDC) DoD Supercomputing Resource Center’s data infrastructure (DSRC). TheAERDC’s Data Lake structures allows for the positive control of potentially all of the directorate’s datain a single source that can be updated at one point, decreasing areas of inaccessible and siloed data. My exapansive experience with data cleaning, restructuring and manipulation techniques allows me tolead this project for the directorate in terms of methodology, collaboration and planning.

I’m constantly working on new projects and seeking to connect with people! Drop me an email if you want to talk about research or academic/industry life!

Contact me



  • Wijayabahu, A.T., Waugh, S., Ukhanova, M. and Mai, V., 2019. Dietary raisin intake has limited effect on gut microbiota composition in adult volunteers. Nutrition journal, 18(1), p.14. PMID: 30845997
  • Tagliamonte, M. S., Waugh, S., Prosperi, M., & Mai, V. (2019, September). An Integrated Approach for Efficient Multi-Omics Joint Analysis. In Proceedings of the 10th ACM International Conference on Bioinformatics, Computational Biology and Health Informatics (pp. 619-625). ACM. PMID: 31588431
  • Waugh, S., and Mullaney, S. “Progress towards Companion Animal Zoonotic Disease Surveillance in the US Army.” Online Journal of Public Health Informatics 11.1 (2019). PMCID: PMC6606092
  • Ball, J. D., Fe Agana, D., Waugh, S., Wang, K., James, T. G., Nicolette, G. (2019). Systematically collected information at encounters with HIV-positive students: A review of 10 years of electronic medical records. Journal of American College Health, 1-5. PMID: 30681932
  • Spatial-Genomic Association of Co-Circulating Brucella Strains in Southern Kazakhstan: PhylogeneticInferences Using MLVA Data, Waugh, S.(Submitted)
  • Brucellosis Transmission Between Humans and Domesticated Livestock in Southern Kazakhstan: Inferences through MLVA Typing, Waugh, S.(Submitted)
  • Visualizing the Occurrence of Zoonotic Diseases among Military Associated Canines, Waugh, S.(Submitted)
  • Jennifer C. Dennis, Tyler Culpepper, Carmelo Nieves, Jr., Cassie C. Rowe, Alyssa M. Burns, CarleyT. Rusch, Ashton Federico, Maria Ukhanova, Waugh, S., Volker Mai, Mary C. Christman, BobbiLangkamp-Henken, Probiotics (Lactobacillus gasseri KS-13, Bifidobacterium bifidum G9-1, and Bi-fidobacterium longum MM-2) improve rhinoconjunctivitis-specific quality of life in individuals withseasonal allergies: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr 105, 758767(2017). PMID: 28228426
  • Waugh, S. App.: Gut Microbiota Differences in Children From Distinct Socioeconomic Levels Livingin the Same Urban Area in Brazil. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (2016). PMID:28644365
  • Oliveira, F.P. de, Mendes, R.H., Dobbler, P.T., Mai, V., Pylro, V.S.,Waugh, S., Vairo, F., Refosco,L.F., Roesch, L.F.W., and Schwartz, I.V.D. (2016). Phenylketonuria and Gut Microbiota: A ControlledStudy Based on Next-Generation Sequencing. PLOS ONE 11, e0157513. PMID: 27336782
  • Dahl, W. J., Ford, A.L., Ukhanova, M., Radford, A., Christman, M.C.,Waugh, S., Mai, V. Resistant potato starches (type 4 RS) exhibit varying effects on laxation with and without phylum level changesin microbiota: A randomised trial in young adults. Journal of Functional Foods 23, 111 (2016).
  • Waugh, S. Apropos: Plasmodium knowlesi malaria an emerging public health problem in Hulu Se-langor, Selangor, Malaysia (20092013): epidemiologic and entomologic analysis. Parasites Vectors 8,79 (2015). PMID: 25651916
  • Mai, V.,Waugh, S., Byrd, D., Simpson, D. Ukhanova, M. Novel encapsulation improves recovery ofprobiotic strains in fecal samples of human volunteers. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 17 (2016). PMID:27796434
  • Waugh, S., Varma, D., Striley, C., Cottler, L. Comparing Spatial Techniques to Visualize HypertensionSpread and Risk Factors for Hypertension Using Self-report from Community Participants. AppliedGeography (2015). (Submitted)