Accessibility statement

Dr Maria Franco Gavonel


  • Migration
  • Sustainability and sustainable development
  • Human capital 

Areas of expertise 

  • Migration
  • Sustainability and sustainable development
  • Climate change
  • Human capital
  • Economics for public policy


Academic Biography 

I am a lecturer in Global Social Policy and International Development and I joined the School for Business and Society in 2022. My expertise was developed through research and practice in the areas of public policy and international development. In the past, I have worked at the University of Exeter, the University of Oxford, the World Bank, Save the Children, and the Universidad del Pacifico.

I hold a PhD in International Development from the University of Oxford, an MSc in Development Economics and Policy from the University of Manchester, and a BA (Licenciado) in Economics from the Universidad del Pacifico.


My research lies at the intersection of human development and climate change. By examining the drivers and effects of migration, I aim to address the question of whether migration is an effective adaptation strategy to reduce the risk from environmental change and, more generally, whether it contributes to sustainable development. 

I am currently working on Habitable, an EU-funded project that links climate change, habitability, and social tipping points. In particular, I study how small changes in climate variability can lead to substantial changes in out-migration rates, as well as the mechanisms behind this relationship, such as adaptive capacity and mental health, among others. Previously, I worked on Misty, a Belmont Forum project that links migration, transformation, and sustainability. Specifically, I investigated how migration affects different sustainability outcomes, such as material wellbeing, wage inequality, and environmental burden. In addition, my doctoral thesis looked at the nexus between climate-related migration and cognitive and socioemotional skills among young people.

My geographical focus is diverse. Although most of my work relates to the Global South (mainly Africa, Asia, and Latin America), I have also undertaken research involving the Global North. My research is mostly quantitative; however, I am also familiar with qualitative techniques and mixed-methods.


Szaboova, Lucy, Ricardo Safra de Campos, W. Neil Adger, Mumuni Abu, Samuel Nii Ardey Codjoe, Maria Franco Gavonel, Shouvik Das, Tasneem Siddiqui, Mahmudol H Rocky, Sugata Hazra, (2022) ‘Urban sustainability and the subjective wellbeing of migrants: The role of risks, place attachment, and aspirations’ Population, Space and Place, Vol 28, Issue 1, e2505, pp 1-14.

Franco Gavonel, Maria, W. Neil Adger, Ricardo Safra de Campos, Emily Boyd, Edward R. Carr, Anita Fábos, Sonja Fransen, Dominique Jolivet, Caroline Zickgraf, Samuel Codjoe, Mumuni Abu, and Tasneem Siddiqui (2021) ‘The migration-sustainability paradox: Transformations in mobile worlds’ Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Vol 49, pp 98-109. 

Adger, W. Neil, Ricardo Safra de Campos, Samuel Nii Ardey Codjoe, Tasneem Siddiqui, Sugata Hazra, Shouvik Das, Helen Adams, Maria Franco Gavonel, Colette Mortreux, and Mumuni Abu (2021) ‘Role of perceived environmental risks and insecurity in migration intentions in hazardous migration source areas’, One Earth, Vol. 4 Issue 1, pp 146-157.  

Adger, W. Neil, Ricardo Safra de Campos, Tasneem Siddiqui, Maria Franco Gavonel, Lucy Szaboova, Mahmudol Rocky, Mohammad Rashed Alam Bhuiyan, and Tamim Billah (2021) ‘Human security of urban migrant populations affected by length of residence and environmental hazards’, Journal of Peace Research, Vol 58 Issue 1, pp 50-66. 

Franco Gavonel, Maria (2012) ‘Incorporando el Indice de Pobreza Multidimensional en la Inversión Social’ [Including the Multidimensional Poverty Index into Social Investment], in Social Investment: Indicators, datasets and initiatives, Enrique Vásquez (ed.), Lima: Universidad del Pacifico. 

Vásquez, Enrique and Maria Franco Gavonel (2008) ‘La (in)viabilidad de la fusión de los programas sociales en el Perú’ [The (Un)feasibility of Merging Social Programmes in Peru], in Revista APUNTES N° 62. Lima: Universidad del Pacifico.


I coordinate two modules from the MPA in International Development:
  • Theories of Development Governance
  • Social and Political Issues in Development (led by Sophie Mackinder)




 ‌Maria Franco Gavonel

Contact details

Dr Maria Franco Gavonel
Lecturer in Global Social Policy and International Development
School for Business and Society
Room number: CL/A/013

Tel: +44 (0)1904 32 3811