Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and the Jackson School of International Studies.
University of Washington
206-221-6251 Box: 353650
CSDE Research Areas:
- Demographic Measurements and Methods
- Environments and Populations
- Health of People and Populations
- Migration and Settlement
- Wellbeing of Families and Households
Nathalie Williams’ research primarily focuses on migration patterns, during periods of armed conflict, natural disasters and climate change, and social change in general. A key aspect of this work is the fact that even during periods of intense conflict or drastic environmental change, many, if not most, people do not migrate. This is contrary to what is generally assumed and is poorly addressed in the literature. Williams’ work seeks to develop theoretical and empirical understandings of why some people migrate and many do not. In addition to migration, she has also published work examining marriage and fertility patterns during conflict. Incorporating all these demographic patterns during periods of disasters, Williams is now working on two projects that use agent-based models to investigate the macro-level population trends that can result from these micro-level behavioral changes during the recent armed conflict in Nepal and during climatic disasters in Northeast Thailand. Other recent work addresses values and beliefs, how they influence the likelihood of migration and destination choice to different world regions, and how they change through the process of migration. Because migration and conflict are inherently difficult subjects about which to collect data and are also difficult to measure, Williams is also involved in developing new data collection strategies and conceptualization methods. For example, she is working with a team that has successfully collected panel data from a representative sample of Nepali migrants who are currently living in more than 100 countries around the world. Her work is primarily based in Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, and the Persian Gulf. She has worked extensively with the Chitwan Valley Family Study from Nepal and continues to be involved in new data collection projects at that location. She has published in Demography, Social Science Research, Population Studies, International Migration, Journal of Official Statistics, Research on Aging, and AIDS Care.