Kathyrn R. Fair is a postdoctoral research associate within the public policy programme, working on the Shocks and Resilience project. Prior to this, she was a postdoctoral research fellow in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph. Kathyrn holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of Waterloo.


Research interests

Kathyrn’s current work focuses on characterising and developing models of labour flow networks. This work aims to move beyond classical economic models to improve our understanding of how shocks to the economy impact labour mobility. Such models are useful tools for policymakers, as they make it possible to analyse outcomes under different scenarios.

During her previous Postdoctoral Fellowship, Kathyrn built models capturing the coupled dynamics of human behaviour and SARS-CoV-2 transmission. These models were used to estimate the efficacy of non-pharmaceutical interventions in reducing the impact of COVID-19. In graduate school, she developed models describing climate change impacts on forest-grassland mosaic ecosystems, the effect of shocks on the growth and structure of international food trade networks, and how food security and equality are influenced by the interconnectedness of human population growth, food production, and trade. She also collaborated on projects exploring the gender wage gap within Canadian academia, the ways different academic disciplines define and apply the concept of resilience, and the mechanisms by which scientific consensus can be achieved.

The unifying theme of Kathyrn’s research is the development of mathematical models, supported by data, that can be used by policymakers to inform decisions regarding interventions in complex social and human-environment systems.