I am the Charles B. Nam Associate Professor of Sociology at Florida State University and a faculty affiliate in the Center for Demography and Population Health. My expertise is at the intersection of demography, migration, population projections, and climate change.
I have received the Cozzarelli Prize from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine for best paper in the Social and Behavioral sciences published in the Proceedings of the National Academies, twice received the E. Walter Terrie Award for the best paper on Applied Demography, and the University of Georgia awarded me an Excellence-in-Research Award for my dissertation on sea level rise and human migration. More than 800 media outlets have covered my research including Time Magazine, the New York Times, the Guardian, the Washington Post, and National Geographic, amongst others. Prior to arriving at FSU, I spent nearly a decade directing the Applied Demography Program at the University of Georgia.
My dissertation work concerned forecasting the destinations of populations displaced by sea-level rise in the United States and has garnered more than 1,100 citations since 2016.
PhD in Geography, 2016
University of Georgia
MS Demography, 2008
Florida State University
BS Sociology, 2007
Florida State University
Anthropogenic sea-level rise (SLR) is predicted to impact, and, in many cases, displace, a large proportion of the population via inundation and heightened SLR-related hazards. With the global coastal population projected to surpass one billion people this century, SLR might be among the most costly and permanent future consequences of climate change. In this Review, we synthesize the rapidly expanding knowledge of human mobility and migration responses to SLR, providing a coherent roadmap for future SLR research and associated policy. While it is often assumed that direct inundation forces a migration, we discuss how mobility responses are instead driven by a diversity of socioeconomic and demographic factors, which, in some cases, do not result in a migration response. We link SLR hazards with potential mechanisms of migration and the associated governmental or institutional policies that operate as obstacles or facilitators for that migration. Specific examples from the USA, Bangladesh and atoll island nations are used to contextualize these concepts. However, further research is needed on the fundamental mechanisms underlying SLR migration, tipping points, thresholds and feedbacks, risk perception and migration to fully understand migration responses to SLR.