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Tamara recently completed her PhD dissertation at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam on the relationship between deaths and policy along the southern EU borders. She managed the data collection and compilation of the first database of official evidence concerning people who have died attempting to cross the external borders of the EU: the Deaths at the Borders Database. The database and its methodology was published online, open source and is available at

Over the last few years her research has focused on analyzing this database, including studies on the identification of deceased irregular migrants, the comparison of official data with news-sourced data, and the calculation of mortality rates and analysis of trends in deaths over the period 1990-2013.

Tamara has also investigated the opposing perspectives of policy makers and academics on what causes border deaths and how they can be prevented.

Tamara's previous research interests have led her to conduct research in a range of migration-related topics, including mobility capabilities, regional south-south migration governance, transnational customary governance, fertility tourism, and migration as adaptation to climate change.



Tamara is an interdisciplinary scholar. She holds a Bachelors in Law (LLB) from the University of Warwick, in which she specialised in human rights, migration and international law. She then when on to get a distinction Master of Science (MSc) in Migration Studies from the University of Oxford.  


Tamara has taught subjects relating to European, human rights, and migration law at Bachelor and Masters level. Tamara also taught courses focused on developing skills, for instance, she designed and taught a Bachelor course on writing a critical research paper.

Education / Academic qualification

Migration Studies, Master, University of Oxford


Law, Bachelor, University of Warwick


Research Output 2014 2017

  • 4 Article
  • 2 Chapter
  • 1 Paper
  • 1 Online publication or Website

Deaths at the borders database: evidence of deceased migrants’ bodies found along the southern external borders of the European Union

Last, T. K., Mirto, G., Ulusoy, O., Urquijo, I., Harte, J. M., Bami, N., Pérez Pérez, M., Macias Delgado, F., Tapella, A., Michalaki, A., Michalitsi, E., Latsoudi, E., Tselepi, N., Chatziprokopiou, M. & Spijkerboer, T. P. 9 Jan 2017 In : Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 43, 5, p. 693-712 20 p.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

Open Access

Challenging the Anonymity of Death by Border Sea: Who Are Boat Migrants?

Last, T. K. 2016 ‘Boat Refugees’ and Migrants at Sea: A Comprehensive Approach. Moreno-Lax, V. & Papastavridis, E. (eds.). Leiden: Brill, p. 79-116

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewChapter

La banca dati "Deaths at the Borders"

Last, T. K., Spijkerboer, T. P. & Ulusoy, O. 2016 In : InTrasformazione: rivista di storia delle idee. 5, 1, p. 36-49

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle