Dr Douglas Leasure
Senior Researcher and Data Scientist
Doug's research spans demography, population ecology, Bayesian statistics, and GIS/remote sensing. He specialises in developing novel methods to map population sizes and demographics with high spatial resolution in data-sparse settings by supplementing traditional survey data with innovative new data sources including social media activity and space-based Earth observations. His work developing bespoke hierarchical Bayesian modelling approaches aims to account for uncertainty in demographic estimation processes to support informed decision-making for crisis response, census support, government services, and global health initiatives. To promote research with real-world impacts, Doug is committed to open science and enjoys developing web applications that translate scientific results into easy-to-navigate interactive maps and tools to facilitate uptake by stakeholders globally.
Before joining the Demographic Science Unit and Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science at the University of Oxford, Doug led the Spatial Statistical Population Modelling team in the WorldPop Research Group at the University of Southampton developing Bayesian statistical models and applying machine learning approaches to produce high resolution population estimates supporting initiatives of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Nations Population Fund. He was previously a post-doctoral research associate at the River Basin Center in the Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia developing statistical models for NASA's Ecological Forecasting program. He completed a PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of Arkansas where he held a Doctoral Academy Fellowship and was a post-doctoral research associate for the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit of the United States Geological Survey.
War and mobility: Using Yandex web searches to characterize intentions to leave Russia after its invasion of Ukraine
Anastasiadou A. et al, (2024), Demographic Research, 50, 205 - 220
Nowcasting Daily Population Displacement in Ukraine through Social Media Advertising Data
Leasure DR. et al, (2023), Population and Development Review, 49, 231 - 254
War and Migration: Quantifying the Russian exodus through Yandex search trends
Anastasiadou A. et al, (2023)
Digital and computational demography
KASHYAP R. et al, (2023), Research Handbook on Digital Sociology
Social cartography and satellite-derived building coverage for post-census population estimates in difficult-to-access regions of Colombia.
Sanchez-Cespedes LM. et al, (2023), Popul Stud (Camb), 1 - 18