assistant professor
University of Texas, Austin
Sociology Department & Population Research Center

visiting researcher
Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi, India

co-executive director
r.i.c.e., a research institute for compassionate economics

I am a demographer who studies social influences on health in India.  One area of my research focuses on the intergenerational transmission of poor population health resulting from India's exceptionally poor maternal nutrition.  It traces links among gender, stratification, and poor birth, childhood, and adult health outcomes.

Another area of my research finds consequences of poor sanitation in developing countries for early life health, including for mortality, height, and anemia.  I have also studied the causes of open defecation in rural India.  Rural India's exceptionally high rate of open defecation has much less to do with poverty than with social forces: the renegotiation of caste and untouchability leads people to reject the inexpensive latrines that prevent disease in other developing countries.

My research has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, as well as Social Science & Medicine, Economic & Political Weekly, and other journals.  My book, with Dean Spears, is titled Where India Goes: Abandoned Toilets, Stunted Development, and the Costs of Caste.