Ashton Merck is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the Interdisciplinary Risk Sciences group at NC State University. Her research draws on the historical dimensions of risk governance to address emerging societal challenges in food and agriculture. Her work with STEPS will focus on engaging a diverse group of stakeholders to better understand and respond to their needs, perceptions, and concerns. Ashton earned a Ph.D. in History from Duke University in 2020, where she wrote her dissertation on the prospects of co-regulation in food safety since 1950. Before coming to NC State, she taught courses in regulation and public policy.