University of St Andrews


Photo of Hill Kulu


I was trained in economic geography and demography and received a PhD from the University of Helsinki (Finland) in 1997. Since then I have occupied the following positions: from 1997 to 2002, I was Researcher (1997-1998) and Senior Researcher (2000-2002) at the University of Tartu (Estonia); I spent a year as Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (US) in 1999; from 2003 to 2007, I worked as Research Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (Rostock, Germany); I was Leader of the Research Team on Interdependencies in the Life Course (2005-2007) and Deputy Head of the Laboratory of Contemporary European Fertility and Family Dynamics (2007). From 2008 to 2016, I was employed by the University of Liverpool, first as Senior Lecturer/Reader and then as Professor of Demography and Quantitative Geography. Since 2017, I am Professor of Human Geography and Demography at the University of St Andrews.



  • Leader, Population and Health Research Group (PHRG)


  • Secretary-General and Treasurer, European Association for Population Studies
  • Council member, British Society for Population Studies
  • Co-editor, Population Studies
  • Editorial board member, European Journal of Population; Fennia; Population, Space and Place; Geografiska Annaler B
  • Co-ordinator (joint), Migration and Mobility Strand, ESRC Centre for Population Change
  • Pathway representative, Health, Families and Demographic Change, Scottish Graduate School of Social Science


Research Interests

My substantive research interests lie in the field of family, fertility, migration and health studies; my methodological interests include the development and application of longitudinal models in social science research. My research has advanced our understanding of how family changes and residential choices interact in people’s lives and how residential context shapes childbearing, migration and health behaviour of individuals. I have published over forty peer-reviewed articles in international journals and have edited three books published by international publishers. 

I am currently working on two large research projects. Changing Families and Sustainable Societies, a joint four-year (2013–2017) project of 25 European Universities and research institutes, is funded by the EU 7th Framework Programme. Partner Relationships, Residential Relocations and Housing in the Life Course is a joint three-year (2014–2017) project of the Universities of St Andrews, Cologne and Groningen.

Students willing to conduct a PhD study in any area of population studies, social statistics or quantitative geography are encouraged to send me a brief research proposal.


Teaching Interests

  • Population dynamics: fertility, mortality and migration
  • Demographic methods
  • Survival and event history analysis
  • Multilevel modelling

Postgraduate Students


  • Nicholas Campisi (Urban-rural fertility variation in Europe)
  • Genevieve Cezard (Ethnic inequalities in health in Scotland)
  • Kai Hu (Air pollution and health in China)
  • Rebecca Allan (Residential context and mortality in England and Wales; University of Liverpool)
  • Sebastian Franke (Partnership status and mortality in England and Wales; University of Liverpool)
  • Alina Pelikh (Transition to Adulthood in Britain; University of Liverpool)


  • Philip Sapiro (Liverpool, 2017)
  • Matthew Wallace (Liverpool, 2016)