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Dr Sonja Ayeb-Karlsson

Senior Researcher, UCL

Dr Sonja Ayeb-Karlsson’s research is broad and interdisciplinary with a particular focus on policy, intersectionality, and violence, as well as their overlaps with migration and trapped populations, or health and mental wellbeing. She is based at the Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, University College London (UCL), where she leads the ‘Everyday Disasters and Violences Research Group’ and two modules on humanitarian policy and responses to violence and marginalisation. Dr Ayeb-Karlsson is an Honorary Senior Scientist at the UN University’s Migration Section in Bonn, Germany, she leads the mental health work of the Lancet Countdown, and was part of the ‘Royal College of Psychiatrist’s Climate Emergency and Mental Health Task and Finish Group’.

Dr Ayeb-Karlsson is on the SHERA research committee and the Hague Mothers UK steering committee. She is an associate editor for and on the editorial boards of four international high impact academic journals. Her work is well-published and widely covered by media outlets across the world. Currently, she is particularly interested in furthering our understanding of policy protection vs. lack of protection, psychologically ‘trapped’ populations or legal entrapment, and safeguarding through specific legal systems and policy tools (such as Family and Criminal Law, the Human Rights Act, the Istanbul Convention, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child).

Dr Ayeb-Karlsson is available for PhD supervision in any of these research areas as well as work linked to the study of (im)mobility, gender-based and structural violence, conflict and disasters, or policy areas focused on mental health, gender-based violence (conflict, interpersonal, and domestic), child sexual abuse and human trafficking, as well as failed policy protection such as through the use of 'parental alienation' or Hague parental abduction proceedings to continue legal abuse.

Experience

  • 2022–present
    Lecturer in Climate, Policy and Intersectionality, IRDR, UCL
  • 2018–2022
    Senior researcher, UNU-EHS
  • 2015–2022
    Research fellow, University of Sussex / IDS
  • 2018–2020
    Lecturer in Global Health, BSMS, University of Sussex
  • 2013–2018
    Project manager, UNU-EHS

Education

  • 2018 
    University of Sussex and IDS (UK), PhD in Development Studies
  • 2011 
    Stockholm University (Sweden) and Universidade Federal Fluminense (Brazil), B.Sc. International Relations
  • 2009 
    Gotland University (Sweden), M.A. Ethnology (Culture Studies)
  • 2009 
    Södertörn University (Sweden), B.A. European Studies (Ethnology)

Publications

  • 2023
    Waiting for the wave, but missing the tide: Case studies of climate-related (im)mobility and health, Journal of Migration and Health
  • 2022
    Who is the climate-induced trapped figure?, WIREs Climate Change
  • 2022
    A global mental health opportunity: How can cultural concepts of distress broaden the construct of immobility?, Global Environmental Change
  • 2022
    How do population movements fit within the framework of systemic risk?, Progress in Disaster Science
  • 2022
    A healthy planet for a healthy mind , One Earth
  • 2022
    Tracking the impacts of climate change on human health via indicators: lessons from the Lancet Countdown, BMC Public Health
  • 2022
    Economic, Social and Demographic impacts of Drought on treatment adherence among people living with HIV in rural South Africa: a qualitative analysis, Climate Risk Management
  • 2022
    Exploring linkages between drought and HIV treatment adherence in Africa: A Systematic Review, Lancet Planetary Health
  • 2022
    The 2022 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: health at the mercy of fossil fuels, Lancet
  • 2022
    Topic modelling exposes disciplinary divergence in research on the nexus between human mobility and the environment, Humanities and Social Sciences Communications
  • 2022
    Human mobility, natural resources and sustainability: A review and research gap analysis, Sustainability Science
  • 2022
    Island Stories: Mapping the (im)mobility trends of slow onset environmental processes in three island groups of the Philippines, Humanities and Social Sciences Communications
  • 2021
    Correlating heatwaves and relative humidity with suicide (fatal intentional self-harm), Scientific Reports
  • 2021
    The 2021 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: code red for a healthy future, Lancet
  • 2021
    A review of mental health and wellbeing under climate change in small island developing states (SIDS), Environmental Research Letters
  • 2021
    The 2020 report of The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: responding to converging crises, Lancet
  • 2021
    ‘Seeing with Empty Eyes’: a systems approach to understand climate change and mental health in Bangladesh, Climatic Change
  • 2021
    Climate risk in Africa: adaptation and resilience, Springer Nature
  • 2021
    COVID-19 in India: Who are we leaving behind?, Progress in Disaster Science
  • 2020
    ‘I do not like her going to the shelter’: Stories on gendered disaster (im)mobility and wellbeing loss in coastal Bangladesh, International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
  • 2020
    Impacts of the Global Gag Rule on sexual and reproductive health and rights in the Global South: A scoping review, Global Public Health
  • 2020
    Trapped in the prison of the mind: notions of climate-induced (im)mobility decision-making and wellbeing from an urban informal settlement in Bangladesh, Palgrave Communications
  • 2020
    COVID-19: how do you self-isolate in a refugee camp?, International Journal of Public Health
  • 2020
    When the disaster strikes: gendered (im)mobility in Bangladesh, Climate Risk Management
  • 2020
    No power without knowledge: a discursive subjectivities approach to investigate climate-induced (im)mobility and wellbeing, Social Sciences
  • 2020
    ‘When we were children we had dreams, then we came to Dhaka to survive’: urban stories connecting loss of wellbeing, displacement and (im)mobility, Climate and Development
  • 2020
    A Review of Estimating Population Exposure to Sea-Level Rise and the Relevance for Migration, Environmental Research Letters
  • 2019
    Embracing uncertainty: A discursive approach to understanding pathways for climate adaptation in Senegal, Regional Environmental Change
  • 2019
    Climate change, environmental stress and loss of livelihoods can push people towards illegal activities: a case study from coastal Bangladesh, Climate and Development
  • 2019
    I will not go, I cannot go: Cultural and social limits to disaster preparedness in Asia, Africa and Oceania, Disasters
  • 2019
    The 2019 report of The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: ensuring that the health of a child born today is not defined by a changing climate, Lancet
  • 2018
    The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: from 25 years of inaction to a global transformation for public health, Lancet
  • 2018
    A discursive review of the textual use of ‘trapped’ in environmental migration studies: The conceptual birth and troubled teenage years of Trapped Populations, Ambio
  • 2018
    The 2018 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: shaping the health of nations for centuries to come, Lancet
  • 2018
    Environmental migrants, climate ‘refugees’ and sun-seeking expats: capturing the larger context of migration in a changing climate through appropriate and effective behavioural research, Routledge handbook of environmental displacement and migration
  • 2017
    The Lancet countdown: tracking progress on health and climate change, Lancet
  • 2016
    A people-centred perspective on climate change, environmental stress, and livelihood resilience in Bangladesh, Sustainability Science

Grants and Contracts

  • 2022
    How does Violence Against Children intersect with Climate Change (VACCC)
    Role:
    Co-PI
    Funding Source:
    UCL Grand Challenge
  • 2021
    PROtecting the WELLbeing of MIGRANTS in India during the COVID-19 pandemic (PROWELLMIGRANTS)
    Role:
    PI
    Funding Source:
    Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
  • 2021
    Loss and Damage associated with climate change in Vietnam: A case study of the agricultural sector in Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces part of Support to Vietnam for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement (SIPA)
    Role:
    Co-I
    Funding Source:
    GIZ
  • 2019
    DROught, Poverty, and HIV Drug RESISTance: threat to resilience in a vulnerable rural setting (DROP-RESIST)
    Role:
    Co-I
    Funding Source:
    SSPR
  • 2019
    Internal Migration in the Philippines: Adaptation to ClimaTe Change (IMPACT)
    Role:
    PI
    Funding Source:
    GIZ