Institute of

Rural Studies

In memory of Prof. Aileen Stockdale (1964 – 2021)


The team of the STAYin(g)Rural international research project at the Thünen Institute for Rural Studies mourns the loss of its colleague Prof. Aileen Stockdale (Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland). Aileen died suddenly and unexpectedly on March 27, 2021 at the age of 56.

The STAYin(g)Rural team in the study region in Northern Ireland in May 2019 (fourth from the right: Prof. Aileen Stockdale) (© Projektteam STAYin(g)Rural)

She was one of the UK’s leading population geographers and co-editor of the prestigious “Population, Space and Place” journal. Over decades, her research focused on questions of both migration and sedentary behaviour in rural areas. Many of her essential conceptual contributions related, among other things, to the topic of staying in rural areas, which she saw as an active and conscious decision by residents. This topic has in recent years gained importance in the international scholarly debate.

We will miss Aileen sorely. We will miss her laughter, her constructive criticism, her experience, her team spirit and her constant curiosity for new research questions. We join all of those who knew and treasure Aileen in our sadness and loss.

Dr. Annett Steinführer and Franziska Lengerer in March 2021