Research Officer, United Nations University

Julia Blocher joined the United Nations University Office to the United Nations as Research Officer in January 2016. Her main research interests are in the geopolitical impacts of climate change and migration, displacement and planned relocations. She is also an avid communicator and active on social media.

Ms. Blocher is also a Ph.D candidate and Associate Member of the Hugo Observatory at the University of Liege (Belgium), conducting 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 the office in New York, Ms. Blocher was a Visiting Scientist at the UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and a Research Assistant for the “Politics of the Earth” Program at Sciences Po Paris. She has recently lectured in environmental geopolitics and the governance of migration and asylum at Sciences Po Paris, Sorbonne Paris Cité (Paris XIII) and Addis Ababa University.

She previously worked for 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.

Research Interests:

Asylum and migration policy
Climate risk
Disaster displacement
Environmental geopolitics
Planned relocation and resettlement policy
Border policy


Ph.D Candidate in Political Science, University of Liège
(2011): Master 2, Affaires internationales: environnement, dévelopment durable et risques (U.S. Equivalent: International Development), Sciences Po Paris
(2009): B.A. (General Hons, Departmental Hons, Dean’s list 2007-2009) International Studies and French, Johns Hopkins University


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