Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Funded PhD in Migration Sustainability

Posted: 5/20/2018 (Employment)

This PhD project seeks to systematically assess the environmental footprint and consequences of population movement in both migration source and destination areas. It builds on theories of migration as social transformation 1, demographic metabolism 2, sustainability science 3 and migration transition theories 4, to incorporate migration into the sustainability paradigm.

The project involves three activities designed to build on knowledge and expertise of the co-supervisory team. First, the research will systematically detail the processes by which migration types (from rural-rural, frontier, rural-urban, international and seasonal): a) create the potential for transformations of well-being; b) affect sustainability indirectly through changing labour demand, resource pressures and demands for services; and c) affect sustainability directly through changing consumption and resource use patterns. The research integrates migration transition types with data on environmental impact, trajectories, and behavioural responses to environmental risks.

Second, the research will develop empirical models to provide country-level patterns of the role of migration in sustainability. The model will be calibrated using existing publicly available demographic, economic, social and political data available from diverse sources: e.g. international migration flows; internal migration flows, and sustainability and environmental data.

The third element involves testing the robustness of the general model through collecting new empirical data on the social processes and environmental outcomes from one major international migration flow: from a selected Pacific island source country, to Australian destination cities and towns. This will involve survey and in-depth social methods collecting data with migrants, return migrants and left-behind populations in both the Pacific island economy and Australia.

The outcome of the project will be the first migration-sustainability model operationalized for all countries and an in-depth examination of its robustness using a discrete international migration flow. Both represent major contributions at the interface of migration studies and sustainability science.

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Deadline: 05/26/2018

Location: University of Queensland