bio

Leslie Headshot-1

Hi. My name is Leslie Root and I’m a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Demography at UC Berkeley, from which I finished my PhD in August 2020.

My dissertation incorporates quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the rise in mean age at childbearing and increase in fertility over the course of the Putin era in Russia.

My research interests are wide-ranging. For my postdoc, I work on the CenSoc project, which links the rich publicly-available data from the 1940 full-count Census to Social Security death records; currently, I am using this linked data in a project on the seasonality of old-age mortality. I am also currently working with Monica Alexander and her Bayesian Demography Lab on a project on the measurement and estimation of the length of life among those who die in the first year of life.

Other topics that have long animated my research and intellectual trajectory include the fertility postponement transition and lowest-low fertility; fertility intentions; voluntary childlessness and popular ethics of childbearing; gender, reproductive labor, neoliberalism, and post-socialism; and the politics of abortion and contraception. My near-term goals include writing a book about the notion and political uses of “replacement fertility.”

I’ve also done a fair bit of work on post-Soviet mortality patterns. Russia and Eurasia remain close to my heart, and I have extensive experience living and working in the Russian regions (Vladivostok, Ulan-Ude, Kazan’, and Taganrog). I am fluent in Russian, and speak somewhat passable Turkish.