Hi, I’m Dr. Taylor van Doren (she/her)! I am a biocultural anthropological pandemic researcher with strong interests in social inequalities, demography, and population health as they pertain to pandemic events. My dissertation research was funded by the National Science Foundation DDRIG Biological & Cultural Anthropology programs and the Raymond White Dissertation Writing Fellowship at the University of Missouri. In 2021, I was an American Journal of Public Health Think Tank Fellow.

Currently, I’m a postdoctoral fellow at the Sitka Sound Science Center in Sitka, Alaska, where I study COVID-19 impacts and resilience in rural Southeast Alaska communities with the funding of an NSF RAPID grant.

In the spring of 2023, I will be an NSF OPP Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Alaska Anchorage. During this fellowship, I will develop my first independent research arc in which I will study the demographic, epidemiologic, and social consequences of the 1918 influenza pandemic in Alaska.

The through-line of all of my research is the inextricable relationship between biology and culture in the risk of morbidity and mortality of human infectious diseases. The importance of this research is currently punctuated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, in the sense that historical pandemics, such as the 1918 influenza pandemic, hold many keys to understanding concurrent and post-pandemic morbidity and mortality patterns of other critical infections such as tuberculosis, the determinants of social inequality leading to differential risk, and sex- and gender-based differences in risk.

Broad Research Interests

Biocultural perspectives on health and disease
Demographic & epidemiologic transitions
Co-morbidities, syndemics, culture
Demography, mortality
Social inequalities
Population health
1918 influenza pandemic
Tuberculosis epidemiology

Taylor in the Media
Sausage of Science Podcast (Human Biology Association) Hackademics Panel
Revisiting the Great Flu Epidemic of 1918
Why write an honors thesis?


Get in Touch

University of Missouri
Swallow Hall
Columbia, MO

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