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 migration, urbanization, and technological change. A specific interest lies at the nexus of translocal social formations of people, how they use information and communication technology (ICT), and how this changes their scope for agency and their vulnerability and resilience. The conceptual frameworks I work with include relational sociology, structure-agency and practice theories, and relational approaches to space and place. I have conducted field work in Bangladesh, Thailand, Kenya, Somalia, and Guatemala. I have done my Diplom (MSc) in geography at the University of Cologne and a postgraduate course in international development cooperation with the SLE at the Humboldt-University Berlin. My PhD thesis focuses on mobile communication and translocal social relations of rural-to-urban migrants in Bangladesh. In the past, I have coordinated the TransRe research group at the University of Bonn, which focuses 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


Showing entries 1 - 20 out of 47

Sterly, H., & Wirkus, L. (Accepted/In press). Analysing refugees’ secondary mobility using mobile phone Call Detail Records (CDR). In Data Science for Migration and Mobility (pp. 99-120). Oxford University Press.

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. 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. 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]. doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abc0764

Boas, I., Farbotko, C., Adams, H., Sterly, H., Bush, S., Van der Geest, K., Wiegel, H., Ashraf, H., Baldwin, A., Bettini, G., Blondin, S., de Bruijn, M., Durand-Delacre, D., Fröhlich, C., Gioli, G., Guaita, L., Hut, E., Jarawura, F. X., Lamers, M., ... Hulme, M. (2019). Climate migration myths. Nature Climate Change, 9(12), 901-903. doi.org/10.1038/s41558-019-0633-3

Sterly, H., Etzold, B., Wirkus, L., Sakdapolrak, P., Schewe, J., Schleussner, C-F., & Hennig, B. (2019). AROMA_CoDa: Assessing Refugees’ Onward Mobility through the Analysis of Communication Data. Paper presented at Data for Refugees Challange, Istanbul, Turkey.

Sterly, H., Etzold, B., Wirkus, L., Sakdapolrak, P., Schewe, J., Schleussner, C-F., & Hennig, B. (2019). AROMACoDa: Assessing Refugees' Onward Mobility through the Analysis of Communication Data. In A. A. Salah, A. Pentland, B. Lepri, E. Letouzé, Y-A. de Montjoye, X. Dong, & P. Vinck (Eds.), Your Voice, Your Data, Your Future (pp. 70-82) www.researchgate.net/publication/330999866_AROMA_CoDa_Assessing_Refugees'_Onward_Mobility_through_the_Analysis_of_Communication_Data

Sterly, H., Etzold, B., Wirkus, L., Sakdapolrak, P., Schewe, J., Schleussner, C-F., & Hennig, B. (2019). Assessing Refugees’ Onward Mobility with Mobile Phone Data—A Case Study of (Syrian) Refugees in Turkey. In A. A. Salah, A. Pentland, B. Lepri, & E. Letouzé (Eds.), Guide to Mobile Data Analytics in Refugee Scenarios: The 'Data for Refugees Challenge' Study (pp. 251-263). Springer. doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-12554-7_13

Sterly, H. (2019). Coordinating the Research Programme. In F. Kraas, K. Hackenbroch, H. Sterly, J. Heintzenberg, P. Herrle, & V. Kreibich (Eds.), MegaCities MegaChallenge - Informal Dynamics of Gobal Change (pp. 160-161). Bornträger.

Showing entries 1 - 20 out of 47