Sonja Ayeb-Karlsson

Senior Researcher, Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), United Nations University

Dr Sonja Ayeb-Karlsson is a Senior Researcher at UN University's Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and a Lecturer at University of Sussex who researches (mental) health, wellbeing, (im)mobility and migration, in the context of environmental stress and climatic changes.

She also leads the work on mental health and extreme-event lethality, migration, displacement and child vulnerability within the Lancet Countdown's WG1 and WG2. The Lancet Countdown is tracking the connections between health and climate change until 2030.


  • 2018–present
    Senior researcher, UNU-EHS
  • 2019–present
    Lecturer in Global Health, BSMS, University of Sussex
  • 2015–present
    Associate tutor, University of Sussex / IDS
  • 2013–2018
    Gibika Project Manager, UNU-EHS


  • 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)


  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 2018
    The 2018 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: shaping the health of nations for centuries to come, 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
  • 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