February 04, 2022 | News | Welcome to the MPIDR

Adarsh Is a New PhD Student in the Laboratory of Population Health


Coming from the International Institute for Population Sciences in Mumbai, where he obtained his Masters, Adarsh is a new PhD Student in the Laboratory of Population Health and takes part in the joint St Andrews–Max Planck PhD Studentship. He wants to find out how substance abuse influences mortality trends in high-income countries.

What question drives you most in your research?

Since I will be working on mortality from substance abuse, which was traditionally considered as a background cause of death, I am interested in exploring new ways to bring it to the forefront of mortality research. I believe the excessive use of substance, especially the legal ones such as alcohol and medically prescribed opioids, will degrade the state of public health to a point from where it might take decades to recover. Of course, I am a firm believer in the freedom of choice argument but condemn the market which is supposedly profiting from people’s addictions. Hence, the questions that drive me the most are, what is the contribution of narcotics in avoidable mortality and what determinants are in play for abetting addictive behavior in so called “developed countries”. 

What are you particularly looking forward to as you start working at MPIDR?

Firstly, I am excited about meeting and learning from a group of peers who pioneer in demographic research as I had heard so much about the institute during my masters. Secondly, I am looking forward to working on new data sources that I will get my hands on as part of the privileges being a MPIDR student. Lastly, what I am most excited about is the friendly and encouraging work environment which will hopefully seed a life time of friendship and academic support.

What do you like most about Rostock?

This is my first-time outside India, and so far, I am loving it. Every day I learn something new about the people and their lifestyle in Rostock. I feel out of place more often than not but at the same time I am happy to experience a piece of German culture. The city is beautiful, it’s not too big to overwhelm me but not too small to feel deserted. I can do without the freezing temperatures and the wind, so I can’t wait for the summer to start and a visit to the beach.  

What are you obsessed with at the moment besides demography?

I love to cook. At the moment I am unable to do so as I am still hunting down stores for Indian spices. However, I am trying to learn more about German recipes and food culture. It’s still a learning curve and hopefully, by the end of my contract, I’ll have an European palette of my own. And I would love to finally learn how to play the Ukulele which I always pick up from time to time but give up far too easily.


Head of the Department of Public Relations and Publications

Silvia Leek


+49 381 2081-143

Science Communication Editor

Christine Ruhland


+49 381 2081-157

What next?

To the Home Page

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.