MA MSc PhD
I started my career writing software, but worked in the Population Studies Group (previously the Centre for Population Studies) at the School from 1980 to 2021. My first degree is in social anthropology and I view myself as a social scientist, although most of my work is in technical demography or quantitative data analysis. I did an MSc in Demography at LSE and completed a PhD at the School on the estimation of adult mortality from data on orphanhood.
I am now Emeritus Professor at the School and also an Honorary Professor at the University of Cape Town.
My research interests include methods for measuring adult mortality in developing countries, the social and demographic impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, inequalities in child health and welfare, and the demography of sub-Saharan Africa, in particular that of South Africa. I was one of the team that produced the 2013 web-based manual on indirect methods of estimation published by the IUSSP, Tools for Demographic Estimation.
In recent years I have been investigating patterns of parity progression and birth intervals during the transition to low fertility across the globe. This detailed analysis of family building patterns in different populations reveals that the pathways countries take to low fertility are more diverse and complex than is recognised by classical demographic transition theory.
I am no longer taking on the supervision of new postgraduate students.