I received my PhD from the University of Frankfurt/Germany in 2009.
As an urban ethnographer, I am interested in investigating issues pertaining to prisons; immigration, integration, and crime; resilience and risk to radicalization and terrorism; neighbourhood re-development and its consequences on criminal networks and crime; questions of identity; and the efficacy of different types of community outreach in the context of counter-terrorism and crime prevention. All of my work is attuned to how micro-level interactions are influenced, shaped, and often hindered by macro-level forces. In addition to contributing to scholarly debates, I am also driven by my desire to inform effective, legally responsible, and socially engaged crime-prevention and counter-terrorism policies and programs.
Together with my colleague Dr. Kevin Haggerty, I am currently leading the largest qualitative research study on provincial prisons in Canada. Having spoken to over 600 prisoners and 100 correctional officers, we (and our team of five fantastic research assistants) are looking at issues pertaining to security threat groups (gangs and radical groups) and other aspects.
My monograph "Unwanted - Muslim Immigrants, Dignity, and Drug Dealing", published by Oxford University Press in 2014 is based on five years of ethnographic research on second-generation, male, Muslim immigrants who specialized in drug trafficking in Frankfurt/Germany. It has received numerous reviews in key academic journals.
My second book, edited with Dr. Michael Tonry, is the Oxford Handbook on Ethnicity, Crime and Immigration, published with Oxford University Press in 2014.
I serve on the Editorial Advisory Board of Criminology - the discipline's flagship journal. I am also an executive member of the Canadian Research Network on Terrorism, Security and Society (TSAS) and part of its SSHRC partnership grant. I am also an active member of the American Society of Criminology and am currently serving on the Hindelang Book Award committee.
I won the Martha Cook Piper Research Award in 2016, which recognizes two faculty members across the university in the early stage of their careers that enjoy a reputation for original research and show outstanding promise as researchers. I also won the Faculty of Arts Research Award on the Assistant Professor Level in 2016. My ethnography on drug dealers has won the 2nd place in the Deutscher Studienpreis Koerberstiftung competition in 2009 - the highest national award for social sciences dissertations in Germany. An article based on this research "What else should I do?" published in the Journal of Drug Issues in 2007, was awarded the Honory Mention of the Migration Section of the American Sociological Association (http://jod.sagepub.com/content/37/3/673.abstract).