Arizona State University
Geographical Sciences &
I am a social scientist and population geographer, and my work examines the geography of inequality and human behavior.
Today, the United States and Europe face their most pressing population challenges in living memory. Inequality within and across our cities have reached all-time highs, opportunities for our children to climb the economic ladder have sunk to all-time lows, and we will face major immigration and demographic pressures for decades to come.
I study the long-term causes and consequences of these conditions in an effort to better understand how we got here and where we are going. My main expertise is in applying powerful statistical and social science methods to large population datasets. My preferred data sources either capture the spatial dimensions of populations or how they change over long periods of time (sometimes both).
My findings have been published in leading academic outlets including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Demography, Science Advances, Journal of Economic History and the Annals of the American Association of Geographers. My work has been features by Ireland's national broadcaster RTE, Business Insider, and on prime-time radio.
My main current research area focuses on how the long-term development of the United States have shaped inequality and social mobility over time and across populations. This work includes a century-long examination of the US geography of intergenerational mobility, neighborhood segregation, ethnic enclaves, a three-generational study of immigrant attainment, and an ongoing analysis of rural America funded by the National Institute of Health.
Fertility, naming, & culture using Ireland's historical censuses
I have a longstanding research agenda focused on understanding the demographic history of Ireland. Much of this work has focused on spatial patterns of migration, fertility and mortality in the early twentieth century.
A century of urban development using housing data from Zillow
With colleagues at the University of Colorado Boulder and at the University of Florida, we have been leveraging data shared with us by Zillow to study the long-term spatial development of the United States.
Immigration using record linkage and historical US microdata
For over seven years, I have been using non-anonymized historical microdata to study key issues on the immigration history of the United States. This work has heavily relied on computational record linkage algorithms.