Meredith and her lab work in food systems to improve environmental, health and livelihood outcomes. Their research spans across the food system, ranging from working with farmers to improving food access and equity. The lab utilizes multiple approaches in research including global scale-modelling, incorporation of remote sensing data, quantitative surveys, focus groups and interviews. The lab's research spans multiple scales ranging from projects examining local issues to comparative large-scale global studies. Currently the lab's research is focused at the U.S. national scale, and in the states of Vermont, Maine, and California, as well as internationally in New Zealand, Madagascar, and across a number of other countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Below are a snapshot of the lab's focus areas, and some of the current projects for each, which can all be explored in greater depth. Research briefs from all of Meredith and her labs' projects are also available.
Farmers are innovators and deal with many environmental challenges including weather and extreme events like drought. How can farmers produce food more sustainably amidst growing environmental change and populations? The lab has multiple projects exploring how farmers perceive and respond to environmental changes including environmental policies and how and why they adopt sustainable agriculture practices to reduce environmental and health impacts from agriculture. This work includes projects examining farmer adoption of cover crops, climate smart agriculture practices, groundwater management and drought, nitrogen and manure management, and integrated crop and livestock systems.
Food and Nutritional Security and Equity
The world currently produces enough food to feed its growing population, but hunger, malnutrition, and food and nutritional security continue to grow, especially for the most vulnerable and marginalized populations. The lab's research on food and nutritional security focuses on improving equity especially during crises including climate change, extreme events and pandemics. Current projects include national and regional assessments of the COVID-19 pandemic on food security, nutrition and health outcomes, and international projects examining climate change impacts on food security and nutrition.
Linking Sustainable Food Production to Food and Nutritional Security
As a systems lab, much of the research includes linking across the food system, connecting agriculture to health, nutrition and waste considerations, and using a holistic approach to think about solutions to global problems. Many of the lab's projects integrate multiple datasets and components of the food system across scales to better assess current challenges and viable alternatives. Current projects in this integrated space include understanding how climate change will impact food production, and food security for smallholder farmers in low and middle income countries and examining how agricultural production and diversity influence food and nutrition outcomes across multiple areas.