I am the Principal Investigator of the FUTURE MORTALITY project. I have been fascinated with the topic of mortality ever since I started my PhD at Erasmus University on “Determinants of old-age mortality trends in Europe”. During my PhD research, on the interface of demography and epidemiology, I noticed the important variations in mortality levels and trends between countries, between sexes, over time and across generations, and the importance of life style factors herein, such as smoking, alcohol and obesity. It puzzled me, that until recently, the impact of lifestyle ‘epidemics’ on mortality, which result in non-gradual trends over time and in large differences between men and women, birth cohorts, and countries, has not been integrated in mortality projections. The FUTURE MORTALITY project will do so, thereby also take into account the wider geographical context of a country, as well as the trends in the full age at death distribution, following a recent paradigm in mortality research.
My background is in geography, demography and epidemiology. My research is contentrated around the topics of (cause-specific) mortality, ageing, determinants, lifestyle, smoking, modelling, projection, and geographical differences.
Since September 2014 I am a PhD student at the Population Research Centre (University of Groningen). The topic of my research is alcohol-attributable mortality in Europe. In particular, I am comparing different approaches to estimate alcohol-attributable mortality at the population level, assessing past trends of alcohol-attributable mortality across countries and between sexes, and projecting future alcohol-attributable mortality. Moreover, I examine the impact that alcohol has in life expectancy across European countries.
Before joining the VIDI research project on Future Mortality I have attended the European Doctoral School of Demography (EDSD) in Rostock and Warsaw. I have a background in economics (Bachelor) and demography (Masters), both obtained at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
I hold a Bachelor degree in Nutrition Science and Dietetics from Harokopio University, Athens in Greece and I obtained my MSc degree in Human Nutrition, specialization Clinical Nutrition from the same University. I worked as a Researcher on nutritional epidemiology for 5 years in various projects and as a Nutritionist in different settings. In September 2014 I started my PhD research focused on the effect of obesity on past and future variations in mortality levels part of the VIDI project: Smoking, alcohol and obesity - ingredients for improved and robust mortality projections, led by Fanny Janssen. This research will not only give new insights into the determinants behind mortality differentials between and within European countries, but the estimates of obesity-attributable mortality can be used as well as a future source of information for the planning and development of effective public health measures.
I started as a postdoctoral researcher within the Future mortality project October 2016. In particular, I am in charge of developing the statistical mortality projection technique to project life-style attributable mortality into the future and to combine the projections of life-style attributable mortality with projections of mortality delay. Previously, I spent 4 years at the KU Leuven (Belgium) conducting doctoral research and teaching. Under the supervision of Prof. dr. Katrien Antonio and Prof. dr. Jan Beirlant I completed my dissertation, entitled “Econometric models for insurance applications: essays on Bayesian mortality models, heavy tails and extreme value statistics with censored data”. In 2015, I received a grant from the National Bank of Belgium for the last year of my PhD. I hold a Bachelor degree in Statistics and a Master degree in Actuarial and Financial Mathematics, both obtained at the University of Aegean (Samos, Greece).
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I rejoined the Future mortality project in April 2019 as a Junior Researcher after having worked on the project as a research assistant between 2016 and 2017. Among my tasks a Junior Researcher, I assist the team with R coding, data preparation and visualization, all-cause and lifestyle-attributable mortality smoothing and forecasting, sensitivity analyses and documenting the methodology we use in our research. I hold a Master’s degree in Econometrics, Operations Research and Actuarial Studies from the University of Groningen. Under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Fanny Janssen and Dr. Anastasios Bardoutsos I completed my thesis, entitled “Forecasting the Inevitable Consequence of Life: On the Implications of the Choice of a Mortality Model for the Pricing of Annuities”.
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