Asia Research Institute


Brenda Yeoh Saw Ai

Brenda S.A. Yeoh FBA is Raffles Professor of Social Sciences at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Research Leader of the Asian Migration Cluster at the Asia Research Institute, NUS. Professor Yeoh made important contributions to the field of migration and transnationalism studies and was awarded the Vautrin Lud Prize for outstanding achievements in Geography in 2021. Her work is distinctly Asia-focused while also significant for theory-building more generally. She is widely recognised for her research leadership in three areas: migration-led diversification, cosmopolitanism and spatial politics; human aspiration, care migration and social reproduction among migrant households in Southeast Asia; migration infrastructures and transnational mobility of migrant workers at various skill levels. She has published widely on these topics and her recent books include Handbook of Asian Migrations (Routledge, 2018 with Gracia Liu-Farrer); Student Mobilities and International Education in Asia: Emotional Geographies of Knowledge Spaces (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019 with R.K. Sidhu and K.C. Ho) and Handbook of Transnationalism (Edward Elgar, 2022 with F.L. Collins).

Chand Somaiah Headshot MiFood

Chand Somaiah

Dr Chand Somaiah holds a joint appointment as a Research Fellow with the Asia Research Institute (ARI), National University of Singapore; and Yale-NUS College. Her research interests include intimate citizenship practices such as foodwork, and embodied, emplaced and intersectional subjectivities vis-à-vis migration. Since 2017, she has been working on collaborative mixed-methods research projects which investigate the impacts of parental absence on left-behind children and families from sending communities of international labour. Her work has been published in a range of journals including Global Networks; Journal of Youth Studies; South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies; Ethnic and Racial Studies; Emotion, Space and Society; and Journal of Intercultural Studies.

Marvin Joseph Fonacier Montefrio

Associate Professor Marvin Joseph Montefrio obtained a concurrent PhD and Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree in Environmental Policy and Public Administration from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University in 2014. As an interdisciplinary scholar, Assoc Prof Montefrio employs diverse methodological approaches and draws from multiple theories from environmental and rural sociology, political ecology, environmental and economic anthropology, science and technology studies (STS), ecological economics, and more recently cultural studies.


Theodora Lam

Theodora Lam is Research Fellow in Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore (NUS). She obtained her PhD in Geography from NUS and her dissertation focused on understanding changing gender subjectivities, webs of care and relationships within the family in the wake of transnational labour migration. Her research highlights the voices of return migrants as well as carers and children who have remained in the home countries. Theodora's research interests cover transnational migration, family dynamics, children's geographies and gender studies. She has co-edited several special journal issues and has also published on themes relating to migration, citizenship and education in various journals and edited books including American Behavioral Scientist, Asia Pacific Viewpoint, Environment and Planning A, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies and Population, Space and Place.

Kristel Acedera

Kristel Acedera is a Research Associate in the Asian Migration Cluster. She holds an MSocSci degree in Geography from the National University of Singapore. Her current research interests explore how the intimacies of transnational familyhood unravel in and through the digital spaces and temporalities of communication technologies. She has published her work on this in peer-reviewed publications like Journal of Ethnic Migration Studies, International Journal of Communication, Current Sociology, and New Media and Society.

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