Headshot of Ashton Verdery outside wearing a dress shirt.

Ashton M Verdery, Ph.D.

Harry and Elisa Sichi Early Career Professor, Social Data Analytics / Sociology / Demography

Biography

My research focuses on social networks: how and why people are socially connected to each other and the consequences of those connections. Within this broad area, I am especially interested in demographic processes, specifically how population dynamics shape family, kinship, and social networks and how those networks in turn affect health and other population processes. I have given special attention to migration and the network ties that migrants retain to origin areas after moving as well as the new ties they form in different destinations. I am also very interested in using social networks as a basis for sampling populations that are otherwise difficult to survey, including migrants, those at high risk of sexually transmitted or blood-borne infections, and opioid users. In this line of research, I am working on new ways to use and improve network based sampling methods, especially respondent-driven sampling. I have several ongoing research collaborations. In one line of work I am trying to understand how historical and projected population change affects family and kinship networks around the world. In another line of research, I focus on transnational migrant networks and the effects of these on social incorporation. A third line of research is expanding tools for network sampling methods, especially respondent-driven sampling, where I am investigating new sampling protocols, new statistical estimators, and how to conduct multivariate analyses with such non-traditional data. This last line of work includes projects to better understand the heroin and opioid crisis in Pennsylvania and to eliminate racial disparities in kidney transplantation rates. 

Research Interests

Social Networks; Computational Sociology; Quantitative Methodology; Social Demography; Kinship

Education

  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2015
  • M.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2010
  • B.A., First Class Honours, McGill University, 2007