Here you can get a general feel for my research and read about my ongoing projects. 

July 2020 - Present 

Access to Justice for Refugee Claimants

I am the Principal Investigator of a project entitled "Access to Justice for Refugee Claimants: Measuring the impact of refugee legal aid in Canada”. The project is funded by a SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant, in collaboration with UNHCR Canada. 

Our goal is to understand the impacts of access to legal aid and quality of council on access to justice for refugee claimants. 

The project is collecting original qualitative data through a large-scale survey to all decision-makers at Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board; focus groups with refugee lawyers, immigration consultants, and front-line support personnel; and interviews with refugee claimants. 

Sep 2018 - August 2020

Irregular Migration to Canada

I was the Principal Investigator of a SSHRC Insight Development Grant, awarded to outstanding early-career scholars. This two-year project investigated the emergence of large-scale irregular migration to Canada in the Spring of 2017. Over the next few years, more than 55,000 people walked over the border from the United States to claim asylum.

The project asked about the effects of US policy change on irregular migration systems, asylum seekers' mobility choices, and the tansnationalization of the route after 2018. My research team interviewed over 300 asylum seekers and two dozen expert respondents. Findings are currently under peer review. Early results are available here: 

"Will Canada Suspend its Safe Third Country Agreement with the US? Here's what doing so would mean for immigration levels," Foreign Policy, 6 November, 2019. 

"Changing US Policy & Safe Third Country 'Loophole' Drive Irregular Migration to Canada," Migration Information Source, Migration Policy Institute, Washington DC. 16 October, 2019. 

Jan 2018 - Present

Data-Driven Interventions for Measuring the Effects of Social Networks on Refugee Integration in Europe

I am a Co-Investigator on an interdisciplinary team piloting an intervention to match volunteer groups with refugee newcomers in the Netherlands, where we are partnered with Justice & Peace's Samen Hier programme. Using the Pairity matching platform, our pilot is designed as a randomized control trial. 

After twelve months, end-line surveys will measure the outcomes along these same variables. Data analysis will measure correlations between changes and match characteristics, as well as life experiences as a result of matching. These outcomes will be used to measure the treatment effect and inform weighting of variables in our algorithm to optimize matching.

Sep 2011 - June 2016

The Security Effects of European Migration Governance

My doctoral thesis, “Malignant Europeanization: Schengen, Irregular Migration Governance, & Insecurity on Europe’s Peripheries” is based on original data from three years of field research in the Middle East, North Africa, Western Balkans, and throughout Europe, particularly with EU personnel in Brussels. Field research entailed interviews with several hundred migrants and refugees, security-sector personnel, NGOs, activists, civil servants, and everyday people living along migration routes.  My thesis develops the concept of "Malign Europeanization" to describe the negative security effects and regressive practices and norms resulting from European regional integration


During my PhD I was a visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Migration and Refugee Studies at the American University of Cairo throughout 2013, and at the Department of International Relations at Hebrew University throughout 2011 and 2012. My research was supported by $70,000 in grants from the Canadian International Development Research Council, German DAAD, and Department of Political Science, Centre for Jewish Studies, Centre for European, Russian, & Eurasian Studies, and School of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto.