Research Project

Human wellbeing, inequalities, and environmental change

Amy Teller was a NICHD fellow in 2014-2015 during her a fourth year as Sociology PhD student. She researches the demography of climate change adaptation, environmental resources, and population wellbeing. Here she describes her fellowship year.

The PSTC fellowship allowed me to accomplish much more in the past two years than I think I could have otherwise. I'm pursuing a second Master's in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (through Brown's Open Graduate Education program) alongside my Ph.D. in Sociology, which is a demanding load of coursework and research. I am doing this in order to understand the ecological side of my interest in human wellbeing, inequalities, and environmental change. I also took a research trip to Brazil, which was exploratory for my future dissertation work on the relationship between environment and socioeconomic wellbeing in the Atlantic Forest region.

The fellowship provided the time and support for me to finish my coursework on the typical timeline despite the extra program and to pursue multiple research projects, including writing a collaborative paper on climate change and migration with my advisor, PSTC Associate Director Leah VanWey, publishing my sociology Master's thesis on climate change adaptation and local inequalities in Tanzania, and carrying out ecology research on farms in Delaware and Pennsylvania for my M.Sc.

PSTC is an especially supportive institute, and I would encourage future fellows to take full advantage of all its intellectual and financial resources like travel funding, editing, the other fellows and trainees, and visitors. I particularly appreciate that PSTC tends to support its fellows and trainees regardless of where their intellectual interests take them, rather than maintaining a narrow definition of population studies and demography.