I am a demographer, epidemiologist, and data scientist who develops new methods and does research in demography and epidemiology. Clarissa Surek-Clark and I collaborate in life and various professional endeavors.
I work as a professor in the Department of Sociology at The Ohio State University (OSU), and I am a faculty affiliate of the Institute for Population Research and the Translational Data Analytics Institute, both at OSU. I am affiliated with the Department of Statistics at the University of Washington and the School of Public Health at the University of the Witwatersrand.
During 2020 I worked on a survey to estimate the prevalence of the coronavirus and an excess deaths study to characterize the total burden of mortality associated with the COVID-19 epidemic. Both projects are in the state of Ohio, USA and were conducted by large teams at The Ohio State University in close coordination with the Ohio State Department of Health.
On an ongoing basis I work to improve: 1) verbal autopsy as a tool to measure the burden of disease, 2) mathematical models of human mortality, 3) indirect estimates of child mortality, and 4) small-area estimates of mortality. I also coordinate a small team developing software to implement new methods - mostly for verbal autopsy and mathematical models of human mortality.
I lead the openVA Team that works to improve verbal autopsy. I have been a member of the WHO Verbal Autopsy Reference Group (VARG) since it was formed in 2013. Over the past several years I have been an active member of the VARG Task Group coordinating a comprehensive update of the WHO Standard Verbal Autopsy Instrument. The openVA Team develops and maintains tools that support the WHO standard.