Faculty and Researchers
Merry FitzpatrickSenior Researcher
Merry’s research interests span two separate but related fields. She has had a long-term interest in livelihoods and food security in conflict and post-conflict settings. The focus of this work is on supporting local strategies that households and communities use to mitigate, cope with, and recover from the effects of conflict. More recently, she has been studying the etiology of kwashiorkor malnutrition in order to design preventive interventions in extremely low resource settings and biomarkers to indicate the early stages of kwashiorkor. Although Merry has worked in most regions of the world, her research interests are primarily in central Africa around the Great Lakes, and the Sahel.
Merry has more than 20 years of field experience in humanitarian response. She worked with multiple humanitarian agencies, including the International Rescue Committee, GOAL Ireland, and Food for the Hungry. Most recently, at World Concern she was the Relief Director and then the Senior Director for Technical Support. With Feinstein she conducted research on the Somalia famine, resilience and livelihoods in Darfur, Sudan, and pastoralism. Additionally, she was the international research team leader on the Sudan Humanitarian Assistance and Resilience Program (SHARP) and continues to contribute to the center’s research.
Merry holds a B.S. in chemistry from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an M.B.A. with a concentration in international development from Hope International University, an M.Sc. in food policy and applied nutrition and a Ph.D. from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts.
- Local strategies to maintain livelihoods and food security in conflict settings
- Famine causes and prevention
- Malnutrition, specifically the etiology of kwashiorkor malnutrition
- the Sahel (Niger, Chad, and Sudan)
- central and east Africa
Famine, Livelihoods, and Resilience: Food Security Analysis and Response in Crisis and Crisis-Prone Contexts (Directed Study, Spring Term)
- Fitzpatrick, M., Ghosh, S., Kurpad,A., Duggan, C., &Maxwell, D. “Lost in Aggregation: The Geographic Distribution of Kwashiorkor in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.” Food and Nutrition Bulletin. (2018). doi:10.1177/0379572118794072
- Maxwell, D., & Fitzpatrick, M. “The 2011 Somalia famine: Context, causes, and complications.” Global Food Security 1, no.1 (2012). 5-12.
Merry Fitzpatrick’s abstract titled, “Sulfur Amino Acid Dietary Intake Lower in a High Kwashiorkor Prevalence Population” was accepted for presentation at Nutrition 2020, a annual nutrition science meeting hosted by…Read More
On October 31, 2019, the Taadoud II consortium, led by Catholic Relief Services, hosted approximately 100 Sudanese and donor government officials, international and national NGOs, and academics at the Holiday…Read More
Feinstein Research Projects
This publication reviews activities in five Darfur states, providing contexts in these settings to analyze how they directly affect research in second phase of the Taadoud project. This desk review is to serve as a foundation and reference for the development of training materials, policy briefs, and research studies as part of the Taadoud II program.Read More
Livelihood systems in Darfur have experienced massive shocks and extreme changes over the past two decades. Though most communities are making positive progress, their recovery from multiple shocks over the…Read More