Sociocultural anthropologist Geoff Childs shares photos from his research in Nepal, where he has spent decades studying demographic trends in a highland Buddhist community.

Geoff Childs, professor of sociocultural anthropology, has been researching demographic trends in Nubri, a highland Buddhist community in Nepal’s Himalayas. He’s done fieldwork there since the ‘90s when he began studying demographic processes such as historical migrations and fertility transitions in the region. 

He’s gone on to investigate many stages of life, everything from breastfeeding at altitude — a collaboration with E.A. Quinn, associate professor of biological anthropology — to school-age children leaving the valley in search of education in larger cities. 

Recently, his work has focused on the impact of outmigration on family-based care for the elderly. Monasteries, like Ribum Monastery shown in the photo below, are popular retirement destinations that allow the elderly to engage in religious practices away from the demands of village life.