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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

New grant to probe changes in population growth

Published: 6 October 2014

Biological Sciences and Ocean and Earth Sciences Senior Research Fellow Dr Thomas Ezard has won a Wellcome Trust New Investigator award to the value of £632,406 to explore how disturbance changes human population growth.

Thomas is collaborating with Dr Jakub Bijak in the Centre for Population Change in Social Sciences at the University of Southampton and Dr David Hodgson and Professor Stuart Townley at the University of Exeter. Their interest was sparked by observing the influence of the post war baby boom in the UK and whether similar catastrophes such as the global flu pandemic of 1918-20 or government policy decisions, such as the introduction of family planning or legislation of a national health service, leave comparable demographic signatures.

“We will be using thousands of models and statistics from hundreds of cities, countries and regions across the globe” explains Tom. “A pilot study in Sweden and El Salvador has already shown us that incidents such as epidemics and wars as well as natural disasters such as floods and volcanic eruptions can have both positive and negative effects on population growth some years after the event. The underlying demographic causes differ in different parts of the world.”

The project will begin in October 2014.


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