Mao-Mei Liu

Researcher and Project Coordinator with the Caribbean American Dementia and Aging Study (CADAS)

Berkeley Population Center

University of California, Berkeley.

Research Interests: 

Migration, Race/Ethnicity, Health Disparities, Gender, Aging, Family, Social Networks, Life Course.

Mao-Mei Liu is a NIH-funded sociologist and social demographer who currently studies color and race inequalities in cognitive aging among Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban older adults in the islands and diaspora and among Latino communities more broadly in the U.S. Mao-Mei is a National Institute on Aging-funded Re-Entry researcher and project coordinator for the Caribbean American Dementia and Aging Study (CADAS). Mao-Mei’s first love in the academia—which fueled her PhD dissertation and postdoc research—is international migration, its social determinants, and how gender, family and migration interact across the life course.

At Berkeley, Mao-Mei has had the honor of training and mentoring a group of extremely talented, hardworking undergraduates in quantitative social sciences through the NIA-funded Advancing Diversity in Aging Research at UC Berkeley (Cal-ADAR) (2018-2020) and teaching undergraduates in courses on migration, research methods, and preparing for grad school through the Departments of Sociology (2017-2018) and Demography (2018-2020). Prior to Berkeley, Mao-Mei was at Brown University’s Population Studies and Training Center and served as National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) T32 Postdoctoral Fellow (2014-2016) and postdoctoral researcher with the Jimma Longitudinal Family Survey of Youth (2016-2017). She also taught Racial Regimes in the U.S. and Beyond for Wellesley College’s Department of Sociology (spring 2017).

As a PhD student at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Mao-Mei was fortunate to work as graduate student researcher in the first major effort to collect and analyze social demographic information and migration between sub-Saharan Africa and Europe: the European Commission-funded Migration between Africa and Europe (MAFE) project (2007-2012), Spanish Ministry-funded Migraciones entre Senegal y España (MESE). (2008-2012) and Sistemas migratorios en perspectiva comparada: México-Estados Unidos y África Subsahariana-Europa (2013-2014); teach undergraduates through the Department of Political and Social Sciences (2008-2013); and teach primary/secondary students as a school teacher (2006-2014).

Mao-Mei is a research affiliate of the Berkeley International Migration Institute (BIMI) and co-organizer of the Demographers of Color collective (DoC), birthed in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. She is passionate about mentoring undergrad students, grad students, and early career scholars in population research, in connecting to resources (grants, fellowships), and in thriving as researchers and people, especially those from underrepresented groups: e.g. first-gen, transfer, black, Latinx, Native, Pacific Islander, undocumented, survivors (family violence, foster care, incarceration, etc.).

Representative Publications:

Liu, Mao-Mei, Edward Telles, Katherine Tucker, Luis M. Falcon, Ivonne Z. Jiménez‐Velázquez, and William H. Dow. (2022). Race/Ethnic Differences, Skin Tone and Cognitive Aging among Older Latinos in the United States. The Journal of Gerontology, Series B: Social Sciences

Liu, Mao-Mei, Michael Crowe, Edward Telles, Ivonne Z. Jiménez‐Velázquez, and William H. Dow (2022). Color disparities in Cognitive Aging among Puerto Ricans on the Archipelago. Social Science & Medicine – Population Health 17: 100998

Li, Jing, Jorge J. Llibre‐Guerra, Amal Harrati, Jordan Weiss, Ivonne Z. Jiménez‐Velázquez, Daisy Acosta, Juan de Jesús Llibre‐Rodriguez, Mao‐Mei Liu, and William H. Dow. (2021) Associations between education and dementia in the Caribbean and the United States: An international comparison. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions 7(1): e12204.

Lindstrom, David P. and Mao-Mei Liu. (2019) Gender, Parents & Family networks in Adolescent Health-Seeking Behavior in Ethiopia. Journal of Marriage and Family

Riosmena, Fernando and Mao-Mei Liu*. (2019) Who goes next? Comparative perspectives on Timing & Sequencing of International Migration among Siblings in Mexico and Senegal. ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 684(1): 146-164

Liu, Mao-Mei, Fernando Riosmena and Mathew J. Creighton. (2018) Family Position and Family Networks in Mexican and Senegalese Migration. Population, Space, Place 24(7)

Liu, Mao-Mei, Mathew J. Creighton, Fernando Riosmena, Pau Baizán. (2016) Prospects for the Comparative Study of International Migration using quasi-longitudinal and longitudinal micro-data. Demographic Research 35: 745-782. DOI: 10.4054/DemRes.2016.35.26

Liu, Mao-Mei. (2013). Migrant Networks and International Migration: Testing Weak Ties. Demography 50:1243–1277. DOI 10.1007/s13524-013-0213-5

Berkeley Demography