Julia M. Blocher

HABITABLE: Linking Climate Change, Habitability and Social Tipping Points: Scenarios for Climate Migration (EU Horizon 2020)

Julia Blocher is leading the FutureLab's work on "HABITABLE: Linking Climate Change, Habitability and Social Tipping Points: Scenarios for Climate Migration" (EU Horizon 2020), and is a Ph.D. candidate at Humboldt University in Berlin and an Associate Member of the Hugo Observatory  (University of Liège, Belgium). She previously contributed to the "East Africa, Peru, India Climate Capacities" (EPICC) and the "Governance of Climate Change and Human Mobility" projects at PIK. Prior to joining PIK, Ms. Blocher was a Project Manager at the United Nations University Centre for Policy Research in New York (UNU-CPR), a think tank within the UN system. She is also the President of the International Youth Federation (IYF). 

Ms. Blocher's main research interests are in the interaction of political, social, and environmental factors in human mobility outcomes - migration, displacement and planned relocations - in the context of climate change. As part of her work, she is interested in social and political factors contributing to resource-based tensions and conflict dynamics. She has conducted studies on environment, climate change, and human mobility linkages in the Pacific small island states and in the East and Horn of Africa (Tanzania and Ethiopia). Her previous work has included field-based research for the International Organization for Migration (IOM)-led ‘Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Evidence for Policy’ (MECLEP) and for the FP7 Consortium ‘High-End cLimate Impact eXtremes’ (HELIX) projects.

She has recently lectured at MCI Innsbruck, Sciences Po Paris, Sorbonne Paris Cité (Paris XIII) and Addis Ababa University. She previously worked for the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC-NRC) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). She holds a Master 2 from Sciences Po Paris and Bachelor's degree with distinctions from Johns Hopkins University. She speaks English and French as well as some Spanish, German, and Swahili.

Selected Publications


Book Chapters & Research Reports

Opinions and Editorials

  • Blocher, Julia and Manuel Orozco. “Points-Based Immigration Doesn’t Add Up.” The Hill. 19 August 2017.
  • Blocher, Julia. “Global Compact on Migration Should Focus on Harnessing Its Win-Win Benefits.” Huffington Post, the Conversation. 12 May 2017.
  • Blocher, Julia. “Challenging the picture of disaster-induced displacement: the evolving reality post-Typhoon Haiyan.” Opinion. IDMC. 27 May 2014, Web.
  • Blocher, Julia. "Displaced by disasters: 32.4 million people uprooted in both rich and poor countriesy" Editorial. IDMC. 13 May 2013, Web.

Selected Lectures & Conferences

Presentations & Lectures

  • Measuring the migration-environment nexus: State of the Art.” Conference: International Forum on Migration Statistics (Paris, 15-16 January 2018).
  • Keynote: “Separating Fact from Fiction: Migration and Displacement in the Age of Climate Change” Symposium: Planetary Health: A Good Life for All? (Innsbruck, 22-23 November 2017).

  • Policy maker training: “Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Evidence for Policy” (Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 26-28 October 2015)

  •  “Migration and climate change in East Africa: the role of livelihood vulnerability.” Conference: Coping with Climate and Environment Changes in the Horn of Africa (HoA-REC&N – Addis Ababa, 7-9 April 2015).

  • “Longitudinal evaluations of migration-related adaptation programs: planned relocation and resettlement” Conference: “Longitudinal Research on Environmental Change and Migration a Workshop on Objectives, Methods and Applicability to Policy and Practice” (World Bank– Washington, D.C. 19-20 March 2015).

Organization of Conferences

  • “Combining quantitative and qualitative methods for a better understanding of the climate change-migration nexus” (Seville, 28-29 Sept, 2015). Presentation: “A mixed methods approach to environmental migration: Lessons from MECLEP
  • “High-End Climate Impacts and eXtremes (HELIX) Project Annual Meeting” (Liège, 14-17 Sept, 2015). Organizers: Center for Ethnic and Migration Studies (CEDEM) - University of Liège. Presentation: “Climate extremes, livelihoods security and potential mobility responses”



Curriculum Vitae

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