• KY16 9AL

    United Kingdom

Accepting Postgraduate Research Students

Personal profile


I was trained in economic geography and demography and received a PhD from the University of Helsinki (Finland) in 1997. Since then I have occupied the following positions: from 1997 to 2002, I was Researcher/Senior Researcher at the University of Tartu (Estonia); I spent a year as Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (US) in 1999; from 2003 to 2007, I worked as Research Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (Rostock, Germany); I was Leader of the Research Team on Interdependencies in the Life Course (2005-2007) and Deputy Head of the Laboratory of Contemporary European Fertility and Family Dynamics (2007). From 2008 to 2016, I was employed by the University of Liverpool, first as Senior Lecturer/Reader and then as Professor of Demography and Quantitative Geography. Since 2017, I am Professor of Human Geography and Demography at the University of St Andrews.

I am President of the European Association for Population Studies, a Co-Director of the ESRC Centre for Population Change & Connecting Generations and a Co-Editor of Population Studies. I am also a member of the Expert Advisory Group on Population and Migration at the Scottish Government and have advised the Scottish Government on the effect of Brexit on Scotland’s economy and population. Last but not least, I enjoy teaching population and methods courses to geography students at the University of St Andrews and supervising an international team of research fellows and PhD students.



Research interests

My substantive research interests lie in the field of migration, family and health studies; my methodological interests include the development and application of longitudinal models in social science research. My research has advanced our understanding of how family changes and migration interact in people's lives and how residential context shapes childbearing, migration and health behaviour of individuals. I have published over fifty peer-reviewed articles in international journals and have edited five books or journal special issues published by international publishers. 

I am currently leading two collaborative research projects. The MigrantLife project (2019–2024) investigates how employment, housing and family trajectories evolve and interact in the lives of immigrants and their descendants in the UK, France, Germany and Sweden and will project their future life trajectories using innovative computer simulation techniques (https://migrantlife.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/). The project is funded by ERC. The FertilityTrends Project (2019-2023), a joint ESRC funded project with the University of Southampton, investigates the causes of recent fertility fluctuations in the UK and will forecast future trends (https://fertilitytrends.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/).


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Helsinki University

Award Date: 15 Sept 1997


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