UCL Department of Geography


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  • Professor Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Professor of Migration Studies
    Elena specialises in forced migration and conflict-induced displacement, with a particular thematic interest in gender, generation and religion, and a regional focus on the Middle East and North Africa. She is currently the PI of two major projects: Local Experiences of Displacement from Syria (AHRC-ESRC, 2016-2020) and Analysing South-South Humanitarian Responses to Displacement from Syria: Views from Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey (European Research Council, 2017-2022). She is also the Director of UCL's Refuge in a Moving World network, and co-editor of the journal Migration and Society. E-mail:
    • Dr Johanna Waters, Associate Professor in Human Geography. Johanna is interested in researching the intersection of migration and education - particularly the mobilities of children, young people and households in search of educational opportunities. She is co-editor of the journal Migration and Society. E-mail:
      • Professor John Salt, Professor Emeritus in Geography
        John specialises in international migration in Europe and the United Kingdom and his major fields of interest are highly skilled migration, and human smuggling and trafficking.
      • Former Co-Director: The late Professor Claire Dwyer, Professor of Human Geography was Co-Director of the MRU until 2019. Claire was a hugely influential scholar, who specialised in transnationalism and diaspora identities with a particular interest in faith and migration. On 23 June 2020, the MRU will be convening a conference in her memory - more information will be posted soon on our News and Events page.

      To be included in our directory of UCL researchers, please contact and/or DM us on @UCL_MRU. See here for a list of UCL researchers focusing on refugees and displacement.

      • Bayes Ahmed, Lecturer UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction: Bayes's research focuses on disaster risk reduction (DRR), conflict and migration, climate change adaptation, community vulnerability and resilience, and climate justice. He works in the intersection between conflict and disaster with a vision to help improving the living standards of forced migrants and stateless population. Email:
      • Nazneen Ahmed
      • Dr Charlotte Al-Khalili, MRU Research Fellow. Charlotte is a social anthropologist trained in philosophy. Her research explores the nexus between revolution and displacement, looking at the effects of the 2011 revolution and its aftermaths on displaced Syrians’ lifeworlds. Mapping out Syrians’ evolving understandings, imagination and conceptualizations of revolution and displacement, her PhD analysed the emergence of alternative definitions of these phenomena. Her current research examines Syrian civil society’s answers to displacement in Turkey, tracing their origins to religious and political groups in both revolutionary and pre-revolutionary times. Email:
      • Tom Bailey, MRU Leverhulme Artist in Residence: Tom is a theatre maker and director. Creating work through his company, The Mechanical Animal Corporation, he has developed work across the UK, and internationally in Egypt and Finland. He read English at UCL (2007). In 2016 he was making theatre with refugees in the Good Chance theatre in the Calais 'Jungle'. During his residency with the Migration Research Unit Tom will be researching and developing work that explores migration through live performance. Throughout 2017 and 2018, Tom has run a series of workshops around his research, and has presented developmental performances of 'Zugunruhe'.
      • Imogen Bakelmun, Gender and Migration Officer at the Institute of Global Health: Imogen works on the SELMA project, a policy analysis and modelling project in Qatar, Pakistan, UK and Norway, which aims to reveal how structural drivers impact sexual and gender-based violence and the sexual health and rights of migrants and refugees. She has a particular interest in the intersections of cultural practice and academic research, and is the lead on creative pubic engagement in the Centre for Gender and Global Health. Previously, she has worked on community-based cultural initiatives across Latin America, particularly with migrants and refugees in Mexico.
      • Victoria Bauer, Research Officer: Victoria is responsible for producing the quantitative sections of the annual SOPEMI report. She also supports various statistical projects and publications as analyst - data manipulation and visualization.
      • Prof. Brad Blitz (IRIS) Professor of International Politics and Policy at UCL, Institute of Education (IRIS). He was until June 2019 Director of the British Academy Programme on Tackling Slavery, Human Trafficking and Child Labour in Modern Business; Professor of International Politics at Middlesex University Business School and Visiting Professor in the Institute of Global Affairs at the London School of Economics. He is an applied social scientist who received his Ph.D. in International Development and Education from Stanford University. He has published extensively on issues of governance, human rights, social policy, migration, political transition, labour, health and security. He has served as a consultant to several international and development agencies including DFID, the World Bank, Council of Europe, as well as several governments. Email:
      • Dr. Estella Carpi is a Research Associate in the Department of Geography (UCL). She is a social anthropologist primarily focusing on social responses to crisis and crisis management, displacement and forced migrations in the Arab Levant. After studying Arabic in Damascus (Syria), she worked for several academic and research institutions in Egypt, Australia, Lebanon, Italy, and the United Arab Emirates.
      • Dr. Elaine Chase (UCL-Institute of Education): Elaine is Senior Lecturer in Education, Health Promotion and International Development in the Department of Education, Practice and Society at UCL-IOE. Her research interests include the intersection between migration and wellbeing outcomes. Her current research investigates the outcomes for independent migrant and refugee children as they make the transition to ‘adulthood’.
      • Dr. Adam Dennett (CASA): Adam is a Lecturer in Smart Cities and Urban Analytics in the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), at UCL. He was the lead research on the migration stream of the Explaining, Modelling & Forecasting Global Dynamics (ENFOLD-ing) project.
      • Dr. Delan Devakumar (UCL Institute for Global Health): Delan is a clinical lecturer in the UCL Institute for Global Health. He is a medical doctor with experience in clinical paediatrics and public health. His research is on maternal and child health and is part of the Lancet Commission on Migration and Health.
      • Dr. Janet Dobson (Department of Geography), Honorary Senior Research Associate: Janet specialises in child migration and its implications for the education system, as well as having a wider interest in contemporary international migration in the UK.
      • Dr. Oliver Duke-Williams is Senior Lecturer in Digital Information Studies in the Department of Information Studies at UCL, where his research includes web-based access to geographic data (including presentation of spatial data, and dissemination of demographic data); disclosure control issues, especially those associated with migration and commuting data, and the past, present and future of census taking and other demographic information capture in the UK. His particular interest is in interaction data - flows of people between places through internal migration and commuting (access to the flow data is via the Flowdata website). Email:
      • Dr. Selma Akay Erturk is a Visiting Research Fellow at the UCL-Migration Research Unit. She is Associate Professor in Human Geography at Istanbul University (Turkey), and her research interests include migration in the Middle East and North Africa and in the Balkans, and on the social, economic and cultural effects of migration on rural and urban areas. Selma has published on Syria refugees’ and migrants’ experiences in Turkey, including Syrian refugees’ involvement in the agricultural sector in Turkey; this is an area she is exploring further during her Visiting Fellowship. E-mail: Akays@Istanbul.Edu.Tr
      • Dr. Jo Evans (Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies): Jo Evans has research interests in Spanish film and literature, feminist and psychoanalytical narrative and film theory, theories of space and mobility, national identity and migration.
      • Dr. Adele Galipo (UCL-Institute of Education): Adele is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Institute of Education whose research interests include transnationalism, diasporas and migrants return; urban diversity; development and humanitarian interventions; and nation-building processes. Her regional focus is the Horn of Africa, particularly the Somali region.
      • Dr Pooya Ghoddousi is a Teaching Fellow in Global Migration at UCL. His research focuses on migrant solidarities in urban areas, with the specific case of middling Iranians in London. Pooya’s research uses the concept of nomadism to go beyond socially or geographically bounded notions of diaspora, identity, or community in urban and migration studies. He practiced and taught architecture in Iran and the UAE before joining the Centre for Sustainable Development to work with and learn from Iranian pastoral nomads. Email:
      • Aydan Greatrick, Refugee Hosts Project Coordinator: Aydan is responsible for the coordination of the MRU based AHRC-ESRC funded Refugee Hosts project investigating Local Community Experiences of and Responses to Conflict-Induced Displacement from Syria: Views from Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. The project is led by Prof. Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh. Aydan's research interests focus on the intersections of gender, sexuality and religion in responses to and engagements with forced migrants. Email:
      • Dr. Humera Iqbal (UCL-Institute of Education): Humera is interested in the migration experiences of families and young people, in particular how they engage with institutions in new settings (e.g. through language brokering). Her wider interests include relationships developed in superdiverse and mixed class settings particularly by young people and in relation to parenting and family life (including ethnic-racial socialisation practices and mixed friendships). E-mail:
      • Prof. Tariq Jazeel, Professor of Human Geography. Tariq’s research is situated at the intersections of cultural geography, postcolonial theory and South Asian Studies. He is interested in the politics of ethnicity and difference in Sri Lanka and the diasporic and transnational forms of South Asian Cultural production.
      • Dr Ruth Cheung Judge, Post-doctoral Marie Curie Scholar. Ruth's research looks at the trajectories of young people of Nigerian descent living in the UK and US who are sent, or choose, to return to Nigeria for schooling. Her Phd at UCL focused on volunteer tourism for non-elite young people in the UK. She has wider interest in voluntourism trips to Africa for young people.
      • Prof. Ilan Kelman (@IlanKelmanis Professor of Disasters and Health at UCL and a Professor II at the University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway. His overall research interest is linking disasters and health, including the integration of climate change into disaster research and health research. That covers three main areas: (i) disaster diplomacy and health diplomacy ; (ii) island sustainability involving safe and healthy communities in isolated locations; and (iii) risk education for health and disasters. Email:
      • Dr Meena Khatwa is Research Associate at the UCL-IOE Social Science Department. Dr Khatwa's research interests include BAME/migrant communities, gender, families and identity. She draws on qualitative research methods - particularly narrative and oral history - in addition to undertaking systematic reviews, on health issues with a specialism in qualitative synthesis and thematic analysis. Dr Khatwa's thesis, 'Life Journeys: Narratives of Hindu Mothers & Daughters in British Homes' (2004), explored migration, home, identity and belonging. between systematic reviews, module leader on Introduction to Qualitative Methods, dissertation supervision in social policy and social research methods and personal tutoring. She was previously the seminar leader on the Migration and Society module on the BSc Social Sciences. Email:
      • Dr Veena Meetoo is Research Officer at UCL Institute of Education. Her interests include the intersections of 'race', ethnicity gender and migration, particularly in relation to South Asian and Muslim girls, and migrant students.
      • Dr. Francesca Meloni (UCL-Institute of Education): Francesca is Research Associate at UCL Institute of Education's Centre for Education and International Development. She is an anthropologist whose research focuses on migrant young people, precarious status, social belonging, and access to social services.
      • Prof. Richard Mole (SSEES), Professor of Political Sociology. Richard's research examines the experiences of LGBTQ asylum-seekers/refugees from Russia and other post-Soviet states. It examines the politicisation of non-normative sexual and gender identities in the former USSR, the different forms of persecution by the state and society in the post-Soviet space as well as the narratives LGBTQ asylum-seekers need to produce to make their claims understandable in the West.
      • Dr. Helene Neveu-Kringelbach is Lecturer in African Studies at UCL. She has research interests in transnational families, Francophone Africa and arts and migration particularly dance and music.
      • Dr Marta Niccolai is Teaching Fellow at the Department of Italian. Her research focuses on theatre events performed in war territories, primarily the Middle East, and in Europe, that explore human rights and refugees’ rights. She analyses the methodology applied and how the actor’s body and voice is used to encourage a deeper understanding between geographically and culturally different people who are brought closer by forced migration. E-mail:
      • Dr. Amy North, Associate Professor in the Centre for Education and International Development at UCL-IOE. Her research interests include a concern with educational systems and practices in contexts of poverty, with a particular focus on gender and inequality, and the relationship between education and migration. Email:
      • Dr. Anna Oltman is Lecturer in Human Rights in the Department of Political Science (UCL), where she conducts research on the institutional and political sources of compliance with international human rights agreements. Her current project focuses on the individualized systems through which countries process claims to asylum, what are known as “Refugee Status Determination” procedures, and the shortcomings of individual rights claims for providing protection to vulnerable migrant communities. In related research, she investigates the use of migrant classifications as a tool of foreign policy. In addition, she is presently researching the impact of gendered and heteronormative conceptions of political persecution on the provision of asylum in the United States. Email:
      • Kristine Husøy Onarheim is a medical doctor and a research fellow in health policy at the Institute for Global Health. She works on the SELMA project, which aims to study public policy responses to improve the sexual and reproductive health of migrants and refugees. In her PhD, Onarheim explored priority setting and intra-household resource allocation for newborn health in Ethiopia (University of Bergen, Norway). Her wide-ranging research on priority setting in global health include work on women’s health, children’s health, universal health coverage, migrant health, access to medicines, and governance. She has been a visiting researcher at Harvard University. As a medical doctor, she has clinical experience from Norway, Ethiopia and India. Onarheim was a founding member of the Lancet Youth Commission on Essential Medicines Policies and an intern at the WHO. Email:
      • Dr Amira Osman, Research Fellow at the UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR). Amira's research interests include gender and forced migration, humanitarian intervention, conflict resolution and peace building, gender analysis, and the use of evidence to inform policy-making. E-mail:
      • Dr. Ben Page, Reader in Geography: Ben's research examines the relationship between migration and international development, particularly in relation to African home associations both in Africa and in the international diaspora. E-mail:
      • Dr. Rachel Rosen (UCL-Institute of Education): Rachel is an Associate Professor in Childhood in the Department of Social Science at UCL-IOE. Her research interests include child and family migration, with a focus on the intersections of unequal childhoods, migration and care/stratified social reproduction. Her work contributes to debates about the politics of children and childhood; changing adult-child relations in the context of neo-liberal migration and welfare regimes; and how and to what effect children are involved in migration processes. She is currently co-leading an ESRC-project (Children Caring on the Move) and leading a BA/Leverhulme-funded project: Social reproduction in the shadows: migrant mothers and children with “no recourse to public funds”. E-mail:
      • Dr. Uta Staiger (European Institute/History): Uta is Executive Director of UCL’s European Institute and a teaching fellow in UCL History. She has research interests in German political thought and the role of culture for citizenship and democracy, both in political thought and in policy developments over the course of European integration.
      • Dr Tatiana Thieme (Geography): Tatiana's research focuses on urban informality and precarity particularly in East Africa. Her current projects include research in informal refugee settlements in Athens, Paris, Berlin and Budapest funded by the British Academy Camps2Cities. E-mail:
      • Professor Anne White (SSEES): Anne White is Professor of Polish Studies and Social and Political Science at UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies. She is a specialist in Polish migration, as well as Central and East European migration more broadly. Her research spans sending and receiving societies and has a strong gender dimension. Email:
      • Dr Ralph Wilde (UCL-Laws) is an expert in public international law, and also has an interest in the interface between international law and related academic disciplines, including international relations and legal and political theory. His research on migration has included work on UNHCR administration of camps housing refugees and IDPs, and the extraterritorial application of human rights and refugee law in the migration context, from sea-rescues to the extraterritorial posting of border officials.

      • Rachel BenchekrounMothers with insecure immigration status in an inner London neighbourhood: the impact of immigration status on the development of mothers’ social networks, and the role of these in shaping experiences and practices of belonging, inclusion and exclusion.
      • Ana Bleahu: Seasonal Migrants in Spain: Going to the Pentecostal Portable Church
      • Christie Cheng: Migrant Labour Films in Contemporary Southeast Asia
      • Laura Cuch: Food, faith and home: A visual exploration of religious and domestic material culture
      • Khatereh Eghdamian: Rethinking Religion in Humanitarianism beyond Identity Politics: Discursive representations of Syrian refugees and their effects on religious minorities in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
      • Claire Fletcher
      • Aydan Greatrick: Queer Identities in Conflict: Responses to LGBT Refugees in Germany and England
      • Nicola Horne: Oyinbo as Other: The making and meanings of whiteness in Lagos, Nigeria
      • Chia-Yuan Huang: Global Mobility of Talents: Taiwanese Highly Skilled Migrant Workers to Shanghai and Singapore
      • Shayan Moftizadeh: Exploring identities among the second generation Kurdish diaspora in the UK
      • Tatianna Rodrigues: Migration and regional identity in CARICOM: a case study of Guyana and Barbados
      • Diego Garcia Rodriguez: Exploring gender, sexuality and Islam: An ethnography of religious empowerment in Indonesia
      • Katy Taylor-Helps: Motherland and Militancy, Giving and Taking Life: Female Perpetration of Proscribed Violence, and Gendered National Identity Construction in Lebanon and Palestine
      • Victoria Tecca, Department of Anthropology: Livestreaming Displacement: digital practices among Kurdish refugees in Grande-Synthe camp.
      • Sinthujan Varatharajah: Suspended in this disjunction: the German asylum complex.
      • Dr Suriyah Bi 2019: The Feminisation of Marriage: Ghar Dhamads, Generational Shifts, and Global vs. Local in Birmingham’s British-Pakistani Community
      • Dr Alex Ma 2019: The making of a new Asian tiger? Myanmar labour migration to Singapore, and remittance-led development
      • Dr Tom Brocket 2018: Between West Bank and East Coast: Making Palestinian heritage in and from the United States
      • Dr Sarah Kunz 2018: Privileged migration: expatriate communities in Cairo and London
      • Dr Sainabou Taal 2017: Development and International Migration: understanding the drive for political intervention in the Gambian diaspora
      • Dr Kate Kingsford 2016: Learning to be a woman: gender and identity in Zanzibar
      • Dr Ruth Judge 2016: From the council estate to the African Orphanage: the impact of low-income youth’s voluntary encounters overseas on class and race identity
      • Dr Gayle Munro 2015: Transnational lives? The experiences of migrants for the former Yugoslavia in Britain
      • Dr Caitlin O’Neil 2014: Coming of age in the United States, Becoming Mexican(-American): A study of how young Mexican women engage with ideas of womanhood, family and ‘Mexicanness’ in San Diego, California
      • Dr Cinzia Poles 2013: Negotiating Power between Civil Society and the State: the Formulation of Asylum Policies in Italy and in the United Kingdom
      • Dr Lauren Wagner 2011: Transnational identities of second generation Moroccans in France and UK
      • Dr Ben Lampert 2010: Diaspora and Development? Nigerian organisations in London and the transnational politics of obligation and belonging
      • Dr Lia Schimada 2010: Transforming Earth and Fire: New narratives of identity and place in the Northern Ireland peace process
      • Dr Violetta Parutis 2008: Lithuanian and Polish migrants in London
      • Dr Elaine Ho 2007: Singaporean skilled migrants in London
      • Dr Magali Moreau: "Cutting the heart of Tanzania?" Refugees, livelihoods and resources: a political ecology of Mtabila camp, Tanzania.
      • Professor Paul Compton, Honorary Research Fellow: Paul specialises in European demography and international migration in Hungary.
      • Dr. Paul Densham, Reader in Geography: Paul specialises in Geographical Information Systems.
      • Professor John Eade: John Eade is Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Roehampton University and Executive Director of CRONEM (Centre for Research on Nationalism, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism) at Surrey and Roehampton universities. John was a visiting Professor in the MRU between 2010-2013.
      • Dr. Pablo Mateos, Formerly Lecturer in Geography, UCL now Reader in Social Anthropology Research Centre (CIESAS) in Guadalajara, Mexico: Pablo focuses on investigating new ontologies and geographic visualisations of ethnicity, migration and mobility. His recent work has focused on residential segregation, categorisations of ethnicity, the geography of names, and the spatial analysis of populations and neighbourhoods in the UK, Spain, US and Mexico.
      • Professor Peter Wood, Professor Emeritus in Geography: Peter specialises in the internationalisation of expert labour.
      • Dr. Péter Berta: Péter is Marie Curie Research Fellow at School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL (Politics & Sociology) and a senior researcher at the Institute for Ethnology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Budapest). He is an economic and social anthropologist concentrating on Central and Eastern Europe, especially Romania and Hungary.
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