Staff Profile:Dr Alex Arnall

Dr Alex Arnall
Job Title:
Lecturer in Agriculture & Development
  • Programme Director: MSc in Food Security and Development
  • Teaching: Theories and Practices of Development
  • University of Reading PI for the HEFCE-funded Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning (IFTSAL) programme
Areas of Interest:

My research focuses on two inter-connected areas:

1. Climate change and disaster risk reduction
This research deploys empirically-grounded and theoretical analysis to examine how societies in developing countries anticipate, experience and respond to climate-related shocks and stresses, such as flood and drought. I have contributed to debates that emphasise the political dimensions of climate change adaptation, and the need to understand the perceptions of marginalised groups directly affected by global environmental change.

2. Forced migration, displacement and relocation
This work, based on empirical research, aims to understand the contexts, experiences and effects of historical and present-day involuntary movements of people. The research has focused on three areas: understanding the political drivers of forced migration; exploring processes of livelihoods change and restoration during relocation programmes; and investigating displacements resulting from international land acquisitions.

Research groups / Centres:

Key facts:

Alex is a human geographer conducting research and teaching on environmental change and human migration/mobility. He has a PhD in Geography from the University of Oxford, an MSc from Imperial College and a BSc from the University of East Anglia. Prior to joining the University of Reading, Alex worked as a Consultant for the international firm, Environmental Resources Management, and then as a Research Officer at the Institute of Development Studies, leading the Institute's work on Adaptive Social Protection. He has also carried out consultancy for a number of international NGOs and development agencies, including GIZ, Save the Children, Oxfam GB and WWF. In addition, Alex is a Board Member of the Open Access Journal 'Development Studies Research', as well as an Editor of the Livelihoods Restoration section of the International Network on Displacement and Resettlement (INDR) website. His most recent research has been based in central and southern Mozambique, and he also has work experience in South Africa, Angola, Uganda, Brazil, the Maldives and Russia.

Current and Recent Research:

  • Community-Based Claims-Making Processes in the Context of Climate Displacement and Resettlement, 2016-17 (PI; Prosperity and Resilience Collaboration Facilitation Grants Scheme).
  • Establishing a New Cross-University, Interdisciplinary Research Group on Climate, Culture and Society (CCS), 2016-17 (PI; Research Endowment Trust Fund and Walker Institute Research Development Fund).
  • Assembling Climate Change: Hotspots, Livelihoods and Liveability in the Global South, 2016 (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme).
  • Marginal or Marginalised? Investigating Discourses of International Land Acquisition in Southern Mozambique, 2015-16 (PI; British Academy).
  • Options for Strengthening the Resilience of Local Communities to Climate Change in Mozambique, 2014 (University-based consultancy; GIZ).
  • An Analysis of the Social and Environmental Drivers of Internal Resettlement Programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa, 2013 (Supervisor; Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme).
  • Perceptions and Understandings of Climate Change and Migration: Conceptualising and Contextualising for Lakshadweep and Maldives, 2012-15 (Co-I; The Research Council of Norway).
  • Involuntary Resettlement and Livelihoods Restoration in Flood-Affected Communities in Mozambique, 2011-13 (PI; British Academy).
  • Social Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation: A Case Study of Risk Perceptions in a Mozambican Resettlement Community, 2011-12. (PI; University of Reading Endowment Trust Fund and Walker Institute Research Development Fund).

Current PhD students:

I am particularly interested in supervising research students working on the topics listed below, and I welcome enquiries from prospective applicants:

  • Global environmental change (including climate change) and its intersections with human migration/mobility;
  • Environmental shocks and stresses (e.g. flood and drought) and human displacement;
  • Planned resettlement and its impacts of people's lives and life courses/chances; and
  • Rural mobility and its contribution to livelihoods and resilience.

My current research students are:

  • Loiuse Abongu: Perceptions of climate risk and adaptation in Cameroon (Commonwealth Scholarship
  • Emma Bryant: Climate change, resilience and human mobility in Turkana County, Kenya (ESRC Scholarship)
  • George Dakurah: Climate uncertainty and household food security in Ghana (Commonwealth Studentship)
  • Bismark Guba: Climate and food security in northern Ghana: investigating local level adaptation strategies (Ghana Education Trust Fund)
  • Rinchen Lama: Agency, vulnerability and large-scale infrastructure interventions in the Himalayas (University International Research Studentship)
  • Mark Neuse: Resettlement and agricultural interventions in Ethiopia
  • Maxwell Okrah: Fiscal decentralisation in Ghana (Henley Business School Postgraduate S Scholarship)
  • Daniela Salite: Impacts of climate variability and change on food security in Mozambique (Commonwealth Scholarship)
  • Sarrok Talhada: Exploring interactions between large-scale commercial investments in land and small-scale agriculture in Mozambique (Commonwealth Scholarship)

Completed PhD students

  • Paul Kamlongera: Deagrarianisation and rural diversification in rural Malawi (Commonwealth Scholarship)
  • Hamza Adam: Rural livelihood diversification and gender in northern Ghana (Ghana Education Trust Fund)
Jump to: 2017 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2010 | 2005 | 2004
Number of items: 15.






  • Cutter, S., Osman-Elasha, B., Campbell, J., Cheong, S. M., McCormick, S., Pulwarty, R., Supratid, S., Ziervogel, G., Calvo, E., Mutabazi, K., Arnall, A., Arnold, M., Bayer, J. L., Bohle, H. G., Emrich, C., Hallegatte, S., Koelle, B., Oettle, N., Polack, E., Ranger, N. and Rist, S. (2012) Managing the Risks from Climate Extremes at the Local Level. In: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 291-338. ISBN 978-1-107-60780-4




This list was generated on Sat Apr 22 17:27:29 2017 BST.
BSc (University of East Anglia); MSc (Imperial College); DPhil, (University of Oxford)
Dr Alex Arnall

Contact Details

+44 (0) 118 378 8369

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