Department of Geography

Human migration

Our work aims to understand, quantify and model the complex nature of future migration flows arising from the inter-dependencies of climate with socio-economic, political and demographic changes. We use cutting edge Agent Based Modeling tools based on our extensive fieldwork to represent and simulate past and future migration flows in relation to climate and other drivers of change. The work is informing policies at international regional and national levels to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience of households and the community.

This work takes advantage of Sussex's links with DFID's RPC on Migrating out of Poverty and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (Kniveton is a visiting scientist at ICIMOD)

Key staff: Dom Kniveton, Chris Smith

Example projects

  • Royal Geograhical Society-IBG's Field Research Programme grant: Social and Environmental Implications of Migration
    This is a 3-yr year
project involving a multi-disciplinary research team from UK universities and international research partners. It focuses on migration and the vulnerability of migrants in some of the world’s most
pressured cities in Africa and Asia.
  • EU Marie Curie International Outgoing fellowship ‘Trapped: Modelling trapped populations in the lower Mekong basin’. This project examines populations that may be unable to migrate because of the impacts of climate variability and change.
  • CDKN, Climate change related migration in Bangladesh
    See more details and policy briefings from this collaboration between the University of Sussex and  the Bangladesh’s Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit
  • Watch a short documentary film which explores the stories behind this research: Climate change and migration – Living on the Go

Selected Publications

De Caux, R., Smith, C., Kniveton, D., et al 2014: Dynamic, Small-World Social Network Generation Through Local Agent Interactions.  Complexity, 19(6):  44-53.

Kniveton, D.R., Smith, C.D., and Black, R., 2012: Emerging migration flows in a changing climate in dryland Africa. Nature Climate Change, 10.1038/NCLIMATE1447

Kniveton, D.R., Smith C.D., and Wood, S., 2011: Agent-based model simulations of future changes in migration flows for Burkina Faso. Global Environmental Change, 21, Supplement 1, December 2011, Pages S34-S40

Black, R., Kniveton, D.R., and Schmidt-Verkerk, K. 2011: Migration and climate change: towards an integrated assessment of sensitivity. Environment and Planning A. 43(2) 431 – 450.

Film of some of the work in Bangladesh