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Kathryn Merckel

Kathryn is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate in the field of International Nutrition. She studies biofortification and its role in diversifying diets, particularly those of women and children. Her dissertation research is based on an effectiveness trial that she led on the effects of orange sweet potato to improve nutrition, which was carried out in 15 villages in rural Uttar Pradesh. Her findings have demonstrated the constraints and opportunities for biofortified crops to improve micronutrient adequacy of diets in north India, and the importance of understanding varietal preferences of producers and consumers. Kathryn has been involved with TCI in several capacities over her time at Cornell, first as a summer intern, and then as a Research Support Specialist. She holds a Master’s degree in International Development from Cornell, during which she studied patterns of intra-household food allocation in Maharashtra and Telangana. Her Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science is from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Kathryn has studied Swahili as a Boren Scholar in Tanzania, and most recently was awarded a FLAS Fellowship from the US Department of Education to study Hindi.