November 16, 2022 | News | Welcome to the MPIDR

Katherine Del Salto Calderon is a new PhD Student at the Laboratory of Fertility and Wellbeing

© Katherine Del Salto Calderon

Katherine is Ecuadorian, comes from Linköping University in Sweden and has a background in health policy. She works with us for the next three years and will focus on reproductive health access and behavior, with a special interest in alternative data sources in middle-income countries.

What question drives you most in your research?

My background is in health policy, and one topic has always come up and called my attention, both in my professional and personal life. And that is sexual and reproductive health (SRH). I have always been interested in and moved by the relationship between access to reproductive health services and socioeconomic inequality. I want to understand the policy-related determinants of SRH and study the political structures, policy choices, and cultural factors that influence disparities in SRH indicators. I want to focus my research on middle-income countries, particularly Latin American, by exploring new data sources.

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

Almost three years into the pandemic, I am honestly very excited to be in a vivid office environment (I hope not to jinx it). I have missed learning from colleagues, classmates, and professors away from the screen activities; that is, in regular conversations and in more informal interactions. I really think that I learn the most when I engage in these exchanges of knowledge and curiosity, and it keeps me motivated.

What do you like most about Rostock?

I like that it is a proper city without it being intimidating and anonymous. I love that there is so much water and greenery around, it brings a sense of calmness. I am sure the view from the office will come in handy in stressful days. I also like that I get a good balance of English and German between being at the Institute and being in the city, so it doesn’t feel too alienating, and at the same time it motivates me to learn German.

What are you obsessed with at the moment besides demography?

I confess, I asked those who know me about this and their answers didn’t disappoint me. I am obsessed with coffee; luckily, I’m in the 3rd floor and can enjoy the espresso machine there. I love dogs, and I also hope to have a motor home one day. At the moment, looking for gems to furnish my room qualifies as an obsession. And I would say engaging with information and in debates on different social issues is important to me. Feminism is a big one, especially intersectional and transfeminism, but also poverty, anti-racism, decolonization, and xenophobia. I constantly want to work on my own views on these issues, so that at the very least I’ll be more mindful of my words and actions. I am really looking forward to get involved in groups working on these issues in Rostock.

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.