Orsola Torrisi

Social demographer

New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD)

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)



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I am a Postdoctoral Associate in the Division of Social Science at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). I will join the Department of Sociology at McGill University as an Assistant Professor of Social Demography in August 2024.

I obtained my Ph.D. in Demography/Population Studies in December 2022 from the Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where I remain an affiliate scholar. Previously, I was an Honorary Visiting Researcher at the Center for Demography and Ecology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and attended the 2018-19 European Doctoral School of Demography (EDSD) at the Max Plank Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) and the University of Southern Denmark (SDU).

My research focuses on the demography of crises and violence. I am particularly interested in issues of family formation, sexual and reproductive health and population change in contexts affected by armed conflict and disasters. Part of my research examines the consequences of armed violence on the other forms of violence, including domestic abuse and obstetric violence. More recently, I have started to work on issues of measurement, issues with vital registration and on the development of new methods to measure demographic trends in countries with limited data.

My work is interdisciplinary. I combine theoretical approaches from demography, economics, development studies and sociology with standard demographic, causal and spatial methods. I focus quite largely on low- and middle-income settings. 

With my research, I aim to expand and advance knowledge on how crises and uncertainty due to violence affect family formation decision-making in unstable settings and, hence, in often under-studied populations. You can read some of my research articles in Science Advances, Population and Development Review, World Development, Population Reasearch & Policy Review, European Journal of Population, Journal of Marriage and Family, Genus and Field Methods. 

I obtained two Master's degrees (MSc) from the LSE - one in Demography (2016) and one in Social Research Methods (2017) - and a BA in Political Economy (2015) from King's College London. I am a member of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP), the British Society for Population Studies (BSPS), the Population Association of America (PAA), the Italian Association for Population Studies (AISP), the Population Health in Armed Conflict (PHAC) and the Households in Conflict Networks (HiCN).

See my latest publications