Dr. Harald Sterly

Senior Scientist




Department of Geography and Regional Research
Universitätsstraße 7/5, D512
1010 Wien

Tel.: +43-1-4277-48731

Email: harald.sterly@univie.ac.at


As a human geographer, I focus on the spatial and social aspects of the intersection of climate and environmental change and different forms of mobility and migration. A specific interest lies on the outcomes of migration and translocal connectivities on the scope for people's agency and their vulnerability and resilience. At present, I am based as a Senior Scientist in the Department of Geography at the University of Vienna, from where I conduct empirical research with mixed methods approaches in Europe, Africa, as well as in Southeast, Central and South Asia. I have done my Diploma (MSc) in Geography at the University of Cologne and a postgraduate course in international development cooperation at the Humboldt-University Berlin. My PhD thesis focused on mobile communication and translocal social relations of rural-to-urban migrants in Bangladesh. In the past, I have coordinated research projects on mega-urban dynamics and informality in Bangladesh and China, and on the linkages between migration, translocal connections and social resilience in Thailand.

Research interests

Conceptual: spatiality of livelihoods, translocality, relational sociology, practice theories, science and technology studies, communication and digitalization

Thematic: migration, vulnerability, urbanization, rural-urban relations, development

Regional: South East Asia (Thailand), South Asia (Bangladesh), East Africa (Kenya, Somalia)

Current Research Projects

  • AGRUMIG – "Leaving something behind" – Migration governance and agricultural and rural change in "home" communities: comparative experience from Europe, Asia and Africa
  • HABITABLE – Linking Climate Change, Habitability and Social Tipping Points: Scenarios for Climate Migration
  • Migration Moldova – Mainstreaming the Migration and Climate Change Perspective into the National Adaptation Plan-2 and Agriculture Sectoral Adaptation Plan on Climate Change


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Oakes, R., van der Geest, K., Schraven, B., Adaawen, S., Ayeb-Karlsson, S., de Sherbinin, A., Etzold, B., Groth, J., Hermans, K., Lakemann, S., Nawrotzki, R., Rademacher-Schulz, C., Romankiewicz, C., Serraglio, D. A., Sterly, H., Thalheimer, L., Wiederkehr, C., & Williams, D. (2023). A future agenda for research on climate change and human mobility. International Migration, 61(5), 116-125. https://doi.org/10.1111/imig.13169

Sterly, H., & Wirkus, L. (2022). Analysing refugees’ secondary mobility using mobile phone Call Detail Records (CDR). In A. A. Salah, E. E. Korkmaz, & T. Bircan (Eds.), Data Science for Migration and Mobility (pp. 99-120). Oxford University Press. Proceedings of the British Academy Vol. 251

Sakdapolrak, P., Stange, G., & Sterly, H. (2021). Bevölkerungsdynamiken im Kontext des globalen Umweltwandels. In B. Braun, I. Helbrecht, R. Schneider-Sliwa, & R. Wehrhahn (Eds.), Humangeographie (pp. 149-158). Westermann. Compass: das geographische Seminar

Durand-Delacre, D., Bettini, G., Nash, S. L., Sterly, H., Gioli, G., Hut, E., Boas, I., Farbotko, C., Sakdapolrak, P., de Bruijn, M., Furlong, B. T., van der Geest, K., Lietaer, S., & Hulme, M. (2021). Climate Migration is About People, not Numbers. In S. Böhm, & S. Sullivan (Eds.), Negotiating Climate Change in Crisis (pp. 63-81). Open Book Publishers. https://books.openbookpublishers.com/10.11647/obp.0265.06.pdf

Sterly, H., & Wirkus, L. (2021). Mobilfunkdaten: Forschungsethische Probleme bei der Arbeit mit Mobilfunkdaten in Kontexten von Migration und Flucht. In T. Bork-Hüffer, H. Füller, & T. Straube (Eds.), Handbuch Digitale Geographien: Welt - Wissen - Werkzeuge (pp. 343-353). UTB.

Hermans, K., Berger, E., Biber-Freudenberg, L., Bossenbroek, L., Ebeler, L., Groth, J., Hack, J., Hanspach, J., Soekardjo Hintz, K., Kimengsi, J. N., Kwong, Y. M., Oakes, R., Pagogna, R., Plieninger, T., Sterly, H., van der Geest, K., van Vliet, J., & Wiederkehr, C. (2021). Crisis-induced disruptions in place-based social-ecological research – an opportunity for redirection. GAIA - Ökologische Perspektiven in Natur-, Geistes- und Wirtschaftswissenschaften, 30(2), 72-76. https://doi.org/10.14512/gaia.30.2.3

Oliver, N., Lepri, B., Sterly, H., Lambiotte, R., Delataille, S., De Nadai, M., Letouzé, E., Ali Salah, A., Benjamins, R., Cattuto, C., Colizza, V., de Cordes, N., Fraiberger, S. P., Koebe, T., Lehmann, S., Murillo, J., Pentland, A., N Pham, P., Pivetta, F., ... Vinck, P. (2020). Mobile phone data for informing public health actions across the COVID-19 pandemic life cycle. Science Advances, 6(23), [eabc0764]. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abc0764

Showing entries 1 - 20 out of 53