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Reproductive Sociology Research Group


Dr Lois Tonkin is a Lecturer in the School of Health Sciences at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha/University of Canterbury, Aotearoa/New Zealand, and a counsellor at Genea Oxford Fertility in Christchurch, New Zealand. Her work explores new conceptualisations of the experience of loss, grieving and accommodation, and psychosocial approaches to aspects of fantasy and loss in women’s experience of ‘circumstantial childlessness’. Her current research is a study of how women who take up oocyte vitrification conceptualise their ‘frozen’ eggs. She is particularly interested in the use of innovative psychosocial methods to explore aspects of experience that are difficult to articulate in language.

Key publications:

Tonkin, L. 2015 ‘Caught in the Margins: Childlessness as an unexpected consequence of life choices’. In L. Raith, J. Jones and M. Porter (Ed.), Mothers at the Margins: Stories of Challenge, Resistance and Love: 62-73. Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.


Tonkin, L. 2012 ‘Haunted by a Present Absence’, Studies in the Maternal (1)


Tonkin, L. 2011 ‘Making Sense of Loss: the disenfranchised grief of women who are “contingently childless”’, Journal of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement 1 (2): 177-187

 Lois  Tonkin