Suessmilch Lecture

Demographic Perspectives on the COVID-19 Pandemic

Jennifer Dowd
Online Presentation, November 09, 2021

As part of the Suessmilch Lecture series, Jennifer Dowd from the University of Oxford gave a talk entitled "Demographic Perspectives on the COVID-19 Pandemic".


“Demographic Perspectives on the COVID-19 Pandemic”


While epidemiology is certainly having a moment, demography has been key to understanding COVID-19 data since the early days of the pandemic. This talk will take stock of demographic insights into COVID a year on ranging from the intersection of population age structure and mortality to estimates of excess mortality and optimal vaccination priority strategies. Dr. Dowd will also discuss the role of academics in science communication during this time and her experiences with the COVID-19 science communication effort Dear Pandemic

About the Speaker

Jennifer Dowd © Amy Hart for IAPHS

Jennifer Dowd is currently Deputy Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science and Associate Professor of Demography and Population Health at the University of Oxford. Dr. Dowd received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2004 in Demography and Economics from the Office of Population Research.  She did postdoctoral training in Epidemiology as a  Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar at the University of Michigan. Her research seeks to understand how social and biological processes interact over the life course and how social factors “get under the skin” to impact health. She has studied how socioeconomic status shapes immune function and risk of infections as well as links between infections and chronic diseases of aging. On-going projects include understanding the social determinants of the human microbiome and the causes of stalling life expectancy in the US and UK as part of her ERC Consolidator Grant MORTAL. She is currently researching social and demographic factors related to COVID-19, and is also part of an all-female team of PhD health scientists interpreting and curating COVID-19 science for a general audience at Dear Pandemic.


The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.