Leah VanWey

Associate Director of the Population Studies & Training Center
Associate Professor of Sociology

Office: 303 Mencoff Hall
Tel: (401) 863-3184
Fax: (401) 863-3351


Leah VanWey is a social demographer trained at the University of North Carolina Carolina Population Center. She started her career at Indiana University Bloomington and moved to Brown in 2008. She is committed to interdisciplinary research and has worked with anthropologists, geographers, demographers, sociologists, urban planners, historians, and ecologists at various times. At Brown, VanWey is affiliated with the Environmental Change Initiative, the PSTC, and the Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences (S4) Initiative.

VanWey studies the dynamics of frontier settlement in the Brazilian Amazon, and the sharing of time, money and other essential support between family members who don't live together. She asks how we can simultaneously protect the Amazon's precious environmental resources while promoting equitable social and economic development. Part of the answer there and elsewhere lies in mobilizing the strong webs of support that have always helped families survive and improve their lives.


Demography, Households, Migration, Population and environment