The PSTC supports research and graduate education in the population sciences at Brown University and with colleagues around the world. Our interdisciplinary talk series occurs on Thursdays and we feature both internal and external speakers. Watch our latest talks in our PSTC Colloquia Podcast series that is hosted on iTunesU. Visit the links below to watch the lecture of your choice.

Economic Change, Food Security and Dietary Intakes in the Rural Amazon: Evidence of Maternal-Child Buffering?

Barbara Piperata, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Ohio State University
December 1969
Barbara Piperata's research applies life history theory and takes a bio-cultural approach in understanding human ecology, reproduction and nutrition. All of her research has been conducted in Latin America, with a particular focus on rural Amazonian populations. Topics of interest include human reproductive energetics and the effects of economic change on household subsistence strategies, diet change and food security, her research incorporates quantitative and qualitative methods and the collection of biological and cultural data in effort to understand the interplay between cultural beliefs and practices and health outcomes. She has published her work in journals such as the American Journal of Human Biology, the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and Social Science & Medicine. She is currently developing a new research project in Nicaragua aimed at identifying household-level risk factors for food insecurity in urban and rural contexts, as well as maternal strategies for coping with low food availability and their relationship to child health outcomes.

On the Role of Human Development in the Arab Spring

Randall Kuhn, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Director of the Global Health Affairs Program at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver
This presentation is based on Kuhn's essay, which traces the impact of human development on political change, focusing on the events of the Arab Spring. He posits that improvements in human development laid the foundation for mobilization against political regimes. He highlights the need for study design and datasets that can test causal pathways from health and education to political participation and attitudes.

Nature versus Nurture in the Explanations for Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities

Jay Kaufman, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University
December 1969
Jay S. Kaufman holds a doctorate in epidemiologic science from the University of Michigan. After a post-doctoral position at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine (Chicago, IL), he was Medical Epidemiologist at Carolinas Medical Center (Charlotte, NC). From 1999 through 2008 he held a faculty position at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health at Chapel Hill before leaving for his current position as Canada Research Chair in Health Disparities in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health at McGill University (Montreal, QC). Kaufman's work focuses on social epidemiology, analytic methodology and on a variety of health outcomes including reproductive, cardiovascular, psychiatric and infectious diseases. He is an editor at the journal “Epidemiology” and an associate editor at “American Journal of Epidemiology.” With J. Michael Oakes he is the co-editor of the textbook “Methods in Social Epidemiology.”

Inequality and City Size

December 1969
Nathaniel Baum-Snow received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago in 2005. Baum-Snow has been affiliated with the Population Studies and Training Center at Brown University since 2005. He is also affiliated with Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences (S4) and is a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Baum-Snow is currently working to better understand trends in the spatial distribution of population and employment in U.S. metropolitan areas. In particular, he is investigating the role of transportation infrastructure in the location decisions of firms and households. In addition, he has investigated the role of local public goods such as school quality in determining residential location decisions by race. In addition, in collaboration with Ronni Pavan (University of Rochester), Baum-Snow has completed an NSF grant to study reasons behind urban wage premia.

The Growing Importance of Education as a Fundamental Cause of Mortality in the United States

Mark Hayward, Professor of Sociology, University of Texas
December 1969
Mark Hayward received his PhD in Sociology at Indiana University in 1981. Along with his position as Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas, he is Centennial Commission Professor in the Liberal Arts and Director of the Population Research Center. Hayward's primary research interests center on the influence of life course exposures and events on the morbidity and mortality experiences of the older population. Presently, he is involved in several studies focusing on the origins of health disparities at older ages: early life influences on socioeconomic, race and gender disparities in adult morbidity and mortality, the demography of race/ethnic and gender disparities in healthy life expectancy; social inequality in the biomarkers of aging, and the health consequences of marriage, divorce, and widowhood. Recent publications have focused on changes in morbidity and mortality determining trends in healthy life expectancy, socioeconomic and race/ethnic differences in healthy life expectancy, the association between childhood health and adult morbidity, and the socioeconomic origins of the race gap in chronic disease morbidity. His recently published work has appeared in the American Sociological Review, Demography, the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, and Social Science and Medicine.