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Research group

World Pop

Image of a busy street with lots of people and traffic.

Regularly updating data on population numbers and characteristics to help with effective governance and efficient allocation of resources.

About

We work to ensure that everyone is mapped and counted in decision making. We develop geospatial integration methods to make detailed demographic datasets. Our work features in Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Our datasets are used by governments, international agencies, academia, NGOs and the private sector. We work closely with the United Nation agencies and national statistical offices in low and middle-income countries. Our approaches are designed to maximise uptake and impact, and to strengthen local capacity.

Our work focus areas for development and implementation cover population distributions, demographics and dynamics in resource-poor settings. Our geostatistical modelling integrates data from traditional sources including censuses, and satellite and cellphone datasets.

We produce high resolution maps of:

  • age/sex structures
  • births
  • poverty
  • access to services
  • vaccination coverage

We also develop modelling frameworks for subnational migration flows, urban change and disease spread.

WorldPop is made up of more than 30 members of staff, including demographers, geographers, ecologists, statisticians, epidemiologists and computer scientists.

Principal funders and collaborators include:

  • the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • UK Department for International Development
  • the World Bank

Research highlights

People, projects and publications

People

Doctor Natalia Tejedor Garavito

Senior Enterprise Fellow

Research interests

  • Geospatial data analysis
  • GIS training

Accepting applications from PhD students

Connect with Natalia

Email: n.tejedor-garavito@soton.ac.uk

Address: B39, West Highfield Campus, University Road, SO17 1BJ (View in Google Maps)

Doctor Ortis Yankey

Research Fellow

Research interests

  • Population Modelling
  • Spatial Epidemiology

Connect with Ortis

Email: o.yankey@soton.ac.uk

Address: B37, East Highfield Campus, University Road, SO17 1BJ (View in Google Maps)

Doctor Sarchil Qader PhD

Senior Research Fellow

Research interests

  • Dr Sarchil is a Senior Research Fellow within the WorldPop research group (https://www.worldpop.org) in close collaboration with multiple organizations across the world, whose activities combine research and enterprise. He designs innovative research ideas using big datasets such as remote sensing to improve traditional methods in the application of national population sampling frames for low- and middle-income countries and in agriculture. 

Connect with Sarchil

Email: s.qader@soton.ac.uk

Address: B39, West Highfield Campus, University Road, SO17 1BJ (View in Google Maps)

Doctor Shengjie Lai PhD

Principal Research Fellow

Research interests

  • Lai is interested in understanding the transmission dynamics and intervention effectiveness for infectious diseases; Quantifying seasonal human mobility, social connectivity and migration using novel data sources, e.g. mobile phone data; Investigating spatiotemporal interactions between human behaviour, environmental change and infectious disease dynamics.

Accepting applications from PhD students

Connect with Shengjie

Email: shengjie.lai@soton.ac.uk

Address: B39, West Highfield Campus, University Road, SO17 1BJ (View in Google Maps)

Mrs Thea Woods

Enterprise Fellow/GIS Analyst

Research interests

  • geospatial analysis
  • migration mapping

Connect with Thea

Email: dw@geodata.soton.ac.uk

Address: B44, West Highfield Campus, University Road, SO17 1BJ (View in Google Maps)

We have a range of different datasets, and one of the richest sources comes from mobile phones. We layer this information together to get information about each location on the planet.
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