Our research seminars take place every Tuesday between 12:00 and 13:00 (British time) and are a great way for researchers, collaborators, and students to present their work and/or receive feedback on their ongoing work. Seminars are open to anyone interested in discovering current research. The internal seminars are currently in person and the external seminars are both in person and online on Microsoft Teams.

Upcoming Seminars

Tuesday 13th of December 2022: Joseph Harrison (University of St. Andrews). Cancer incidence and survival amongst Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and their descendants in England and Wales. The seminar will be held in room 208 Lapworth, Irvine Building, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK.

Abstract: This paper investigates cancer onset and survival in England and Wales for Pakistanis and Bangladeshis and their native-born descendants. We apply Cox proportional hazard models to the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study, to investigate risk of a cancer diagnosis and survival ten years following diagnosis. The risk of cancer onset is substantially lower for Pakistani and Bangladeshi-born individuals than for natives, and this advantage is also observable in their British born descendants. However, there is little evidence of better survival following diagnosis. We conclude that lower incidence of cancer and not better survival is the driver of the lower cancer mortality previously observed in Pakistanis and Bangladeshis in England and Wales. This study sheds new light on the healthy immigrant paradox, apparent for Pakistani and Bangladeshi immigrants in the UK, suggesting that risk factors for cancer onset, which persist across generations, are more important than health care related disparities.

Tuesday 17th of January 2023: Dr Rosie Seaman. Co-Morbidity among 4,451 Drug-Related Deaths in Scotland: A Network Analysis of Co-Occurring Health and Social Conditions. The seminar will be held in room 208, Lapworth, Irvine Building, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK and online on Teams .
Tuesday 24th of January 2023: Prof Lorraine van Blerk. Title and abstract TBC. The seminar will be held in room 208 Lapworth, Irvine Building, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UKand online on Teams.
Tuesday 31st of January 2023: Chia Liu (University of St Andrews) will be presenting about Plotting coefficients in R. The seminar will be held in room 208 Lapworth, Irvine Building, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK.

Tuesday 14th of February 2023: Michaela Šťastná (University of St Andrews) will be presenting her ongoing research on Life-course family complexity in the UK: a sequence analysis. The seminar will be held in room 310, Irvine Building, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK.

Friday 3rd of March 2023: Dr Anna Gawlewicz (University of Glasgow) will be presenting on Impacts of Covid on migrant essential workers. The seminar will be held in room 208 Lapworth, Irvine Building, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK and online on Teams.

Previous Research Seminars

Tuesday 29th of November 2022: Dr Eloi Ribe (University of St. Andrews). Maternal mental health and young children’s cognitive and behavioural difficulties: prevalence and trajectories after the first national lockdown during the COVID-19 in the UK.

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has raised some concerns on the disruption of children’s and adults’ lives, potentially affecting emotional, social and family relationships and interfering with children’s cognitive and behavioural development. While public health measures such as lockdown and social distancing proved successful in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and its burden on healthcare systems, in the UK these policies had a particularly intense effect on families with young children due to school closures, a significant reduction of childcare support and access to leisure activities, and with parents having to reconcile home schooling, working from home and childcare responsibilities. Understanding the psychological consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for young children, the associated risk factors, and how trajectories may vary for children in different circumstances is essential so that the most vulnerable young children can be identified, and appropriate support can be implemented. This paper addresses the impact of parental psychological distress and anxiety on mental health of children aged 5 to 11 since the end of the first COVID-19 wave and national lockdown until the easing of the third lockdown in the United Kingdom, drawing on large-scale study of households the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKLHS). We model trajectories in the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) as reported by mothers of children aged 5 to 11, using three waves (July and September 2020 and March 2021) of the Understanding Society COVID-19 study. We observe differences (stratified) by mothers reporting psychological distress controlling for gender of the child, marital status and income poverty. We find significant differences in children’s mental health by mothers’ mental health trajectories. Moreover, there were consistently higher levels of cognitive and behavioural difficulties among young children living in low income households and of younger age, although many children maintained stable low mental and behavioural difficulties.

Tuesday 22nd of November 2022: Dr Pieter-Paul Verhaeghe (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) will be presenting on Ethnic discrimination on the housing market in Belgium: The role of local contexts. 

Abstract: Ethnic discrimination is a persistent problem on the rental housing market. While many studies have measured rental discrimination in different countries, still little is known about the local factors that drive levels of rental discrimination. This study examines, therefore, the impact of local contextual factors on the prevalence of rental discrimination in Belgium. Following several theories on discrimination and attitudes towards migrants, we investigate the impact of local factors, such as the ethnic and socioeconomic composition of the population, the level of ethnic residential segregation and the structure of the local housing market. We use data from ca. 7000 paired correspondence tests in Belgium. We find significant patterns of discrimination against Moroccan candidates. Further analyses indicate that there is more ethnic discrimination by real estate agents in smaller municipalities and in cities which are ethnically segregated. Moreover, discrimination by private landlords is lower in municipalities with more inhabitants of non-EU origin. Finally, general invitation rates are higher in municipalities with more social housing or with more expensive real estate.

Tuesday 15th of November 2022: Julie Lacroix (University of St. Andrews) presented on the timing of marriage and childbearing: family formation pathways among immigrants in Switzerland.

Abstract: Europe has seen significant changes in family formation patterns and living arrangements since the 1950s. However, the de-standardization of life courses, i.e., the increase in premarital cohabitation, non-marital childbearing, or divorce, has been observed to varying degrees in the migrant population. This paper examines partnership changes and childbearing among immigrant and native women in Switzerland. More precisely, we focus on the timing of marriage and childbearing by parity as a marker of norms and values in the family domain for various migrant groups. Using Swiss register data, we analyze the transitions to marriage or a (first, second or third) birth among single women, and the transitions to divorce or a (first, second or third) birth among married women in a multi-state event history framework. The results show that most of the differences in family formation (dissolution) patterns between migrant groups and natives are in the sequencing of marriage and childbearing among childless single women. While EU migrants show similar patterns to natives, other groups stand out, either by having higher marriage risks (Turkish, Kosovar, other Europeans) or elevated first birth risks outside of marriage (Sub-Saharan Africa, Portugal). Differences in family formation patterns are much smaller among single parents. Among married women, it is the risks of a third birth that marks the differences between groups; first and second birth risks are very similar across groups.

 Tuesday 8th of November 2022: Dr Mine Kuehn presented on Single parents, gender, and health inequalities. 

Abstract: Several studies have shown that single parents are a disadvantaged group in terms of health. However, we know relatively little about the influence of life course contexts on the health effects of single parenthood. In this presentation, Mine Kühn draws on three papers, which investigate single mothers’ (and fathers’) health by using three different datasets and health outcomes.

The first paper is based on high-quality register data of the total Danish population and 1) compares the mortality risk of single and partnered parents, and 2) investigates heterogeneity in mortality among single parents by considering pathways into single parenthood and repartnering. Results show that single fathers have the highest all-cause mortality risk of all parent groups. Repartnering diminishes the negative impact of single parenthood.

The second paper analyses potential differences in antidepressant trajectories of single mothers by focusing on pathways into- and out of single motherhood. The authors used the total population registry data on Finnish women who experienced the life events of separation, widowhood, or childbirth. Single mothers were compared with women who experienced the same life event, but without becoming a single mother. Our results show long-lasting effects on single mothers’ mental health.

The third paper compares mental health inequalities by family type and gender before and during the pandemic in Germany, analyzing three dimensions of mental health – stress, exhaustion and loneliness. The study has two key findings: First, two-parent families emerged as a vulnerable group, as their levels of stress and exhaustion converged with those of single parents, who were already vulnerable to low mental health prior to the pandemic. Second, a gender gap emerged within this group, with partnered mothers experiencing the greatest mental health declines during the early stage of the pandemic.

Friday 4th of November 2022: Professor Eric Baumer (Pennsylvania State University) presented on Immigrant Concentration, Immigration Policy, and Violent Victimization in the United States

Tuesday 1st of November 2022: Prof Solveig Cunningham (Emory University) presented on advancing our knowledge of the dynamics of obesity in early life and quantifying the long-term health consequences of obesity.
More about Prof Solveig Cunningham : originally hails from Belgium, but completed her PhD in Demography at U Penn, and is currently a Professor at Emory University’s Rollin’s School of Public Health. Her areas of expertise include family demography, cardiometabolic health, and survey and statistical methods, including the analysis of complex longitudinal datasets. Her work focuses on the implications of social factors for chronic disease throughout the lifespan and has been supported by an astonishing 15 NIH-funded projects and resulted in a range of publications y’all will find really interesting (for everyone-see list here).

Tuesday 25th of October 2022: Professor Karel Neels (University of Antwerp) presented on How precarious labour market trajectories generate path dependencies in commodified policy contexts. Lessons learned from probabilistic and multistate approaches of migrant women’s labour market trajectories in Belgium.

Abstract: Belgium is characterised by a considerable gap in labour market outcomes between natives, migrants and their descendants. The gap in labour market outcomes is most pronounced among women with a migration background, particularly when having children, suggesting that parenthood has a larger impact on labour market trajectories of migrant women compared to natives. Longitudinal analysis shows, however, that the impact of household transitions on labour market outcomes is easily confounded with the differential stability that labour market trajectories of migrant and native women already exhibit long before the onset of family formation. In addition, we show that the lower stability of labour market trajectories limits the eligibility for and access to family policies for women with a migration background, leading to an exacerbation of inequalities over the life course.

Tuesday 11th of October 2022: Joshua Wilde (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research and co-editor of Population and Development Review (PDR)) presented on How to write and publish in top journals in our field. He discussed some of the topics of interest/tips/pitfalls from manuscripts. 

Tuesday 4th of October 2022: Kuoshi Hu (University of St Andrews) presented her research on Spatial variation in fertility change at the country-level in Chia between 2000 and 2010

Tuesday 27th of September 2022: Peter Macharia (Lancaster University) presented on Leveraging Spatial accessibility and catchment areas models to improve disease mapping

Abstract: Standard geostatistical approaches for mapping disease prevalence use the school’s location to model spatial correlation based on sample school survey data. This is questionable since exposure to the disease is more likely to occur in the residential location. To overcome this limitation, we propose a modelling framework that accounts for the uncertainty in the location of the residence of the students. The framework relies on a least-cost-path algorithm to define spatial accessibility to schools and cost allocation algorithm to define school catchment areas (SCA). In absence of any information on the travel mode of students to school, three SCAs models that assume walking only, walking and bicycling and, walking and motorized transport were considered. Within SCAs, samples of the most likely residential locations were generated followed by the estimation of the model parameters and spatial prediction of disease prevalence. The proposed modelling framework was illustrated through two case studies of malaria mapping in Western Kenya using school survey data and compared with the standard approach that uses the school locations to build geostatistical models.

Tuesday 20th of September 2022: Mary Abed Al Ahad (University of St Andrews) presented on The association between long-term exposure to air pollution and mortality in Scotland: A 16-years follow-up cohort study (2002-2017)
Abstract: Despite the well-documented evidence on the negative effects of air pollution on health and mortality, limitations in data, study designs, spatial considerations, and assessments of long-term exposures exist. We studied the association between air pollution and all-cause and cause-specific mortality in Scotland by linking a representative “Scottish-Longitudinal-Study” cohort of 202,237 individuals (2002-2017; N=2,821,344 person-years; n=42,415 total-deaths) to yearly concentrations of NO2, SO2, PM10, and PM2.5 pollution at 1-Km resolution using the individual’s residential postcode. Cox Proportional-Hazard models with age as timescale were used for analysis and models were accounted for the spatial autocorrelation (SA) of air pollution between neighbouring postcodes. Higher hazard of all-cause mortality was observed with increasing concentrations of PM2.5 (HR=1.035; 95%CI=1.023-1.047), PM10 (HR=1.016; 95%CI=1.009-1.023), NO2 (HR=1.009; 95%CI=1.007-1.012), and SO2 (HR=1.008; 95%CI=1.000-1.015) pollutants. Air pollution was associated with cardiovascular, respiratory, cancer, mental/behavioural disorders/suicides, and other-causes mortality. Adjustment for SA reduced the association magnitude between SO2 and mortality causes.
Wednesday 20th of April 2022: Prof. Giovanna Merli presented on Using Social Networks to Sample Migrants and Study the Complexity of Contemporary Immigration: An Evaluation Study
Abstract: Immigration to the U.S. has diversified in terms of place of origin, demographic profile and spatial dispersion. As a result, new challenges related to low response rates, sampling efficiency and costs have emerged complicating efforts to provide accurate descriptions of immigrant groups by place of origin.  At the same time, a recurring challenge in investigating the heterogeneous role of networks in migration has been the collection of high-quality data that measure immigrants’ kin and non-kin ties with members of co-ethnic and native communities at destination.  Here we (1) show the feasibility of using a link-tracing sampling design, Network Sampling with Memory (NSM), to efficiently and cost-effectively recruit a representative sample of a rare population of Chinese immigrants in the U.S. South and to elicit their social network ties; (2) test the accuracy of our sampling approach by comparison with the American Community Survey (ACS); (3) demonstrate the benefits of multiple forms of network ties collected as part of this survey for the study of Chinese immigrant incorporation.
Wednesday 13th of April 2022: Michaela Kyclova presented on Family complexity and young children’s mental health in the UK.
Abstract: Families have become more complex due to a rise in divorce, cohabitation, non-marital childbearing, and multi-partner fertility. Thus, children are increasingly likely to grow up in complex families (e.g., single parent families, post-divorce families, or stepfamilies). Evidence suggests that children from two-parent married families fare better on many outcomes compared to children from complex families. However, existing studies on family complexity and its consequences for child outcomes only very rarely include longitudinal measures of parental partnership trajectories or changing household composition. We investigate the association between family complexity and children’s mental health using a nuanced measure of family complexity using data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study. First, we use multi-channel sequence analysis (MCSA) to develop a comprehensive longitudinal measure of family complexity between birth and age 5. We capture maternal partnership trajectories and patterns of father and sibling presence in three separate channels. This way, we generate a single measure of family complexity encapsulating three different dimensions of childhood family context. The resulting categories of family complexity are used in panel regression to assess their association with child mental health. Compared to children who live with their mothers who are married to their biological fathers and who have a natural or no sibling, children in any other family set-up have a higher propensity to experience mental health problems. This association is especially seen for children of separated mothers, whose father is not present and who have varied sibling constellations, as well as those living with cohabiting, most often biological, parents and have no or natural siblings. However, controlling for factors linked to socioeconomic background noticeably attenuates the association between family complexity and child mental health. Children whose mothers face some form of socioeconomic disadvantage tend to be at a higher risk of mental health problems across family complexity categories. 


Wednesday 30th of March 2022: Julia Mikolai presented on Partnership, fertility, and employment trajectories of the descendants of immigrants in the UK: An application of multi-channel sequence analysis.

Abstract: This study investigates how partnership, fertility, and employment changes interact in the lives of the descendants of immigrants in the UK. While previous studies have analysed descendants’ employment and family trajectories, most studies have examined these life domains separately. We use data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study, which contains rich retrospective histories on individuals’ fertility, partnership, and employment transitions. We apply multi-channel sequence analysis to establish the main types of joint trajectories of partnership, fertility, and employment among natives and the descendants of immigrants in the UK. We explore gender differences in these patterns by studying the trajectories of women and men separately.
Wednesday 9th of March 2022:Erli Kang presented on How Chinese HuKou Policy affects Returning Graduates from Master’s Programmes in the UK and Hong Kong.
Abstract: The study of international student mobility (ISM) has increased rapidly in the last two decades. This literature has paid considerable attention to why, how and where students participate in ISM. However, there is limited research exploring the extent to which the sending country affects the ISM. To fulfil the gap, this study focuses on how Chinese internal migration policy (hukou) affects Chinese students’ ISM and their relocation experience after returning. This study involved 90 semi-structured interviews included 50 returned students both from the UK and Hong Kong, 20 HR staff from Shanghai and 20 other stakeholders, such as hukou brokers and international education brokers. This research found that the hukou policy has an influence at nearly every stage of Chinese students’ ISM process, which includes per-departure, whilst abroad, upon return and after return. The influence is not limited to motivation, study location and overseas students’ life, but also the internal migration experience and career experience after returning. This study deployed Bourdieu’s concept of capital, habitus and field from a relational perspective to understand the Chinese returning students hukou experience. These findings highlight the importance of social, cultural, economic and policy environment in the ISM sending countries to influence the process and outcome of ISM. 


Wednesday 23rd of February 2022: Prof Jennifer Karas Montez,Director of the Policy, Place, and Population Health Lab, Syracuse University, presented on State Policy Polarization and Population Health


Jennifer Karas Montez earned a PhD in Sociology with a Demography specialization from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011. Afterwards, she spent two years at the Harvard School of Public Health as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar, and then two years at Case Western Reserve University as an Assistant Professor of Sociology, before joining the Department of Sociology at Syracuse University.

Montez’s research investigates the troubling trends in population health in the United States since the 1980s and the growing influence of state policies and politics on those trends. A major focus of this work has been understanding why the trends are particularly worrisome for women, for people without a college degree, and for those living in states in the South and Midwest. Her research has been funded by the NIH, NSF, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship.

Montez directs the NIA-funded Center for Aging and Policy Studies, co-directs the NIA-funded Network on Life Course Health Dynamics and Disparities, and co-directs the Policy, Place, and Population Health (P3H) Lab at Syracuse University. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Population Association of America and Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science; and serves on the editorial boards of Demography, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, and The Milbank Quarterly.

Wednesday 9th of February 2022: Mary Abed Al Ahad presented on The spatial-temporal effect of air pollution on individuals’ health and its variation by ethnic groups in the United Kingdom: A multilevel longitudinal analysis

Abstract: Although the association between air pollution and health has been studied, no study has examined its variation by ethnicity and nativity in Europe and the UK.  Innovative methods that reveal the spatial-temporal dimension of this association are also lacking.  This study examines the spatial-temporal effect of air pollution on self-reported general health in the UK by ethnicity and nativity. We used individual-level data from the “UK Household Longitudinal study(UKHLS)” across 10 data collection waves (11 years: 2009-2019). This was linked to annual air pollution data (NO2, SO2, PM10, PM2.5) at two geographical scales: coarse local authority and detailed Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs); allowing for analysis at two geographical scales across time. The association between air pollution and individuals’ health and its variation by ethnicity and nativity was assessed using three-levels mixed-effect linear models. Results showed that higher concentrations of NO2, SO2, PM10, and PM2.5 pollutants are associated with poorer health. Decomposing air pollution into between (spatial: across local-authorities or LSOAs) and within (temporal: across years within each local-authority or LSOA) effects revealed significant between effects for NO2 and SO2 pollutants at both geographical levels, whereas the between effect for PM10 and PM2.5 was only significant at the LSOAs level. No significant within effects were observed at either level. Pakistani/Bangladeshi, Black/African/Caribbean, Indian, and other ethnicities groups and non-UK-born individuals reported poorer health with increasing concentrations of NO2, SO2, PM10, and PM2.5 pollutants in comparison to British-white and UK-born individuals, respectively. Using longitudinal data on individuals’ health linked with pollution data at two geographical scales (coarse local-authorities and detailed LSOAs), our study supports the presence of spatial-temporal association between air pollution and individuals’ health, which is more pronounced for ethnic minorities and non-natives in the UK, mainly due to location-specific factors.

Wednesday 26th of January 2022: Prof Sanjay Sharma presented on Benevolence with Discipline: Poorhouses in Colonial India
Abstract: This paper traces the evolution of certain principles and policies with which the colonial state in India managed the recipients of famine relief in the second half of the nineteenth century when a number of devastating killer famines occurred. Death and disease during famines pushed a reluctant colonial regime towards assumption of greater responsibilities for its subject population resulting in famine relief works and the establishment of poorhouses. While famine works were initiated to offer work at subsistence wages to the needy ‘able-bodied’, poorhouses were started in famine-affected areas for those unable to work exemplifying gratuitous charity on the part of the colonial state. Inspired by the workhouses established in Britain following the New Poor Law (1834), poorhouses in India were designed to prevent starvation-deaths. Simultaneously, they also provided opportunities for colonial administrators to devise and test their principles of governance on a mass of subject population confined and located in a defined space. In the colonial administrative imagination, poorhouses were enclosed sites where extraction of some work and acceptance of cooked food by the inmates served as a barometer to measure real need. The principle of cooked food was meant to act as a deterrent to prevent misuse of state charity. The administration used it to distinguish between the deserving and the undeserving seeking official assistance since caste-purity and social hierarchies prevented the relief-seekers to eat food cooked by someone considered ritually impure. Poorhouses became experimental vehicles for enforcing colonial state’s authority and simultaneously served to enhance its humanitarian claims as a benevolent provider when hunger and death were rampant. Despite the humanitarian rhetoric surrounding the poorhouses, they were designed to minimise responsibility, discourage indolence, ensure discipline and encourage deterrence. Official debates on them were often couched in the contemporary language of political economy and the prevailing ideas of nutrition, disease and health. At times these were in conflict with each other but eventually produced a discourse of discipline and benevolence that reinforced administrative and paternal hierarchies. However, the colonial state did not sustain the poorhouses beyond famine-times and they faded by the early decades of the twentieth century.


Wednesday 10th of November 2021: Hannah Haycox presented on Navigating the Labyrinth: How practitioners and Syrian families experience the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme in comparative policy contexts. 
The Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) comprised the UK government’s primary response to persons forcibly displaced by the Syrian civil war. Established in 2014, the VPRS aimed to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees between 2015-2020, with a primary focus on maintaining family ‘units’. The immediate granting of recourse to public funds and a 12-month locally-led programme of support was accompanied by feminised representations that positioned recipients as the inherently ‘deserving’ victims of the Syrian civil war. However, the continual cultivation of Islamophobia in a post-Brexit UK, the replication of explicitly racialised paradigms of ‘integration’ and the exacerbation of existing precarities due to continuing austerity measures position those resettled in a broader system of structural inequalities.   Drawing on forty in-depth interviews with Syrian families and expert practitioners in two comparable locations, this presentation will examine how practitioners and resettled persons articulated, negotiated and reflected upon their experiences of UK resettlement policy. Intersections between local, regional and national policy contexts are examined, tracing how practitioners’ work is continually impacted by central government reforms, with inadvertent consequences. By subsequently exploring Syrian families’ own experiences, the presentation expands upon the consequences produced when multiple policies and structural constraints converge. Given the recent central government commitment to resettling 20,000 refugees displaced from Afghanistan, this presentation provokes a series of implications in relation to  how current socio-economic contexts inflect processes of resettlement.


Wednesday 27th of October 2021: Prof Abhishek Singh presented on Development of India patriarchy index: validation and testing of temporal and spatial patterning.


While existing indices of gender equality measure the role of women’s status and position, they inadequately contextualize the broader construct of patriarchy, a social system that underlies many gender inequitable practices. An index capturing patriarchy may afford increased understanding of this social system, and may serve to complement other gender equality indices. This paper involves the development and testing of a novel composite measure, the India Patriarchy Index, to quantify the social and ideological construct of patriarchy using empirical data on family structure and gender roles. Using data from India’s National Family Health Survey, we develop an India Patriarchy Index to measure gendered social positioning in families based on sex by age, patrilocality, sex ratio imbalance among offspring, and gendered economic roles. Psychometric testing demonstrates good internal reliability and construct validity of this index, with validity indicated by its association with three gender equality indices used in India. Spatial and temporal analyses further indicate much state-level variation in India Patriarchy Index scores as well as slow change on this indicator over time, based on time trend analyses from 1992-93 to 2015-16. Results demonstrate the utility of the India Patriarchy Index to measure and track gender equality progress in India.

Wednesday 13th of October 2021: Dr David McCollum and Dr Hebe Nicholson presented their ongoing project on Exploring environmental awareness within international student migration. 

Wednesday 29 September 2021: Dr Sophie Cranston (Loughborough) and Prof Sergei Shubin (Swansea) present (Hi)Stories of Population Geography 

Abstract: The Archiving Population Geography project is an initiative of the RGS-IBG Population Geography Research Group (PopGRG) ( to document and disseminate the group’s history and, in that light, consider future research priorities. The project uses archival and interview methods to investigate the stories of the research group. In this presentation we 1) explore the role of research groups in shaping (sub)disciplines 2) examine questions of where next for population geography. The research forms part of the PopGRG 50th Anniversary Festival; as the oldest of the RGS-IBG Research Groups, the reflections on PopGRG provide a window to broader disciplinary shifts over the past 50 years.

22 June 2021: Dr Francesca Fiori, from University of St Andrews, discussed her paper titled “Social disparities in housing and residential mobility: the experience of a cohort of children born in Scotland”.

15 June 2021: Dr Nik Lomax, from the University of Leeds, gave a talk titled “Micromodels for estimating population change, health and socio-economic outcomes”.

1 June 2021: Dr Jenjira Yahirun, from Bowling Green State University, gave a talk titled “Gender, Family Separation, and the Mental Health of Recent Mexican Migrants to the United States”.

18 May 2021: Dr Alison Gemmill, from Johns Hopkins University, gave a talk titled “ Demographic drivers of the post-recessionary fertility decline and the future of U.S. fertility”.

4 May 2021: Dr Eva Beaujouan, from the University of Vienna, gave a talk titled “Late fertility across the high-income countries”.

20 April 2021: Dr Michael Thomas, from Statistics Norway, gave a talk titled “Interrelationships between fertility, internal migration and proximity to non-resident family: A multilevel multiprocess analysis”.

6 April 2021: Dr Laura Sochas, from the University of Oxford, gave a take titled “Challenging categorical thinking: A mixed-method approach to explaining health inequalities”.

23 March 2021: Dr Kitty Lymperopoulou, from the Manchester Metropolitan University, gave a take titled “Immigration, diversity and trust: the competing and intersecting role of English language ability in the community”.

9 March 2021: Dr Adriana Duta, from the University of Edinburgh, gave a talk titled “Social inequalities in educational and occupational outcomes in Scotland: evidence using sibling data”.

2 March 2021: Dr Julia Mikolai, from the University of St Andrews, presented her paper “The intersection of partnership and fertility histories among immigrants and their descendants in the United Kingdom: A multistate approach”.

23 February 2021: Dr Pablo Gracia, from Trinity College Dublin, gave a talk titled “Parental Separation, Parent-Child Time, and Children’s Daily Activities in Australia: A Longitudinal Study”.

9 February 2021: Dr Martin Kolk, from SUDA at Stockholm University, gave a talk titled “The shadow of peasant past: Seven generations of inequality persistence in Northern Sweden”.

26 January 2021: Dr Thomas Leopold, from the University of Cologne, gave a talk titled “A New Look at the Separation Surge in Europe: Contrasting Adult and Child Perspectives”.

12 January 2021: Dr Paulina Trevena, University of Glasgow, gave a talk titled “Residential precarities and the spatial mobilities of Poles in Scotland” (co-authored with David McCollum).

15 December 2020: Dr Genevieve Cezard, University of St Andrews, talked about her ongoing research: “Analysing multimorbidity longitudinally”.

8 December 2020: Dr Diego Alburez-Gutierrez, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, gave a talk titled “The ‘Sandwich Generation’ Revisited: Global Demographic Drivers of the Demand of Care-Time”.

1 December 2020: Dr Antonis Vradis, University of St Andrews, introduced himself and his research to us.

24 November 2020: Dr Stephen Jivraj, UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, gave a talk titled “England’s unfair expansion of morbidity”.

17 November 2020: Dr Chia Liu, University of St Andrews, shared some tips and tricks in R.

10 November 2020: Dr Lidia Panico, from INED, France, gave a talk titled “Comparative research using birth cohort data: new evidence on socio-economic inequalities in child health and development”.

3 November 2020: Dr Nissa Finney, University of St Andrews, gave a talk titled “Designing a survey to investigate ethnic inequalities in the impact of Covid-19”.

27 October 2020: Dr Adam Dennett, UCL, gave a talk titled “Unpacking the Nuances of London’s Neighbourhood Change & Gentrification Trajectories”.

13 October 2020: Dr Man-Yee Kan, University of Oxford, gave a talk titled “’Is there a ‘second shift’ for women? Trends in paid work and unpaid domestic work time in East Asian and Western societies between 1980s and 2010s”.

29 September 2020: Dr Kathryn Grace, Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota, gave a talk titled “Heat, hunger, and resilience: Climate change and children’s health”.

1 September 2020: Dr Nissa Finney, University of St Andrews, gave a talk titled “Race, place, poverty: patterns and processes of stubborn inequalities in the UK”.

16 June 2020: Dr Philipp Lersch, Humboldt University of Berlin and German Institute for Economic Research, shared his research with us: ‘ Assortative mating and wealth inequalities between and within households: Evidence from Germany and the United States’.

2 June 2020: Dr Bruno Arpino, the University of Florence, shared his research with us: ‘Physically distant but socially close? Older people’s intergenerational relationships and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic’.

26 May 2020: Dr Isaure Delaporte, University of St Andrews, shared her research with us, on ‘The Family Dynamics of Immigrants and their Descendants in France: Evidence using Multichannel Sequence Analysis’.

19 May 2020: Nick Campisi discussed his second PhD chapter titled “Spatial insights to Nordic fertility decline and uncertainty”.

12 May 2020: Dr Katya Ivanova, University of Tilburg, Netherlands, will share her research about family life and wellbeing with us.

5 May 2020: Dr Anna Baranowska-Rataj, Umeå University, Sweden, shared her research with us.

7 April 2020: Ilya Kashnitsky, the University of Southern Denmark, shared some of his rapid COVID-19 related research with us via Zoom, titled “COVID-19 in ageing populations: a demographic reflection”.

17 March 2020: Shubhankar Sharma, Max Planck Research School, shared his research online with us on “Cognitive health during various marital phases of life: Evidence based on the Health and Retirement Study, 1998-2014”.

3 March 2020: Dr Genevieve Cezard & Dr Chia Liu, University of St Andrews, gave a seminar on their ongoing works.

25 February 2020: Prof Juho Härkönen, European University Institute, gave a seminar on his work “Age at parental separation and children’s school outcomes in Sweden: A sibling difference analysis”.

18 February 2020: Dr Katy Keenan, University of St Andrews, shared her preliminary findings from the ongoing HATUA project with us.

28 January 2020: Dr Nissa Finney, University of St Andrews, shared her ongoing research with us.

21 January 2020: Dr Francesca Fiori, University of Edinburgh, gave a seminar on his ongoing work “Maternal employment and the wellbeing of children living with lone mothers”.

7 January 2020: Peter Dorey presented his Master’s thesis, which he is planning to turn into a publishable paper, with the working title “Applications of Spatial Econometric Methodology to Fertility in the UK”.

10 December 2019: Dr Roxanne Connelly, University of York, gave a seminar on her ongoing work “Social Class Inequalities in GCSE Attainment: A comparison of occupation-based and capital, assets and resources-based measures of social class”.

3 December 2019: Francesco Rampazzo, University of Southampton, gave a seminar on his work “Following a Trail of Breadcrumbs: Using Digital Traces to Improve Migration.”

26 November 2019: Peter Dorey presented part of his PhD research on “Applications of Spatial Econometric Methodology to Fertility in the UK.”

22 November 2019: Dr Keith Halfacree, Swansea University, gave a seminar on “Sheep who Shape ‘Something More than a Human Estate’: Establishing a Neglected Rural Geography.”

19 November 2019: Dr Bram Vanhoutte, University of Liverpool, gave a seminar on “How housing careers influence the timing of ageing.”

12 November 2019: Nicholas Campisi presented his ongoing PhD work on “Geographic perspective to recent European fertility declines.”

5 November 2019: Dr Dominique Green presented part of her PhD research on “Reconsidering disadvantage in the United States: an application of social exclusion to ‘big’ American data.”

29 October 2019: Dr Esther Roughsedge, National Records of Scotland, gave a seminar on “How is Scotland’s population changing, and what are the implications?”

22 October 2019: Dr Paula Duffy presented her ongoing work at St Andrews, “Global Challenges: The Social Science of Contemporary Global Change”.

15 October 2019: Agata Troost, PhD student at TU Delft, “Dealing with challenges in studies of neighborhood effects: selection bias, regional differences and neighborhood histories.”

1 October 2019: Dr David Stevenson, Business Development at University of St Andrews, shared opportunities from UK and International funders.

25 June 2019: Prof Samir KC, Asian Demographic Research Institute, Shanghai University, “Sub-national population dynamics model application in the annual health care target settings at municipality and ward levels of Nepal.”

28 May 2019: Dr Marc Di Tommasi, University of Edinburgh, “Before Windrush: Mapping migrants in an age of controversies.”

14 May 2019: Dr Anna Matysiak, Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital, “Men’s involvement in the family and fertility: what about men’s opportunity costs?”

30 April 2019: Dr Alistair Hunter, University of Glasgow, “The Penultimate Voyage: Salmon bias in older North African and West African migrants in France.”

2 April 2019: Dr Kieron Barclay, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, “The Influence of Health in Early Adulthood on Male Fertility.”

12 March 2019: Dr Anna Pearce, University of Glasgow, “Combining the powers of cohorts and administrative data to tackle child health inequalities.”

12 February 2019: Prof Darren Smith, Loughborough University, “Super-studentification: New geographies of segregation?”

29 January 2019: Dr Sebastian Klusener, Germany Federal Institute for Population Research, Max Planck Institute for Demography Research, “Profiling Emigration from Lithuania to the United Kingdom, Norway, and Germany: A Census-linked Study”

11 December 2018: Professor Chris Dibben, University of Edinburgh, “Badges, promises and camping: Youth movements, social mobility and health inequalities”

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27 November 2018: Dr Gina Martin, School of Medicine, University of St Andrews, “Contextual influences on adolescent alcohol use in Scotland”

30 October 2018: Dr Alyson van Ralte, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, “The case for measuring lifespan inequality”

16 October 2018: Dr Toman Barsbai, School of Economics, University of St Andrews, “Information and Immigrant Integration.”

2 October 2018: Dr Iñaki Permanyer, Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics (CED), Barcelona, “Uncovering subnational variation in human development across the globe.”

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4 July 2018: Dr Alicia Adsera, Associate Professor, Princeton University, “The Impact of Transition in Eastern Europe on Height and Well-Being”

29 May 2018: Dr Sergei Shubin, Swansea University, “Evaluating Mobile cultures in the process of cross-European migration”

14 May 2018: Dr Christian Dudel, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, “Male fertility in high-income countries: Data, methods, and trends”

17 April 2018: Dr Alice Goisis, London School of Economics and Political Science, “Medically assisted reproduction and adverse birth outcomes: have the risks been overestimated?”


3 April 2018: Dr Heleen Janssen, Delft University of Technology, “Neighbourhood ethnic minority concentration and the intention to vote for the radical right in the Netherlands: A multiscalar approach”

27 March 2018: Dr Juliet Stone, University of Southampton, “Housing and the transition to higher order births in the UK”


13 March 2018: Dr Agnese Vitali, University of Southampton, “Female breadwinner couples in Europe”

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19 February 2018: Dr Tom Kleinepier, Delft University of Technology, “Childhood neighbourhood histories and their effects on adolescent outcomes”


13 February 2018: Dr Daniela Sime, University of Strathclyde, “Citizenship, identity and belonging among young Eastern European migrants in Brexit Britain”

12 December 2017: Ana PetrovicDelft University of Technology, “Multi-scale measures of population. Within and between city variation in exposure to the socio-spatial context”

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5 December 2017: Dr Alison Koslowski, University of Edinburgh, “Universal Basic Income, Parenting Leave and Gender Equality”


28 Novembe2017: Dr Pia Wohland-Jakhar, Hull-York Medical School, “Mortality in the UK: Ethnicity, nativity and the future”

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14 November 2017: Dr David Manley, University of Bristol, “An empirical investigation of social and biological mechanisms for neighbourhood effects: A cul-de-sac or through road?


31 October 2017: Dr Catharine Cross, School of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of St Andrews, “If all your friends jumped off a bridge…” Sex differences in risky behaviour and response to social influence: evidence from meta-analyses and experiments.”

17 October 2017: Dr Thijs van den Broek, London School of Economics and Political Science, “Supporting ageing parents and changes in quality of life in Sweden and Denmark”

3 October 2017: Dr Joanna Inchley, School of Medicine, University of St Andrews, “Growing up unequal: International perspectives on adolescent health and wellbeing”

Previous Brown Bag Seminars

24 September 2019: Dr Jo Mhairi Hale shared her ongoing research on the health effects of postponing retirement before academic submission.

18 April 2019: Dr Albert Sabater discussed his ongoing work on generational geographies, housing inequalities, and migration in the UK context

4 April 2019: Nicholas Campisi discussed his ongoing PhD research on spatial variations in European fertility focusing on Nordic fertility declines

21 March 2019: Prof Hill Kulu discussed his ongoing research and outreach activity with the Scottish Government

14 March 2019: Dr Julia Mikolai hosted a discussion on early-career grant ideas

7 March 2019: Lewis Dowle presented on “Migration, Mobility and Borders: Exploring the Swedish/Danish Border during the European Migration Crisis”

21 February 2019: Dr Genevieve Cezard explained her end-of PhD plans pathways.

24 January 2019: Dr Julia Mikolai hosted an EndNote workshop.

13 December 2018: Kai Hu presented his data and approaches to linking and extrapolating data.

1 November 2018: Dr Nissa Finney discussed ideas she is developing for a grant application on a project considering how residential lifecourses can be made more equal.

18 October 2018: Prof Elspeth Graham discussed the mixed-methods workshop in the social sciences she is developing.

27 September 2018: Prof Hill Kulu presented preliminary results of his joint project with Julia Mikolai and Sebastian Franke on Partnership Status and Health: Selection or Protection?

6 September 2018: Nicholas Campisi presented his work on ‘Approaches to Subnational European Fertility’ and got feedback on this presentation to be delivered at the BSPS conference.

14 June 2018: Dr Katherine Ellsworth-Krebs discussed her research project on ‘Is bigger better? Comparing expectations and experiences of house size in the UK and Australia.’ and sought suggestions on literature and data concerning changes in domestic space per person over time.

24 May 2018: Research group members discussed Dr Genevieve Cezard’s findings on “Ethnic differences in subjective health and mortality in Scotland – The morbidity-mortality paradox”.

17 May 2018: Dr Albert Sabater shared findings from the working paper “Does Living Close to Kin Encourage Second Births? Evidence from Southern Europe”, accepted for presentation in the session Family Networks and Intergenerational Transmission Processes at the European Population Conference (EPC), 6-9 June, Brussels.

10 May 2018: Dr Jed Long presented “Jed Wants To GPS Track You: Testing Behaviour of Self-Employed and Home Workers and the WorkAndHome project”.

3 May 2018: Kai Hu presented a part of his PhD project which is titled “Understanding health inequality in China: the complex relationship between environmental pollution and socioeconomic status”.

5 April 2018: Dr Julia Mikolai and Prof Hill Kulu received feedback on their presentation “It’s about time: The interrelationship between partnership transitions, residential mobility and housing tenure”.

22 March 2018: Dr Genevieve Cezard received feedback on her PhD results chapter “Ethnic inequalities in self-assessed health in Scotland”.

8 March 2018: Research group members discussed ongoing research on “Homeownership after separation in Britain (and in Continental Europe?)” by Hill Kulu and Julia Mikolai.

15 February 2018: Dr Julia Mikolai received feedback on her research proposal.

18 January 2018: Dr David McCollum received feedback on his draft paper from members of the research group.

6 December 2017: PhD workshop on Editors’ view of the publishing process presented by Prof Allan Findlay (former Editor of Population, Space and Place) and Prof Hill Kulu (former Editor of European Journal of Population). The workshop was organised by Julia Mikolai.

23 November 2017: Dr Katherine Keenan presented her ongoing research titled “Working during retirement in Russia and subjective well-being”.

16 November 2017: Our invited guest speaker, Jacques-Antoine Gauthier, talked about sequence analysis and multi-channel sequence analysis in his talk titled: “Uncovering patterns of social trajectories using sequence analysis”.

9 November 2017: Dr Genevieve Cezard discussed her experience of accessing two data sources: The Scottish Health and Ethnicity Linkage Study (SHELS) and the Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS).

2 November 2017: Dr Julia Mikolai discussed her draft proposal.

19 October 2017: PhD workshop on How to respond to reviewers’ comments by Katherine Keenan and Julia Mikolai.

5 October 2017: Prof Hill Kulu presented preliminary results of a joint study with Marika Jalovaara (University of Turku) on Separation and Homeownership in Finland using register data.