CODE Zika Brazil


Leadership Team


Leticia J. MarteletoPh.D., is the principal investigator of Decode Zika. She is an associate professor of sociology and faculty research associate at The University of Texas at Austin Population Research Center. She is also a research affiliate at UT Austin’s Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies and has previously served as associate chair of the Department of Sociology. Her recent research has appeared in Demography, Demographic Research, Population and Development Review, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Social Forces and Studies in Family Planning.




Kristine Hopkins, Ph.D., is the project director of Decode Zika. She is a research assistant professor of sociology, faculty research associate at the Population Research Center, and research affiliate the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. She is a social demographer with expertise in qualitative methods and designing and conducting surveys. Her research focuses on access to contraception among low-income community college students, postpartum contraceptive use and changes in the provision of publicly funded family planning services, and access to abortion. Previous work focused on the childbirth and contraceptive experiences of Brazilian women.


Faculty Collaborators


Abigail R.A. Aiken, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin LBJ School and faculty research associate at the Population Research Center. Her research focuses on reproductive health and spans several disciplines, combining backgrounds in biomedical sciences, public policy, demography and public health. Her current projects include: examining women's experiences obtaining self-sourced abortion in contexts where legislative barriers prevent access to safe, legal abortion through the health care system; evaluating programs and policies designed to increase access to contraception in the postpartum and postabortion setting; and investigating the determinants and impacts of unintended pregnancies through a health equity and reproductive justice framework.



 Sandra Valongueiro Alves is a medical doctor from the State University of Pernambuco (UPE, 1980). Dr. Valongueiro Alves has a M.A. in demography from the Federal University of Minas Gerais – UFMG (1996), and a Ph.D. in sociology with a specialization in demography from the University of Texas at Austin (2006). She has been a researcher at the Graduate Program in Public Health at the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE), Recife, since 2006. Dr. Valongueiro Alves has worked with Public Health, focusing on maternal mortality and abortion, gender-based violence, reproductive health, and information on mortality. Currently, Dr. Valongueiro Alves is involved with MERG (Microcephaly Epidemic Research Group). She is also a member of the Maternal Mortality Committee of Pernambuco.



Jennifer S. Barber, Ph.D., is a Research Professor at the University of Michigan Population Studies Center. Dr. Barber’s research is conducted at the intersection of family sociology, demography, and social psychology, with a focus on teen pregnancy. She recently completed an NICHD-funded intensive longitudinal project, the Relationship Dynamics and Social Life study, that collected weekly data on 1,000 18- and 19-year-old women for 2.5 years, along with semi-structured interview data, observational data, and administrative data. The RDSL study identifies the types of attitudes, relationship characteristics, and contraceptive practices that affect early and/or unintended pregnancy. Barber also recently completed a William T. Grant Foundation Distinguished Fellowship, a mid-career opportunity to immerse herself in a practice setting – in this case a teen pregnancy prevention center in Detroit and a Planned Parenthood clinic in southeastern Michigan.


Suzana Cavenaghi has a Ph.D. and M.A. in sociology/demography from The University of Texas at Austin; specialization in demography from CELADE; and B.S. in statistics and applied mathematics from the State University of Campinas. She is currently a researcher and professor at National School of Statistical Science (ENCE) at the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). She is a former board council member of the Brazilian Population Association (2001-2004), board council member of the Latin American Population Association (ALAP) since 2004, and ALAP’s president (2009-2010) and is currently ABEP's representative to the Brazilian National Commission of Population and Development. Among her main areas of interest are reproductive health, fertility, family and gender studies, population and health, statistical demography, spatial statistics, geo-processing in demography, data bases and social indicators, and public policies analysis and evaluation.


Raquel Zanatta Coutinho has a Ph.D. and a M.A. in sociology from University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill (2013 and 2016). Dr. Coutinho also holds a M.A. in Demography (2011) from Center for Development and Regional Planning of the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Cedeplar/UFMG). As a post-doc scholar (Cedeplar/UFMG), she worked with data collection and analysis of two studies on Zika and vulnerability. In 2017, Dr. Coutinho joined the Faculty of the Demography Department at Cedeplar/UFMG. Her current research interests focus on women´s sexual and reproductive health and the contexts and inequalities that mediate the relationship between fertility intentions and outcomes.



Molly Dondero is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. Her research focuses on how immigration, race/ethnicity, social class, and place contribute to population-level inequality in health and well-being in the United States and Latin America. Her recent work has been published in Social Forces, Demography, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Social Science and Medicine, and Population Research and Policy Review. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology with a specialization in Demography from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining the faculty at American University, she was a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development postdoctoral fellow at the Population Research Institute at the Pennsylvania State University.



Gilvan Guedes is an associate professor of demography at Center for Regional Development and Planning (CEDEPLAR) at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil. Dr. Guedes received his Ph.D. in demography from Cedeplar/UFMG in 2010, a postdoctoral fellow at Brown University, and spent his sabbatical at the University of Pennsylvania in 2016. Dr. Guedes’ research has focused on the many ways in which population and environmental issues connect. In the last few years, he has devoted research efforts to understanding the connection between land use systems and household demography, environmental attitude and behavior, field and quantitative methods applied to population studies, and economic development.ehavior, field and quantitative methods applied to population studies, and economic development. 



Abigail Weitzman is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, a faculty research affiliate of the Population Research Center, and a research affiliate at the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from New York University in 2015, and completed a 2-year postdoctoral felllowship at the University of Michigan. Prior to completing her PhD she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru and Belize and worked as an intern at the United Nations Development Fund for Women.

Advisory Board


Ernesto F. L. Amaral, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Texas A&M University. Dr. Amaral’s research interests are related to social demography, migration, and public policy analysis. His teaching interests include demography and migration, methods and social statistics, and public policy analysis. Prior to joining Texas A&M University, Dr. Amaral was an associate sociologist at the RAND Corporation and professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School from 2014 to 2017. He served as an assistant/associate professor in the Political Science Department at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil, from 2009 to 2014.



Ann Biddlecom, Ph.D., joined the Guttmacher Institute in 2016 as a Director of International Research. Her research interests are in the areas of sexual and reproductive health, sexual behavior, family planning services, adolescent health, fertility and survey measurement. Previously, she served as Chief of the Fertility and Family Planning Section in the Population Division of the United Nations from 2009 to 2016, and she held prior research positions at the Guttmacher Institute, the University of Michigan and the Population Council. Dr. Biddlecom is a member of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, Population Association of America and the Union of African Population Studies. She received a PhD in sociology and population studies from Brown University.


Mick Couper, Ph.D., is a Adjunct Clinical Professor of Information (School of Information), and Research Professor (Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research) at the University of Michigan. Dr. Couper’s current research interests include survey non-response, design and implementation of survey data collection, effects of technology on the survey process, and computer-assisted interviewing, including both interviewer-adminstered (CATI and CAPI) and self-administered (web, audio-CASI, IVR) surveys. Many of his current projects focus on the design of web surveys.




Rob Crosnoe, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Sociology and Faculty Research Associate at the Population Research Center at the University of Texas, Austin. Dr. Crosnoe received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford University and then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Carolina Population Center and the Center for Developmental Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  His main research areas are human development, education, family, and health; specifically, the connections among children’s, adolescents’, and young adults' health, social development, and educational trajectories and how these connections contribute to population-level inequalities (e.g., social class, immigration).



David Lam, Ph.D., is a Research Professor and the director of the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research. Dr. Lam's research focuses on the interaction of economics and demography in developing countries, including analysis of the economics of population growth, fertility, marriage, and aging. Current research projects include analysis of the links between education and income inequality in Brazil and South Africa, the impact of demographic change on labor markets, and the links between birth rates and education in developing countries. He is collaborating with researchers from the University of Cape Town on projects analyzing youth transitions in education, childbearing, and employment using the Cape Area Panel Study, a longitudinal survey supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.


Duncan Thomas, Ph.D., is a Professor of Economics, Global Health and Public Policy for the Department of Economics at Duke University. Dr. Thomas investigates the inter-relationships between health, human capital and socio-economic status with a focus on the roles that individual, family and community factors play in improving levels of health and well-being across the globe. Much of this work highlights resource allocation and decision-making within households and families. His research uses data from large-scale population based longitudinal surveys that he has designed and fielded in collaboration with Elizabeth Frankenberg and other colleagues in the U.S., Indonesia and Mexico. These include the Indonesia Family Life Survey (IFLS), the Work and Iron Status Evaluation (WISE), the Study of the Tsunami Aftermath and Recovery (STAR) and the Mexican Family Life Survey (MxFLS). He was the founding director of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Development Economics program. 

Graduate Research Assistants


Júlia A. Calazans (CEDEPLAR - Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais)


Andrew Koepp is a doctoral student in the department of Human Development and Family Scientists at UT-Austin and a Graduate Research Assistant at the Population Research Center. His research investigates early childhood development in the United States and Brazil, studying factors that promote maternal and child health, and children's skills for school readiness. Andrew holds degrees in Human Development from Vanderbilt University (B.S.) and Harvard University (Ed.M.).




Erica Mirabitur graduated in 2018 from the University of Texas at Austin with a Master of Arts from the Department of Government. She received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan in 2015 where she studied Political Science, Writing, and Italian. Her research interests include the politics of post-disaster relief and public-health crises, international organizations, and survey methodology.



Carla Silva-Muhammad is the Decode Zika Program Manager. She previously served as the Brazil Center Coordinator & Graduate Program Coordinator for the Teresa Lozano Long Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Silva-Muhammad has also held numerous teaching positions, including Portuguese language and international studies courses. She holds a Master's degree in International Studies, with a concentration in Latin America and a certificate in Human Rights (University of Connecticut, 2014). Her research interests include performance studies, human rights, and social justice.