Elizabeth Fussell

Associate Professor of Population Studies and Environment and Society (Research)


Elizabeth Fussell joined Brown University and the PSTC in the fall of 2014. She is a sociologist and demographer whose research focuses on migration, environmental causes of population change, and the life course.

Fussell’s current research focuses on migration as a driver of population change in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She has investigated the arrival and reception of the Latino immigrants who formed the rapid response construction labor force (Fussell 2007; 2009; 2011), the impact of displacement on the health of vulnerable low-income mothers (Paxson, Fussell, Rhodes & Waters 2012; Fussell & Lowe 2014), and differentials in return migration of displaced New Orleans residents (Fussell, Sastry & VanLandingham 2010). She is interested in using population and environmental data to investigate the population impacts of climate (Fussell, Hunter & Gray 2014).

Fussell’s research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Russell Sage Foundation.

Selected publications

In press - Katherine Curtis, Elizabeth Fussell and Jack DeWaard. “Recovery Migration after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: Spatial Concentration and Intensification in the Migration System” Demography.

2014. Elizabeth Fussell. “Warmth of the Welcome: Attitudes toward Immigrants and Immigration.” Annual Review of Sociology Volume 40:479-498.

2012 Christine Paxson, Elizabeth Fussell, Jean Rhodes, and Mary Waters. “Five Years Later: Recovery from Post-Traumatic Stress and Psychological Distress Among Low-Income Mothers Affected by Hurricane Katrina.” Social Science & Medicine 74: 150-157.


Attitudes toward immigrants, Health effects of disasters and displacement, Latin America, Mexican migration to the United States, Mexico, Population change after disasters, Transition to adulthood