Dear Friends of Berkeley Demography,




We are in the midst of many anniversaries worth celebrating. The building in which we dwell—2232 Piedmont Avenue—was built 110 years ago this fall, and the first Graduate Group in Demography at Berkeley was established by Judith Blake and others 55 years ago. It was 40 years ago this fall that Gene Hammel brought Ron Lee and Ken Wachter to Berkeley as Professors of Demography and 30 years ago that John Wilmoth joined them.  All of this comes in a time of campus commemorations as well: the University of California turned 150 in 2018, and in 2020 we will celebrate 150 years that women have been admitted to the University on equal terms with men. Much to celebrate, and much to remember: we are part of a long and honorable history, and responsible for carrying that history into the future. 

News & Announcements



And our future looks bright indeed. This fall we welcome a new faculty member, Ayesha Mahmud, whose work focuses on how demography, the environment, and social systems interrelate to produce observed patterns of

infectious diseases. Her work draws on classical demography but also contributes to conversations in public health, disease ecology, data science, and the effects of climate change. Ayesha earned her BA in Physics and Economics at Carleton College in 2009, then worked for three years at two well-respected social science research centers, NORC

and NBER. She earned her PhD in Demography and Social Policy at Princeton in 2017, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard University Center for the Environment before arriving here this summer.  Welcome Ayesha!


We also welcome a new cohort of graduate students. After last year’s unusually large cohort, this one is unusually small. Mallika Snyder graduated from Harvard University in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. Her senior thesis explored the impact of the Great Recession on intimate partner violence in the United States. Since 2017, she has worked at the Center for Global Development in Washington DC. She is interested in studying the family in contexts of historical demographic and economic change. Maria Osborne graduated from the University of Washington in 2018 with Bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics and English. Through the interdisciplinary honors program at the University of Washington, she studied the intersection of national identity and sexuality in Romania and Georgia. Since 2015, she has worked as a Scientific Programmer for the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Welcome Mallika and Maria!


We are also happy that Ben Domingue, Assistant Professor from Stanford, will be visiting for the year, and Luisa Cardoso Guedes de Souza will remain with us through the fall. We are also looking for people to teach this spring, if you are in the area and potentially interested. 

Yours sincerely,

Jenna Johnson-Hanks

Professor and Department Chair

Demography Brown Bag Seminars

Join us at the Demography Department, located at 2232 Piedmont Avenue, every Wednesday at noon for our weekly Brown Bag seminar series featuring guest speakers from a wide range of disciplines relating demographic topics to current issues in public health, sociology, economics, education, and more.


Please arrive before 12:10 pm to secure a seat.

Coffee, tea, and cookies will be provided.

Current Semester Brown Bag Talks 

Special Statement about Development

I urge each of our alums and friends to consider making a gift to the Department of Demography. Although we regularly receive generous donations from some in our circle, the Department has not yet reached out widely to our strong constituency for broader support. It is important that we do so now, in this time of fiscal austerity on the campus, since private gifts are ever more critical to maintaining fellowship packages for our graduate students and meeting other needs (from providing research allowances for new faculty to funding the department’s scholarly and ceremonial events). A relatively young department, Demography does not have the historically old and deep endowments that enable many of our sister departments on campus to weather the winds of retrenchment with greater confidence. Please follow this link to make a gift of any amount to the Department, knowing that we shall use it wisely to sustain a program at the forefront of the discipline throughout the world. Thank you enormously for your consideration.


   Mary Elizabeth Berry (Demography Department Chair 2017-2018)    

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University of California, Berkeley | College of Letters and Sciences

Department of Demography | University of California

Berkeley CA 94720-2120

1 (510) 642-9800