My research focuses on the relationship between communication technology and personal networks. I am particularly interested in how emerging technologies such as smartphones and social media platforms may enable or hinder the transfer of information and support within personal networks. My research takes an international approach to this topic by examining and comparing personal networks and technology use in several countries, primarily Japan, the US, and Canada. In recent years I have begun to incorporate digital trace data (so-called "Big Data") into my project designs, merging it with more traditional survey and interview data.
I received my Ph.D. from the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto, during which time I spent a year at the Harvard Kennedy School while on a predoctoral fellowship at the National Center for Digital Government. After completing my Ph.D. I spent two years working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Social Psychology at The University of Tokyo. I then spent three and a half years in the Department of Communication at Rutgers University before coming to Ryerson.