Ashton Verdery

Job title: 
Harry and Elisa Sichi Early Career Professor

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.