Erica Nelson

Co-Director, Humanitarian Geoanalytics Research and Education Programs

Erica L Nelson, MD, PhM is an Emergency Medicine physician who conducts research on critical geography and the use of geospatial analysis for public health and humanitarian response. After graduating from Trinity College Dublin with an PhM in International Peace Studies and Development (2007), she worked as a researcher and policy consultant on the contextualization of medicine in conflict-affected populations including Nepal, Indonesia, the Balkans, and Jamaica, Ethiopia, and Sudan. She completed her medical training at the University of Washington (2013). During her residency at the Harvard-Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency Program (2009-2013), she conducted research on the Palestinian/Israeli Health Referral Program, a geospatial analysis of early warning indicators in Kenyan urban slum populations, and the role of metacognition in Emergency Medicine physician decision-making. Currently, she is a physician at South Shore Medical Center, an instructor within the Division of International Emergency Medicine and Humanitarian Programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the co-founder of the Harvard Humanitarian Geospatial Analysis Program at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. She will complete a MAS in Geospatial Analysis for Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in 2019. Dr. Nelson is dedicated to the integration of critical geography and conflict sensitivity frameworks and the use of geospatial statistics for health-oriented humanitarian programming and research. She has engaged in mixed-methods research regarding, for example, remote sensing in disaster management, gender-based vulnerability in refugee communities, the ecological impacts of refugee influx in Bangladesh, geospatial variables as they impact pre-hospital care in the Navajo Nation, the effects of disasters on opioid-related mortality, and the interaction between humanitarian health programs and the socio-political environment.