Photo of Michael Collyer

Michael Collyer
Professor of Geography (Geography)
T: +44 (0)1273 872772 or +44 (0)1273 877238


Michael is primarily a political geographer with an interest in the relationship between people on the move and states. His research focuses on three areas: 1. undocumented migration, detention and return; 2.  forced migration, internal displacement and refugee movement; 3. the geopolitics of migration control. He is interested in both applied and theoretical research in all of these areas and has conducted a wide range of research consultancies for UN bodies and national governments as well as regular funded research.

Recent research projects have concerned undocumented migrants and refugees in Morocco, constructions of transnational space in the Moroccan diaspora, the resettlement process as experienced by refugees from Kenya in Brighton, the impact of external conflict on refugees in the UK and internal displacement, readmission and return in Sri Lanka. Research has been funded by the ESRC, European Commission, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Nuffield Foundation and British Academy, amongst others.

His is currently leading or coordinating Sussex's role in five large research projects and a number of smaller ones: 

Migrants on the Margins. this is the Field Research Programme of the Royal Geographical Society it focuses on migration, environmental change and urbanisation in 4 cities. 

'Optimsing Refugee Resettlement in the UK' (,

'Negotiating the Nation: implications of religious diversity for national identity', coordinated by PRIO, Oslo ( 

INTEGRIM Marie Curie network (

Temper project on temporary and permanent migration to the EU (