Leah VanWey

Profile Photo
SPS Room 533, IBES Room 314

Research Interests

Environment and Development, Household Demography, Migration, Population and Environment


Professor Leah VanWey is a household demographer and a multimethod researcher, and currently works on questions of the relationships between economic development and environmental change. Her work encompasses micro level studies of migration and household livelihoods, and meso level studies of agricultural intensification and its social and environmental correlates. Leah studies population and environment relationships in the Brazilian Amazon and Atlantic Forest, using in-depth interview data, social survey data, and census or other administrative records linked with satellite imagery and measurements of soil and water properties. She regularly travels to Brazil to collect data, observe processes on the ground, and work with in-country collaborators. 

Professor VanWey is deeply committed to interdisciplinary research and education. She currently co-directs a research project in Bahia, Brazil with Professor Stephen Porder in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.  She has served as Associate Director at the Population Studies and Training Center and Senior Deputy Director of the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society.  She currently serves in the Provost's office, advising the Provost on the allocation of space and funds for renovations.