Griet Steel studied Cultural Anthropology at the University of Leiden. From 2003 she worked on a PhD project at the Centre for Latin American Studies in Amsterdam. In 2008 she obtained her PhD degree from Utrecht University. Up till 2013 she was an affiliated lecturer and researcher at the Institute of Development Policy and Management at the University of Antwerp. Since 2014, she combines her work as a senior researcher at the International Development Studies group at Utrecht University with a position as post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Anthropological Research in Africa at the KU Leuven.
Griet Steel has a specific research interest in the way human mobility, as an important dimension of globalisation, has shaped urban development processes in the Global South. She has been conducting empirical research on livelihood strategies and mobility dynamics of street vendors, youngsters and transnational migrants in several Latin American cities. More recently she extended her geographical focus to the African continent by focusing on rural-urban dynamics, transnational migration, micro-entrepreneurship and the role of new communication technologies. For the University of Utrecht, she is currently engaged in an EU-FP7 project, entitled African rural-city connections (Rurban Africa).