Dr. James Scott holds a primary appointment in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health where he is the Head of the Division of Occupational & Environmental Health. He is the Director of the UAMH Centre for Global Microfungal Biodiversity which operates a large biorepository of fungi of medical and environmental importance.
Dr. Scott's research focuses on the interactions between people and microorganisms (fungi, bacteria and viruses). His mycological work studies the taxonomy, ecology and aerobiology of human-associated fungi responsible for infectious and allergic disease. He has also studied fungal contaminants in the outdoor environment such as the Whiskey Fungus, and mundane but important indoor molds. His work on bacteria focuses on the influence of environmental exposures on the acquisition and maturation of the infant gut microbiome, and the airborne movement of pathogenic bacteria in healthcare buildings and outdoor air.
Lastly, his work on viruses investigates the airborne transmission of influenza and most recently SARS-CoV-2, and he is one of a handful of North American experts on bioaerosols with specific expertise in particle filtration efficiency of masks and respirators. Dr. Scott's teaching deals with biological hazards in the workplace and community (IAQ, infection control, biosafety, bioweapons), public health sanitation, and medical and veterinary mycology.
In addition to these activities, since the early 2000s, Dr. Scott has served as a mycology consultant to the Ontario Poison Centre in relation to mushroom poisonings, and to Dynacare Medical Laboratories in where he provides laboratory diagnostic expertise on clinical fungal diseases. Dr. Scott owns Toronto-based biotech company, Sporometrics, that develops and provides specialized diagnostic tools for environmental microbiology.