My research interests focus on the connections between allostatic load/stress/physiological dysregulation, health status and mortality. An important part of my work is an interest in the methodological approaches to measuring allostatic load and stress using bio-marker data. My current work explores how classical approaches to allostatic load may be “masking” complex patterns of physiological dysregulations for members of different race/ethnic and socioeconomic groups. I have a growing interest in the application of statistical approaches such as the KHB Mediation Models and Latent Class Analysis to explore the composition of summary scores used within our discipline to aid the discussion on the development of better approaches to measuring stress and allostatic load.
I also study measurement bias attributable to the validity of data collection methods and the implications this bias may have when studying health disparities among racial and ethnically diverse population.
As an applied demographer I perform analysis using estimates and projections to aid the discussion of policy issues. So far, I have been able to use these techniques to study population composition change in Texas and the effects of population aging and obesity in healthcare costs in Spain. My most known work with estimates deal with the quantification of death tolls following climate disasters (most specifically Hurricane María); this work was done in collaboration with Dr. Jeffrey T. Howard at the University of Texas at San Antonio. We have multiple papers coming down the pipeline which reinforce our finding that the death toll associated with Hurricane María was between 1,000 and 1,200 deaths.
With the support of the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI), I am preparing a pilot project to measure stress and well-being in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane María.
My research has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Biodemography and Social Biology, Health Affairs, SSM-Population Health, the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, and journals relevant to military health. All my publications are listed in Google Scholar.
I am committed to the application of Demographic Methods to answer policy relevant topics and have taken over the editorship of the Applied Demography Newsletter published by the Population Association of America, which I hope becomes a venue for the publication of policy relevant writings during my two-year term as Editor (2018-2020).
I also have experience with the use and applications of GIS, spatial demography, multilevel models, and computational demography. Between 2016 and 2018, I was a faculty affiliate of the Masters in GIS at Penn State University serving as a Capstone Project advisor.