Associate Professor of Population Studies, Brown University
68 Waterman Street
Providence, RI 02912
Areas of Expertise & Civic InvolvementsFussell, as a demographer studying migration and a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana when Hurricane Katrina struck on August 29, 2005, began studying population change in the city and the disaster-affected region. She has two distinct lines of research: (1) the arrival and reception of the Latino immigrants who formed the rapid response labor force, and (2) the causes of unequal return migration to the city after the hurricane, focusing on socioeconomic, racial, gender, and housing differences among residents. With colleagues Mary Waters and Jean Rhodes, she runs The Risk Project (www.riskproject.org), a longitudinal study of low-income parents who lived in New Orleans at the time of Hurricane Katrina.
"Help from Family, Friends, and Strangers during Hurricane Katrina: The Limits of Social Networks" in Displaced: Voices from the Katrina Diaspora, edited by Lynn Weber and Lori Peek (University of Texas Press, 2012), 150-166.
Investigates how informal social networks assisted, or failed to assist, low-income, minority mothers after Hurricane Katrina.
"The Deportation Threat Dynamic and Victimization of Latino Migrants: Wage Theft and Street Robbery" The Sociological Quarterly 52, no. 4 (2011): 593-615.
Investigates the factors that produced and heightened Latino migrant workers’ vulnerability to robbery and wage theft, fear of deportation being chief among them.
"Race, Socio-economic Status, and Return Migration to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina" (with Narayan Sastry and Mark VanLandingham). Population & Environment 31 (2010): 20-42.
Looks at patterns and trends in return migration to post-Katrina New Orleans by displaced residents; concludes that delays seen in the return of black residents can be attributed to predominantly black communities having absorbed greater housing and infrastructure damage.
"Hurricane Chasers in New Orleans: Latino Immigrants as a Source of a Rapid Response Labor Force" Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences 31, no. 3 (2009): 375-394.
Uses data from surveys collected at the Brazilian, Mexican, and Nicaraguan consulates to describe the “rapid response labor force” of internally mobile immigrants who arrived to rebuild New Orleans after the hurricane, and their methods for overcoming labor market disadvantages.