Ellen Van Damme

Ellen Van Damme


Email: damme@international.ucla.edu

Curriculum Vitae

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I am a Fulbright post-doctoral researcher at the Center for the Study of International Migration (CSIM), University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), where I study female migration from the Honduran countryside to the U.S. My research is qualitative in nature, and focuses on multicausal factors of migration, with a particular focus on climate change as a push factor.

I have a BA and MA in Criminology (KU Leuven, Belgium), an MA in Conflict & Development (Ghent University), and a PhD in Criminology (KU Leuven, Belgium). Between 2013 and 2015 I conducted research on gangs and youth at risk in Central America and South Africa. I was a 2016-2020 PhD fellow of the Research Foundation-Flanders (FWO) at the Leuven Institute of Criminology (LINC), KU Leuven, Belgium. My PhD research concerned the role of women in and around gangs in Honduras, Central America.


Ph.D. Criminology, KU Leuven, Belgium
M.A. Conflict & Development, Ghent University, Belgium
M.A. Criminology, KU Leuven, Belgium
B.A. Criminology, KU Leuven, Belgium


  • Van Damme, E. (2021). Corruption, impunity and mistrust: moving beyond police gatekeepers for researching gangs. Journal of Aggression Conflict and Peace Research.
  • Van Damme, E. (2021). El secreto a voces, prólogo del libro Tierra de narcos, cómo las mafias se apropiaron de Honduras. In Ó. Estrada, Tierra de Narcos: Cómo las Mafias se Apropiaron de Honduras (pp. 11-14). Casasola.
  • Miller, J. (2020). On Urban Criminology Encounters: Gender, Race, and Class in Urban Contexts [Interview by E. Van Damme]. Criminological Encounters, 3(1), 82-91. doi:10.26395/CE20030108
  • Van Damme, E., & Carballo, W. (2020). Women and gangs in the digital media: a distorted image? In C. Melde, & F. Weerman (Eds.), Gangs in the Era of Internet and Social Media (pp. 61-79). Switzerland: Springer Nature.
  • Van Damme, E. (2019). When overt research feels covert: Researching women and gangs in a context of silence and fear. Journal of Extreme Anthropology, 3(1), 121-134. http://dx.doi.org/10.5617/jea.6696
  • Van Damme, E. (2018). On the Road with the Beast: Violence, Corruption, and Migration in Central America. Latin American Perspectives, Issue 223, 45(6), 175-178. doi: 10.1177/0094582X18788332.
  • Van Damme, E. (2017). Gangs in the DRC and El Salvador: towards a third generation of gang violence interventions? Trends in Organized Crime, 21(343). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12117-017-9316-5.
  • Van Damme, E. (2017). Mareros and pandilleros in Honduras: the reintegration of youth gang members. In E. Viano (Ed.), Cybercrime, Organized Crime, and Societal Responses: International Approaches (pp. 269-287). New York: Springer.

Awards & Grants

  • 2020: Fulbright post-doctoral research fellowship
  • 2020: FWO Travel grant for a short stay abroad ‘Research validation’ (75836/K205220N)
  • 2019: Feminist Criminology Graduate Research Scholarship 2019, Division of Women and  Crime of the American Society of Criminology
  • 2019: FWO Travel grant for a long stay abroad ‘Second (follow-up) field research stay’ (62141/V406319N)
  • 2018: SCCJR International Mobility Grant for visiting PhD student stay in Glasgow
  • 2018: FWO Travel grant for a long stay abroad ‘First in-depth field research stay’ (48649/V402418N)
  • 2017: FWO Grant for participation at a workshop or course abroad ‘17th Workshop of the Eurogang Program of Research’ (40073/K1F8417N)
  • 2016–2020: PhD fellowship Research Foundation-Flanders (29226/1163517N)
  • 2013: VLIR-UOS travel grant for three-month traineeship in Cape Town