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Dr Alex Arnall


Areas of interest

  • Climate change and human migration/mobility
  • Flooding, sea level rise and coastal erosion
  • Population displacement and resettlement
  • Anthropocene studies and political ecology/geology

Research projects

  • Stories we live by: Discipline-Hopping to Address the ‘Imagination Deficit’ in Anthropocene Thinking, 2023 (NERC Discipline Hopping for Discovery Science)
  • Everyday Security and Global Environmental Change, 2021-22 (University of Reading Research Fellowship)
  • Visualising and Representing Environmental Change in Island Communities, 2020-2021 (ESRC-DFID Joint Fund)
  • Sea-Level Rise and Everyday Lives in Small Island States, 2019-2022 (Australian Research Council)
  • Environmental Change and Everyday Lives in Island Communities, 2017-2019 (ESRC-DFID Joint Fund)
  • Marginal or Marginalised? Investigating Discourses of International Land Acquisition in Southern Mozambique, 2015-16 (British Academy)
  • Perceptions and Understandings of Climate Change and Migration: Conceptualising and Contextualising for Lakshadweep and Maldives, 2012-15 (The Research Council of Norway)
  • Involuntary Resettlement and Livelihoods Restoration in Flood-Affected Communities in Mozambique, 2011-13 (British Academy)


I am an environmental geographer, specialising in the study of migration, movement and displacement of people and things. My work is characterised by an environment theme, including climate change, agricultural development and food systems. Much of my empirical research has taken place in the Maldives, Mozambique and the UK.

I have a DPhil in Geography from the University of Oxford on development processes in flood-affected resettlement communities. Prior to joining the University of Reading, I worked as a Consultant for the international firm Environmental Resources Management (ERM) and then as a Research Officer at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS).

Professional bodies/affiliations

My research has been funded by the ESRC, DFID, Australian Research Council, Research Council of Norway and British Academy. I have carried out consultancy for a number of development agencies, including GIZ, Save the Children, Oxfam and WWF. I supervise PhD students funded by the ESRC, Commonwealth Scholarship Commission and Leverhulme Trust. 


  • Cutter, S. , Osman-Elasha, B. , Campbell, J. , Cheong, S. , McCormick, S. , Pulwarty, R. , Supratid, S. , Ziervogel, G. , Calvo, E. , Mutabazi, K. , Arnall, A. , Arnold, M. , Bayer, J. , Bohle, H. , Emrich, C. , Hallegatte, S. , Koelle, B. , Oettle, N. , Polack, E. , Ranger, N. , Rist, S. (2012) Managing the Risks from Climate Extremes at the Local Level. 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