Skip to main content


Assistant Professor

Alison Gemmill, PhD, MPH, is a demographer and perinatal epidemiologist whose research aims to improve the health of women, birthing people, and their children.

Contact Info

615 N. Wolfe Street, Room E4148

Research Interests

fertility and family planning; maternal, perinatal, and reproductive health; women's health; health equity; life course; population health shocks; demography

Experiences & Accomplishments
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Los Angeles

Alison Gemmill is a demographer and perinatal epidemiologist with primary interests in maternal, women’s, and perinatal health; sexual and reproductive health and fertility; and life course epidemiology.  Much of her research considers how maternal exposures to structural and environmental stressors, which are distributed unequally across the population, affect pregnancy outcomes such as preterm birth, fetal loss, and maternal morbidity, and how such exposures exacerbate health disparities. She is also an expert on US fertility patterns and trends and has published on fertility intention dynamics, fertility responses to population shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic, explanations for declining birth rates in the US, and childlessness.

Dr. Gemmill is currently a co-Investigator on two NICHD R01 grants, as well as the former Principal Investigator of a Robert Wood Johnson grant and several internally funded pilot projects. These funded projects include topics such as: pregnancy-associated mortality and morbidity in the U.S.; the relationship between maternal stress and adverse pregnancy outcomes; how state-level policy environments impact maternal and women’s health; and the long-term impacts of pregnancy on women’s cardiovascular and cognitive health. She also currently serves as Technical Advisor to the World Health Organization on maternal mortality measurement.

Select Publications

Selected publications:

  • Gemmill A, Catalano R, Casey JA, Karasek D, Alcalá H, Elser H, Torres JM. (2019). Association of preterm births among US Latina women with the 2016 presidential election. JAMA Network Open; 2(7): e197084.

  • Gemmill A, Kiang MV, Alexander MJ. (2019). Trends in pregnancy-associated mortality involving opioids in the United States, 2007-2016. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology; 220(1):115-116.

  • Gemmill A, Casey JA, Catalano R, Karasek D, Margerison CE, Bruckner TA. (2022). Changes in preterm birth and caesarean deliveries in the United States during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology; 36(4):485-489.

  • Gemmill A. (2019). From some to none? Fertility expectation dynamics of permanently childless women. Demography; 56(1):129-149.

  • Bell SO, Stuart EA, Gemmill A. (2023). Texas' 2021 ban on abortion in early pregnancy and changes in live births. JAMA; 330(3):281-282.

The fertility, maternal health, and infant health consequences of abortion restrictions
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on pregnant and postpartum individuals
Pregnancy-associated mortality and morbidity due to drugs, self-harm, and violence in the United States
Demographic, structural, and psychosocial determinants of fertility decline in the US
Social and environmental determinants of fetal loss and adverse birth outcomes
Pregnancy risk perceptions, contraceptive use, and unintended pregnancy
Leveraging reproductive calendar data to study contraceptive dynamics and pregnancy