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Christopher McCarty, Ph.D.

Professor, Anthropology
Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Director, UF Bureau of Economic and Business Research

Office: Turlington Hall, Room 1112
Phone: (352) 392-2253

Google Scholar


  • Ph.D. Anthropology, University of Florida
  • M.A. Anthropology, University of Florida
  • B.A. Anthropology, West Virginia University

Research Interests

Social network analysis, personal network analysis, collaboration networks, acculturation, disasters, survey research

Research Statement

While my disciplinary training is in cultural anthropology, I have specialized in social network research during my career as a researcher and mentor. As reflected in my publications, I am widely recognized in the field of social network analysis as an expert in the application of personal network analysis to a broad range of topics, including substance abuse and addiction. I created an open source software program called Egonet that is widely used by researchers across many disciplines, increasingly in health care research. I am a co-investigator on a UF CTSA grant using social network analysis as a tool for intervention in collaborative research. In addition to my expertise in social networks, I have extensive experience in survey research. I built one of the largest university-based survey research centers, the University of Florida Survey Research Center, which is housed in the UF Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR), which I direct. At the UF Survey Research Center I have worked on the adaptation of traditional network methods to large-scale surveys and to the estimation of hard-to-count populations. In my role as BEBR director I oversee many large contracts and grants. I have served as co-PI, co-investigator and consultant on several NIH-funded studies and as PI, co-PI and consultant on many NSF grants. I served as a program officer for the NSF Cultural Anthropology Program in 2013.

Positions and Honors

Positions and Employment

  • 2016-Present, Chair, Department of Anthropology
  • 2011-Present, Director Bureau of Economic and Business Research/Associate Professor Department of Anthropology, University of Florida
  • 2008-2011, Associate Professor Department of Health Services Research, University of Florida
  • 1992-2008, Director University of Florida Survey Research Center at the Bureau of Economic and Business Research, University of Florida
  • 1987-1992, Associate in Research Bureau of Economic and Business Research, University of Florida
  • 1986-1987, Program analyst, Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services

 Other Experience and Professional Memberships

  • 2011-2012, NIH Social Networks and Health panelist
  • 2013-2014, NSF Program Officer for Cultural Anthropology
  • 2010-2012, NSF panelist for Cultural Anthropology
  • 1992-Current, Member, International Network for Social Network Analysis
  • 2005-Current, Member, American Anthropological Association
  • 2005-Current, Member, Society for the Anthropological Sciences
  • 2005-2007, Member, Society for Cultural Anthropology
  • 2006-2011, Member, Biological Anthropology Section
  • 2004-2014, Member Society for Applied Anthropology
  • 2003-2008, Member, American Association for Public Opinion Research


  • 2008, 2011, 2013 Co-organizer Sunbelt Social Networks Conference


Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography

Contribution to Science

Personal Network Analysis

My primary area of research is social network analysis with a focus on personal network analysis. My early contributions are to methods for collecting and analyzing personal network data, including the development of Egonet, an open source program for the collection and analysis of personal network data. Over the past several years I have applied personal networks to specific research problems, particularly through collaborations with researchers specializing in substantive topics. These include research on migrants, disasters, hypertension, substance abuse, and co-offending.   Egonet remains the most widely used program for personal networks and I provide support to the SNA community for personal network research.

  • Raffaele Vacca, Giacomo Solano, Miranda Jessica Lubbers, José Luis Molina, Christopher McCarty (2016) A personal network approach to the study of immigrant structural assimilation and transnationalism. Social Networks In Press.
  • Fuller, Kia C.; Mccarty, Christopher; Vacca, Raffaele; et al. (2016) Association of ACE, TPA, and WNK1 Alu polymorphisms, perceptions of unfair treatment, and personal networks with hypertension in African Americans. American Journal of Physical Anthropology   159 (62): 149-149
  • Christopher McCarty and Killworth, Peter Impact of Methods for Reducing Respondent Burden on Personal Network Structural Measures Social Networks Social Networks 29: 300-315 (2007)
  • Christopher McCarty. Measuring Structure in Personal Networks. Journal of Social Structure 3:1 (2002). (

Estimating Size of Hard to Count Populations

My colleagues and I developed a method to estimate the size of hard to count populations using a personal network approach. This two-step approach first involves estimating the size of the respondent’s personal network then solves for the size of hard to count populations based on distributions of network size and respondent knowledge of those in the target population. In 2008 this approach, called the Network Scale-up Method (NSUM), was adopted by the international HIV/AIDS research community as a way to estimate the size of Most at Risk Populations.

  • H Russell Bernard, Tim Hallett, Alexandrina Iovita, Eugene C Johnsen, Rob Lyerla, Christopher McCarty, Mary Mahy, Matthew J Salganik, Tetiana Saliuk, Otilia Scutelniciuc, Gene A Shelley, Petchsri Sirinirund, Sharon Weir, Donna F Stroup. “Counting hard-to-count populations: the network scale-up method for public health” Sexually Transmitted Infections, 2010 86: ii11-ii15. (2010)
  • Christopher McCarty, Peter D. Killworth, H. Russell Bernard, Eugene Johnsen and Gene A. Shelley. Comparing Two Methods for Estimating Network Size. Human Organization 60:28-39. (2001)
  • Peter D. Killworth, Christopher McCarty, H. Russell Bernard, Gene A. Shelley and Eugene Johnsen. Estimation of Seroprevalence, Rape and Homelessness in the U.S. Using a Social Network Approach.   Evaluation Review 22:289-308 (1998).
  • Peter D. Killworth, Eugene Johnsen, Christopher McCarty, Gene A. Shelley and H. Russell Bernard. A Social Network Approach to Estimating Seroprevalence in the United States. Social Networks 20:23-50 (1998).

Scientific Collaboration

I began studying scientific networks using data from an NSF grant in 2005 to understand the relationship between scientific productivity and ego-centered publication network structure. In 2012 I began collaborating with the University of Florida Clinical and Translational Science Institute (a NIH CTSA award) to measure the collaborative effect of the CTSI. I served as a PI or co-investigator on these studies.

  • Vacca, Raffaele, McCarty, Christopher, Conlon, Michael, Nelson, David. Designing a CTSA-based social network intervention to foster cross-disciplinary team science. Accepted. Clinical and Translational Science. (2014)
  • Allison L. Hopkins, James W. Jawitz, Christopher McCarty, Alex Goldman and Nandita Basu. Disparities in publication patterns by gender, race and ethnicity based on a survey of a random sample of authors. Scientometrics, 96(2): 515-534. (2013)
  • Christopher McCarty and James W. Jawitz. Attitudes about publishing and the establishment of a normal science. Journal of Informetrics. 7(4): 850-858. (2013)
  • Christopher McCarty, James W. Jawitz, Allison Hopkins and Alex Goldman. Predicting author h-index using characteristics of the co-author network. Scientometrics. 96(2): 467-483. (2013)

Survey Research Methods

Throughout my research career I have made several contributions to survey research methods using data gathered through my role as director of the University of Florida Survey Research Center. My research on most recent versus final dispositions was adopted by the American Association of Public Opinion Research in their manual on standard definitions and best practices within the discipline of survey research.

  • Christopher McCarty, Mark House, Scott Richards, Jeffrey Harman. Separating the effect of effort versus context on response rates for telephone interviewing. Field Methods 18: 172-188. (2006)
  • Christopher McCarty, John Attafuah . Are survey-based economic indicators for Africa valid?: The case of consumer confidence in Ghana. Social Indicators Research 65: 207-225 (2004).
  • Christopher McCarty. Differences in response rates using most recent versus final dispositions in telephone surveys. Public Opinion Quarterly 67: 396-406 (2003)

Disaster Studies

I have applied my approach to personal network analysis to the study of disaster-prone communities and mental health. I have conducted a series of survey based studies on hurricane evacuation behavior.

  • Eric C. Jones, Arthur D. Murphy, A. J. Faas, Graham A. Tobin, Christopher McCarty, Linda M. Whiteford. (2015) Postdisaster reciprocity and the development of inequality in personal networks. Economic Anthropology. 2(2): 385-404
  • Jones, EC, Faas, AJ, Murphy, AD, Tobin, GA, Whitehead, LM, McCarty, C. Cross-Cultural and Site-Based Influences on Demographic, Well-being, and Social Network Predictors of Risk Perception in Hazard and Disaster Settings in Ecuador and Mexico, Human Nature-An Interdisciplinary Biosocial Perspective, 24(1): 5-32.   (2013)
  • Smith, Stan and Christopher McCarty. Fleeing the Storm(s): An Examination of Evacuation Behavior during Florida’s 2004 Hurricane Season. Demography 46:1 127-145 (2009)
  • Stanley K. Smith, Christopher McCarty. Demographic Effects of Natural Disasters: A Case Study of Hurricane Andrew. Demography 33:265-275 (1996).

Research Support

Ongoing Research Support

NSF (Thai)) PI
  • 12/14/15-11/2017
  • Collaborative Research RIPS Type 2: Vulnerability Assessment and Resilient Design of Interdependent Infrastructures
  • Develop a human vulnerability index surrounding critical communication, transportation and power networks.
  • Role: Co-PI
NSF Gregory Webster PI
  • 8/1/2016-7/31/2019
  • Extreme Weather Events and Individual differences in Threat Perception and Behavior
  • Role: Co-PI
NIH 5 U L1 TR000064-05 (PI: David Nelson)
  • 07/01/2015-06/30/20
  • Stimulate innovative translational health research to accelerate its delivery to the public
  • To evaluate CTSI programs and services and to provide recommendations to CTSI leadership regarding strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement
  • Role: Program Director: Network Science Program

Completed Research Support (within the past three years)

NIH U19 ES020683 (Morris) PI
  • 4/30/13-4/30/16
  • Community Based Assessment of Social Vulnerability and Resiliency
  • Design and analyze social network component of community resiliency study.
  • Role: Co-PI
NIH David Nelson
  • UF Clinical Translational Science Institute
  • 04/01/2012-3/31/2015
  • Stimulate innovative translational health research to accelerate its delivery to the public
  • Role: Develop and calculate evaluation metrics
  • 1/28/13-1/27/14
  • IPA Rotator Position
  • Role: PI
  • Served as a rotating program officer for the National Science Foundation Cultural anthropology Program
NSF (Johnson PI)
  • 9/15/14-8/31/16
  • Summer Course for research Design in the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences
  • Role: Co-PI

Courses Taught