James Vaupel was a Professor of Social Sciences, Health Sciences and Natural Sciences at the University of Southern Denmark. He was the Founding Director of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock (since 2018 Director Emeritus), Founding director of the Max-Planck Odense Center on the Biodemography of Aging (2013 – 2017) and Founding director of the Interdisciplinary Centre on Population Dynamics at SDU.
James Vaupel studied mathematical statistics and received his PhD in public policy at Harvard University. After serving as a professor at Duke University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Southern Denmark, he became Founding Director of the Max Planck Institute of Demographic Research in 1996. James W. Vaupel was a leading scientist in the field of aging research and has been instrumental in developing and advancing the idea of the plasticity of longevity. He pioneered research on the heterogeneity of mortality risks, and on the deceleration of death rates at the highest ages.
His research interests were: Health and inequalities in ageing, economic and political demography, wellbeing and survival of oldest old, method development for ageing research, biodemography, mortality forecasting, formal demography, life expectancy trends, mortality trajectories.