Fellows 2020-21

Meet our inaugural 2020-21 Population Analytics in an Aging Society Fellows. Over the course of the year, this strong team of 12 was introduced to emerging research on population aging from multiple disciplines and sectors, trained in practical data skills, and engaged in experiential learning in the form of internships and research projects.

Our Fellows also produced ePortfolios as part of the CAnD3 training, which became a vehicle for them to reflect and showcase their achievements to the professional world. Here, we share some of our Fellows' ePortfolios: Sakeef Karim | Georges Alain Tchango Ngalé | Andrew Lai


Circular head shot of Ladanya Ramírez Surmeier, a 2020-21 CAnD3 trainee

Mari Aaltonen

Previous degrees: PhD in Health Sciences - University of Tampere; MSc in Public Health - University of Tampere; Postdoctoral researcher at the Centre of Excellence in Research on Ageing and Care, Faculty of Social Sciences, Tampere University, Finland

Current: Senior research fellow - University of Tampere

Location: Lempäälä, Finland

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Dr. Aaltonen currently works as a postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Health Sciences, Tampere University, Finland. Her postdoctoral project focuses on aging and care, how the increasing longevity, cognitive decline, and the changes in health and social care policy affect the use of formal and informal care. She has used administrative data from Finland (i.e. register data) and Canadian Population Data during her research mobility at the University of British Columbia. She has also used data from Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam and is currently working on Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. She has mainly employed quantitative research methods, but she also has a qualitative research project on care and everyday life of people with memory disorders. She has three-year postdoctoral funding from the Academy of Finland. Her work is part of the research conducted in the Center of Excellence in Research on Ageing and Care (CoeAgeCare).




Circular head shot of Evelina Akimova, a 2020-21 CAnD3 trainee


Evelina Akimova (Eva)

Previous degrees: MSc in Sociology - University of Oxford; BA in Sociology - Lomonosov Moscow State University 

Current: DPhil in Sociology - University of Oxford; Postdoctoral researcher - University of Oxford 

Location: Oxford, UK

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Evelina is currently a DPhil (PhD) student at sociology department, University of Oxford. Her research aims to combine social science and molecular genetic research where she addresses the importance of aging and birth cohort differences in relation to mental health. Particularly, she shows changing genetic penetrance of depression among demographic cohorts in the UK along with the importance of late-career job loss on psychological well-being. Her aim is to understand the complex interplay between biological and socio-demographic determinants of mental health – an aspect that could not be neglected in effective policymaking.

She has finished a master's degree in sociology at the University of Oxford with a focus on educational inequality. Her research addressed the problem of access to preschool education in Russia. She also earned an undergraduate degree at Moscow State University, where, as a student of the Sociology Department, she focused on socio-economic inequality and the effects of globalization on Russia. She is a quantitative sociologist and has done research both in academia and in the private-sector.

CAnD3 program’s commitment in promoting better policies taking into account socio-demographic changes inspires her. She is excited to build a knowledge and capacity to communicate scientific results to the potential policy makers.




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James Dunbar

Previous degrees: MA in Sociology - University of New Brunswick; BA in Sociology and History - University of New Brunswick

Current: PhD in Sociology - University of New Brunswick

Location: Fredericton, Canada

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James Dunbar is a PhD candidate at the University of New Brunswick – Fredericton (UNB). He is a life-course sociologist with an interest in family structures, life transitions, and social determinants of health. His research has drawn on large-scale surveys such as the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, Canadian Census, and Canadian Community Health Survey. His doctoral dissertation explores the nexus between public policy programmes, family structures, and health and social outcomes for family members. His previous work utilized propensity score matching analysis and sequence analysis to explore the relationship between family-of-origin disruption and the timing of first marriage. James has taught introductory data analysis for the social sciences at UNB and is also a Statistical Assistant for the Research Data Centre Program at Statistics Canada. He is interested in the CAnD3 Program to further develop his technical knowledge, professional skills, and networks in academia, government, and third-sector organizations to enhance knowledge translation across fields.




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Anthony Jehn

Previous degrees: MA in Sociology - Guelph University; BA in Sociology - Guelph University; PhD in Sociology - University of Western Ontario

Location: London, Canada

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I am a 4th year Sociology doctoral student at the University of Western Ontario. Having completed graduate courses and comprehensive exams oriented towards population-based research, I have developed substantive knowledge in areas such as education and health outcomes. My dissertation research focuses on social determinants of adult health. I am particularly interested in assessing how experiences in postsecondary education influence health and health behaviors. I also recognize the need to advance my quantitative skills and through online courses have become proficient with a variety of software packages including R, Stata, and SPSS. Through participation in the CAnD3 training program, I hope to advance my own research by further developing both my existing data science and knowledge mobilization skills. I also look forward to meeting the other members of the pilot cohort.




Circular head shot of Sakeef Karim, a 2020-21 CAnD3 trainee


Sakeef Karim

CAnD3 Training: ePortfolio 

Previous degrees: MA in Sociology - McMaster University; BSc in Psychology and Criminology - University of Toronto; PhD in Sociology - McGill University

Current: Postdoctoral research fellow NYU

Location: Montreal, Canada

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Sakeef M. Karim is a PhD Candidate in McGill University’s Sociology Department, a trainee with McGill’s Centre on Population Dynamics, and a student member of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship. His research can be organized around three areas of inquiry: ethnic identification in immigrant societies; democracy, populism and nationalism in the contemporary world; and social demography.

As a researcher, Sakeef relies on a range of quantitative techniques to unpack social and political phenomena, from latent variable models to social sequence analyses. His work is funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, from whom he received a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Doctoral Scholarship.

As a trainee with CAnD3, Sakeef hopes to broaden his horizons by forging new networks with policy stakeholders in government and industry, getting further acquainted with population analytics and algorithmic approaches to modelling, and meeting future collaborators from around the world.




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Andrew Lai 

CAnD3 Training: ePortfolio

Previous Degrees: BA in Economics - University of British Columbia

Current: MA in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences – Columbia University

Location: Canada and the United States

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Andrew Lai is currently a Master's student in the Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences (QMSS) at Columbia University. He holds a BA in Economics from the University of British Columbia and has worked as a research assistant in the Marketing and Behavioural Science division at the Sauder School of Business. He has worked on research relating to temporal discounting, attribute framing, and prospect theory.

While a research assistant for the Sauder School of Business, Andrew developed a research interest at the intersection of labour economics and migration. In particular, he is interested in the comparison of social and economic outcomes between different generations of immigrants.

He is excited to join CAnD3 and is eager to learn more about population analytics and about new statistical methods used in both academia and the private sector.




Circular head shot of Ladanya Ramírez Surmeier, a 2020-21 CAnD3 trainee


Ladanya Ramírez Surmeier

Previous degrees: MSc in Sociology and Higher Education Administration - Florida State University; BA in International Affairs - Florida State University; DPhil in Sociology - Florida State University

Location: Tallahassee, USA

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Ladanya Ramírez Surmeier is a Sociology PhD candidate at Florida State University with a B.S. in International Affairs and an M.S. in Higher Education Administration. Prior to the doctoral program, she worked as a Student Affairs professional for over 10 years. In this capacity she supported the collegiate experiences of both international and American students.

Her research focuses on the diverse health and educational outcomes of the United States Hispanic population, while considering their assimilation and acculturation patterns. Recently she observed that Hispanic adults age 65+ with more education than their fathers, were less satisfied with life compared to their white and black peers. Suggesting, that upward mobility may work in ways that contradict the well-established paradox of relatively good health and wellbeing markers among Hispanics, given their socioeconomic position in the U.S.

Ladanya was recently awarded the 2020 Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Scholarship and was a 2018-2019 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Nominee.




Circular head shot of Emma Rodrigues, a 2020-21 CAnD3 trainee


Emma Rodrigues

Previous degrees: MSc in Biomedical Engineering - Universidade Nova de Lisboa; BSc in Biomedical Engineering - Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Location: Burnaby, Canada

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Emma has an MSc in Biomedical Engineering and is now a PhD student at SFU. Her research interests include using engineering techniques to understand properties of neural systems as a measure of cognitive health. She has submitted a manuscript reviewing the techniques used to measure healthy cognitive aging and is also exploring the relationship of external factors on cognitive functioning in older adults. In addition to this, Emma is working collaboratively with NYU to explore how her applied methods and findings regarding cognitive maintenance/promotion in the healthy aging domain might translate to the traumatic brain injury domain. Furthermore, she is collaborating with UCA to explore how machine learning techniques can aid in better understanding how cognitive health changes in healthy ageing. Emma’s professional goal is to focus on translational research and apply her findings to industry settings and technological development in ways that will fit the older adults' needs.




Circular head shot of Madeleine Steinmetz-Wood, a 2020-21 CAnD3 trainee


Madeleine Steinmetz-Wood

Previous degrees: Master's in Public Health - University of Montreal; BSc in Environment - McGill University; PhD in Geography - McGill University

Location: Canada

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Madeleine is currently undertaking doctoral studies in the Department of Geography at McGill University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Environment from McGill University (2013) and a master’s in Public Health from University of Montreal (2015). Madeleine aims to conduct policy-amenable research to understand how neighborhoods influence health and well-being. She is currently working on her doctoral thesis, a mixed methods thesis, that is combining detailed virtual audits of the built environment, survey data, and semi-structured interviews to identify the characteristics of urban environments that contribute to physical activity and health in older adults.  

Madeleine has experience working as a research assistant at the Centre de Recherche du CHUM (CRCHUM), where she was involved in research projects that explored the built environment determinants of mobility. She also worked as a research assistant at University of Montreal on a project regarding social inequalities in smoking in young adults. She currently holds a doctoral fellowship from the Fonds de Recherche du Québec– Fonds de Recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ). 




Circular head shot of Haosen Sun, a 2020-21 CAnD3 trainee


Haosen Sun 

Previous degrees: MA in Sociology - University of Western Ontario; BA in Journalism and Communication- Renmin University of China; PhD in Sociology - University of Toronto

Current: Postdoctoral scholar - Indiana University Bloomington

Location: Canada

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My name is Haosen Sun, and I am currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology at the University of Toronto. I got my M.A. at Western University. My research focuses on aging, social networks, and older adults’ social connectedness and well-being. My current dissertation research examines the typology of members’ geographic layout in networks across European countries, highlighting how older adults combine families and non-relatives both in proximity and over longer distances. I am also interested in age integration and network turnovers in the aging process across diverse social contexts. In the training program, I am looking forward to revealing the potential of the survey data I am using by bringing in administrative data and geomatics information. I also appreciate the program’s focus on the gap between research and actual practice, especially promoting decision making and positive changes under limited resources, which will better inform my research plans in the future.




Circular head shot of Georges Alain Tchango Ngale, a 2020-21 CAnD3 trainee


Georges Alain Tchango Ngalé

CAnD3 Training: ePortfolio

Previous degrees: Master's in Development, Environment, and Societies - Université catholique de Louvain; Master's in Demography - Institut de Formation et de Recherche Démographique; Bachelor's in Sociology - University of Yaoundé 1

Current: PhD in Demograhy - University of Montreal

Location: Montreal, Canada

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Georges Alain Tchango Ngalé is currently a PhD candidate in demography at the University of Montreal. He is involved in the research activities of the project team "Individual and dynamic trajectories of participation of men and women in Quebec society" (TrajIPaQ) of the department of demography and worked in the past as demographer in the Ministry of economy and planning development of his native country. As part of his thesis project, he is interested in the relationships between the health of immigrants and their participation / integration within Quebec society, and mobilizes a mixed methodological approach. More generally, his fields of heuristic interest relate to the health of populations and migration, trying to follow a cross perspective between life course and intersectionality. He is also very interested in the new possibilities offered by big data for the analysis of population dynamics and wishes to deepen this perspective as part of his participation in the CAnD3 program.




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Daniel Tingskou

Previous degrees: MA in Economics - University of Toronto; BA in Economics - University of Manitoba

Current: PhD in Economics - McMaster University 

Location: Canada

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Daniel Tingskou (Tingsk – ow) is a PhD candidate in the Department of Economics at Mcmaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. His general interests include Health Economics, Population Economics and Population Aging.

One of his chapters investigates the relationship between provincial income-splitting tax policies, which can drastically increase the after-tax income of physicians who operate private practices, and the variation in physician interprovincial migration in Canada. Between the years 1990-2019, several provinces introduced income splitting tax policies, while others had long allowed for them. There was a significant increase in the migration of doctors to provinces that recently allowed for income splitting, compared to when they did not.

Another one of Daniel's projects focuses on the political economy of Covid-19 related to public health measures. The costs and benefits of such policies are unequally distributed across the population, with large differences existing between age groups as well as gender. Estimating the Net Present Value of these policies for each age group and gender can help to illuminate what is motivating people to be opposed or in favour of the public health measures.



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