Samuel Plach is a predoctoral research assistant at the Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policy, Bocconi University. He holds a MSc in Economics and Social Sciences from Bocconi University. His research focuses on institutional and cultural aspects related to Development Economics, Demography, and Public Health. Among other projects, he investigated on the historical relation of the Red Sea slave trade route to the adoption of the harmful and still widespread practice of female genital cutting (FGC) in Africa; the implications of gender equality and gender roles for fertility levels in high-income countries; the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for fertility rates around the world; and the implications of COVID-19 related policies for mental well-being in Europe, and how various key groups within society were affected differently. He published in leading journals including Science.