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Sylvie Dubuc

Dr Sylvie Dubuc
  • Undergraduate Teaching: GV2POP Population Geography
  • Research project: Principal Investigator, Son Preference and Sex Selection against Females in the UK: Evidence, causes, trends and implications (ESRCGrant Ref: ES/N01877X/1). For more details on the project please see Son preference - UK project website


Areas of interest

  • Population and development
  • Gender equality, education, reproductive health and rights, and policy
  • International migration, family and intergenerational social trajectories
  • Family, intergenerational solidarity and social inequality
  • Son preference and sex-selection
  • Europe, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa

Research centres and groups

Human Geography Research Cluster


Dr Sylvie Dubuc joined the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences in June 2017. She previously worked for ten years at the University of Oxford (Department of Social Policy and Intervention), where she worked on population dynamics in the UK and Asia. For instance, she participates in the ESRC-UPTAP (Understanding Population Trends and Processes) initiative.

She also developed projects investigating son preference and its demographic manifestations. Before that, she was lecturer at the French universities of Pau and La Reunion, and at King's College London where she taught quantitative methods in Geography, Cartography, migration and urbanisation.

Earlier work in India includes an analysis of urban population growth and the dynamic of the Indian urban system over the XXth century and an analysis of the impact of demographic dynamics and human practices on the deforestation process in South India.

Sylvie holds a PhD in Human Geography from Paris-Sorbonne University and a Master in Geographical Information Management from the University of Cranfield. She has a strong interest and experience in multi-disciplinary work and multi-scale analyses of population dynamics.

Her current research interests include family and childbearing, ethnicity and migration, population and development, gender preferences, sex-selection, reproductive health and rights, ethics and policy in South Asia and Europe. Sylvie currently coordinates a new ESRC funded multi-disciplinary project on son preference and sex-selection in the UK, working with social anthropologists at Sussex University (with Co-I Prof Maya Unnithan, Global Studies), Oxford ethicists (ETHOX) and the UK Department of Health.

Sylvie serves on the Research Grant Evaluation Board of the ESRC (since 2010) and acts as an international expert for the Belgium Research Council. She was a council member of the British Society of Population Studies (2010-2014), fellow of the British Royal Geographical Society and served for five years on the Oxford-DSPI Research Ethic Committee.

She is a visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technology and Health at the University of Sussex, a Research Associate of Nuffield College at Oxford and a member of the scientific committee of 'Revue d'études des populations' (French Population Studies Journal).

Selected publications

Unnithan M. and S. Dubuc (2017, forthcoming) Re-visionning evidences: reflexions on the recent controversies on sex-selective abortion in the UK, Global Public Health.

Dubuc S (2017, forthcoming) 'Son preference and fertility: An overview', Chapter in Family Demography in Asia: A Comparative Analysis of Fertility Preferences. S. Basten, J. Casterline and M. Choe (eds). Edward Elgar.

Dubuc S (2016) 'Fertility and Migration' Entry/Chapter in, Encyclopedia of Migration. Edited by F. Bean, S. Brown. Springer.

Dubuc S (2016) 'Immigrants and ethnic fertility convergence in the UK: the role of global fertility transition and intergenerational social integration' chapter in Changing population of Britain, edited by Tony Champion and Jane Falkingham. Rowan Littlefield International Editions.

Dubuc S (2015). 'Prenatal sex-selection against females: evidences, causes and implications', Workshop report, Nuffield Foundation, 20 pages.

Dubuc S (2012) 'Immigration from high fertility countries: Intergenerational adaptation and fertility convergence in the UK, Population and Development Review, 38(2):353-368.

Dubuc S and J. Haskey (2010) 'Fertility and Ethnicity in the UK: recent trends' in Understanding Population trends and Processes, Volume 3: Ethnicity and Integration (J. Stilwell and M. Van Ham eds., Springer) Chap 4.

Dubuc S and D. Coleman (2007) 'An increase in the sex ratio of births to India-born mothers in England and Wales: evidence for sex-selective abortion' Population and Development Review 33, 2, pp 383-400