Avery holds a BA in Religious Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and French, with minors in African-American studies and Sociology from UNC-Greensboro. She also holds an MA in Gender Studies from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario where she completed a thesis supervised by Scott Lauria Morgensen entitled “Crises of In/Humanity: Posthumanism, Afrofuturism and Science and/as Fiction.” During the transition from her master’s to the PhD, Avery served as a research assistant with REACH 2.0’s Trans Priorities Project: Cross Country Trans Women and HIV Research Priority Setting, an all-transgender team-led community-based research project in Canada in 2016. She has published research on queer and transgender survivors of intimate partner violence and their access to social service programs and has published on transgender people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Avery joins the Population, Health and Place doctoral program as a transfer from the American Studies & Ethnicity program at USC where she primarily studied transgender history, race in science and medicine, and comparative ethnic studies. Her research focus has shifted to incorporate both quantitative and qualitative methods combining her humanities background with newer work in social, spatial and health sciences.
With the guidance of her co-chairs, John Wilson and Sofia Gruskin, Avery’s dissertation queries the implications of the newest iteration of the International Classification of Diseases for transgender populations globally and aims to redefine notions of "access" within spatial epidemiological work by centering transgender populations’ access to healthcare within a human rights framework. She works at the intersections of spatial epidemiology, legal analysis and human rights in order to improve health outcomes and life chances for transgender and gender-nonconforming people globally. Her research interests include critical GIS, medical and legal history, sexual and reproductive health and rights, global health and transgender studies.