Marion Burkimsher
Affiliate researcher of the University of Lausanne

My original doctoral research was in Geography at Manchester University, and I still retain a high level of interest in spatial and temporal variations, and in particular inter-country comparisons.

After a career break to bring up our two sons, I started to become more involved in academic matters by editing papers on the subject of demography, primarily for the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). In doing so, I discovered that the field of demography was fascinating, considerably more so than the process of linguistic editing. Therefore in 2005 I enrolled on the new Masters course in Demography at the University of Geneva. At the end of two years of study, I carried out a three-month internship at the UNECE and completed a dissertation based on statistical analyses of fertility data from Bulgaria, Hungary and Georgia.

While examining the variables in the databases of the Generations and Gender Survey from those three countries, some very interesting patterns of religious attendance became apparent. In particular there was evidence of a religious revival taking place, primarily in the Orthodox faith in Georgia, where young people are considerably more active participants than older people. Recently I have been involved in setting up a collaboration of researchers from Switzerland and Georgia to investigate this phenomenon in more depth.

Since completing the Masters’ programme in 2008, I have been following two strands of interest – fertility trends and religious trends – as an independent researcher, with the aim of producing significant results in these fields. Some of these results have been published as papers, with more in the pipeline, while in other cases they have been presented in international conferences and seminars (see links below).

My current interests can be summarised as follows:

I am currently following my research interests independently with the aim of publishing the results in relevant demographic and religious research journals, whilst maintaining links with the Universities of Lausanne and Geneva. I am a member of the Sociology of Religion Study Group of the British Sociological Association (SOCREL), the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR) and the European Association for Population Studies (EAPS).

Over the coming years, I plan to continue to research religious and fertility trends, and I hope to be able to collaborate in various international projects as the opportunities arise.

Published papers
Unpublished papers
Presentations and seminars
Updated May 2012