Emily V. Merchant, PhD (she/her/hers)
Emily V. Merchant, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Urban-Global Public Health at the Rutgers School of Public Health. Dr. Merchant is an alumnus of Rutgers University where she received both her B.S and Ph.D. During her undergraduate education, Dr. Merchant studied the impact of climate change in Antarctica using autonomous underwater vehicles. Post-graduation, she pivoted to working on climate change closer to home and spent five years promoting sustainability within the New Jersey food system through consumer and health focused initiatives. This led to her pursuit of a graduate degree where she studied health outcomes associated with increased consumption of indigenous and traditional leafy greens in Kenya and Zambia.
As a faculty member focused on contributing to the education program at the school, Dr. Merchant is excited to lead students in active discussions and activities on global food and culture, food systems, global public health, and more as well as use her research portfolio as a vehicle to increase student engagement both in and out of the classroom
Dr. Merchant's research focuses on the interface between food environments and human health using culturally preferred foods as a vehicle for delivering nutrients to underserved populations. Dr. Merchant is currently involved in the following projects:
- In partnership with Mirror of Hope CBO, AMPATH, and Rutgers School of Public Health: Strengthening food value chains with sack gardens in informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya
- In partnership with InterFaith Rise: Promoting regenerative agriculture and food security with refugee communities in central New Jersey
- In partnership with the Green Climate Fund: Climate resiliency and holistic food system development in the Federated States of Micronesia