Bio: Ivy Blackmore is a recent graduate of the Brown School Social Work doctoral program at Washington University in St Louis where she was advised by Dr. Carolyn Lesorogol and worked closely with Dr. Lora Iannotti. Her dissertation focused on understanding the key challenges faced by indigenous subsistence farming communities in the Andes of Ecuador. Through this experience, she gained a comprehensive understanding of the research process and analyzed and synthesized diverse types of data. An example of this data integration is her use of land use maps, soil nutrient analysis, seasonal calendars, and precipitation, consumption and anthropometric data to illustrate the degree to which the study population is caught in a cycle of poverty, malnutrition, and ecological degradation. The interdisciplinary nature of her doctoral work has allowed her to explore the multi-scale feedbacks and dependencies that occur between natural and human ecology. Her findings highlight the degree to which improved social-ecological interactions are key to the livelihood security and resiliency of low-income subsistence farming populations.

In addition to her immersive field research experience, she has spent considerable time evaluating sustainable livelihood programming literature. The result of this assessment is a 2018 systematic narrative review that summarized the impact of small livestock and aquaculture programming on household income and nutrition, women’s empowerment, the spread of disease, and the environment. The review was included in a 2019 Campbell Systematic Review meta-analysis. The Campbell series follows structured guidelines and standards for summarizing international research evidence.

Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., Ivy worked in proposal development for the International Development Group at RTI International and served for two and a half years as a Peace Corps agriculture/food security volunteer in rural Nicaragua. Her time in Nicaragua and the experience of growing up on a small farm in upstate New York led to her interest in rural livelihood security and improving socio-economic development in underserved places across the world.

Ivy earned her Master of Public Policy from Duke University and her Bachelor of Arts from Bowdoin College.

Research Interests: Program evaluation; dissemination and implementation science (D&I); research focused on rural food production systems and livelihood security; subsistence agriculture adaptation and resilience to climate change

Most Recent Publication: Small livestock and aquaculture programming impacts on household livelihood security: a systematic narrative review

Country Experience: Nicaragua, Ecuador

Curriculum Vitae: Ivy Blackmore_CV

Field Research: Ivy’s dissertation involved conducting a formative assessment of the vulnerability context of three indigenous subsistence farming communities in Guangaje, Ecuador.

Using mixed methods, the research aimed to (1) characterize population and resource trends (2) detail the seasonality of food availability, employment opportunities, and illness and (3) assess household asset accumulation and perceptions of household well-being. The dissertation work is funded by a Brown School International Dissertation Award and the Washington University Institute for Public Health and Center for Dissemination and Implementation Pilot Program.