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Doctoral Researcher in climate impact, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Julia Blocher is a Doctoral Researcher at PIK as well as a Ph.D. candidate and an Associate Member of the Hugo Observatory (University of Liège, Belgium). She is currently contributing to the "East Africa, Peru, India Climate Capacities" (EPICC) Project and the "Governance of Climate Change and Human Mobility Project" at PIK. 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.

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 has recently lectured at 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.


  • –present
    Research Officer, Climate Change and Migration, United Nations University