Staff Profile:Dr Alex Arnall

Dr Alex Arnall
Job Title:
Associate Professor
Areas of Interest:

My research focuses on three 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.

3. Rural mobility and dynamics
Under this theme I aim to understand, both theoretically and empirically, the complex nature of human mobility and livelihoods in rural areas. I am particularly interested in how the movements people, things and ideas contribute to (or undermine) resilience to global environmental and economic change.

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. Alex's 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:

  • Environmental change and everyday lives in island communities, 2017-2019 (Co-I; ESRC-DFID Development Frontiers)
  • Marginal or Marginalised? Investigating Discourses of International Land Acquisition in Southern Mozambique, 2015-16 (PI; British Academy).
  • 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).

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.

I am lead supervisor for the following PhD students:

  • Africa Bauza: Pluralising the debate: A study of local perceptions of climate justice and forced migration (Leverhulme Scholarship)
  • Emma Bryant: Climate change, resilience and human mobility in Turkana County, Kenya (ESRC Scholarship)
  • Babra Kavuta: Displacement and resettlement in the Shire River valley, Malawi (Commonwealth Scholarship)
  • Daniela Salite: Culture and adaptation to drought in Gaza Province, southern Mozambique (Commonwealth Scholarship)
  • Sarrok Talhada: Exploring interactions between large-scale commercial investments in land and small-scale agriculture in Mozambique (Commonwealth Scholarship)

In addition, I provide supervision for:

  • Loiuse Abongu: Perceptions of climate risk and adaptation in Cameroon (Commonwealth 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 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: 2018 | 2017 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2010 | 2005 | 2004
Number of items: 18.







  • 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 Sun Apr 22 07:01:47 2018 UTC.
BSc (University of East Anglia); MSc (Imperial College); DPhil, (University of Oxford)
Dr Alex Arnall

Contact Details

+44 (0) 118 378 8369

Page navigation

See also


Search Form

A-Z lists