Michael Thomas obtained his first degree from the University of Sheffield in 2010 (BA Human Geography, First Class Honours (Hart Human Geography Prize & Alice Garnett Prize)) before continuing at the department for his master’s (MSc Social & Spatial Inequalities, Distinction). In October 2011 he began his doctoral training in the Centre for Spatial Analysis and Policy (CSAP) in the School of Geography, University of Leeds, under the supervision of Professor John Stillwell and Dr Myles Gould.
Michael’s research project is focussed on ‘Modelling individual and place variations in residential moves using commercial data and official statistics’. The project capitalises on a unique opportunity to employ lifestyle and socio-demographic information from a huge national Acxiom market research opinion poll to investigate migration behaviour. The project employs a multilevel statistical framework to model both hierarchically (e.g. individuals within areas within districts) and cross-classified (e.g. individuals within origins, and individuals within destinations) data structures. Data and modelling results will also be visualised using GIS. Supplementary work using other secondary sources of official statistics will be used to benchmark and validate the research findings found using the Acxiom data, and together will also help broaden the evidence base relating to our understanding of migration in Britain, particularly beyond 2011.