Research

Population and Environment: Links through Migration, Rural Livelihoods, and Perceptions

Within all environmental contexts, sociodemographic, economic, and biophysical factors interact to yield important environmental changes. Of course, environmental changes also shape social processes. As an example of the interactions between these factors, regional economic shifts can bring population redistribution, which, in turn, impacts biodiversity through attendant land-use changes. Also, climate change shapes the viability of rural agricultural livelihoods and may impact human migration and, therefore, urbanization.

Lori has published over 45 peer-reviewed research manuscripts on population-environment topics over the past 20 years. Please see Lori's CV for specific results.

A key part of Lori's current research agenda explores natural resources and rural livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa. The Agincourt Health and Demographic Surveillance Site in rural South Africa has served as the primary study setting for this work. Topical foci thus far have included migration as a response to environmental change, natural resources as coping strategies for HIV/AIDS-impacted households, and the role of wild foods in food security.

In the past several years, Lori has also collaborated with Geography colleagues Fernando Riosmena and Stefan Leyk to undertake research on migration from rural Mexico as related to environmental change.

Human-environment relations are also greatly affected by the ways in which individuals perceive their environmental context. Within this area, Lori's research has contributed to the body of literature examining social variation in environmental perception.

Some of Lori's earlier work in this area examined population-environment dynamics in Utah and the California Mojave.