Raya Muttarak profile picture

Raya Muttarak

Principal Research Scholar

Migration and Sustainable Development Research Group

Population and Just Societies Program


Raya Muttarak is the former IIASA Population and Just Societies (POPJUS) Program director and acting Migration and Sustainable Development (MIG) Research Group leader. She is currently professor of Demography and the Department of Statistical Sciences at the University of Bologna, Italy but still maintains close ties with the Population and Just Societies Program at IIASA. She has also been director of Population, Environment, and Sustainable Development at the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital, a cooperation between IIASA, the University of Vienna, and the Austrian Academy of Sciences, since 2017. In 2022, she was appointed editor of the journal, Population and Development Review.

Muttarak holds an MSc and DPhil in Sociology from the University of Oxford, UK, and pursued her postdoctoral research at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, winning first the Max Weber fellowship, followed by the Marie Curie Intra-European Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Muttarak joined IIASA in September 2011, while also working as a research scientist at the Vienna Institute of Demography (VID)/Austrian Academy of Sciences (2011-2017). From 2017-2020, she was a senior lecturer (associate professor) in Geography and International Development at the School of International Development, University of East Anglia, UK. From 2018 to 2020, she served as chair of the Population-Environment Research Network of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP). She is a principle investigator of the European Research Council Consolidator Grant POPCLIMA Project (2002-2026 - Grant Agreement: 101002973), which aims to assess and forecast population dynamics under global climate change.

Her research focuses mainly on the reciprocal relationship between population and the environment. Her current research projects include differential impacts of climate variability on human health, migration, and child welfare; climate change attitudes, voting patterns, and environmental behaviors; and modeling and forecasting future vulnerability and adaptive capacity. She is also actively engaged in empirical studies on a variety of topics ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic and gender disparities, estimates of migration intention to female empowerment, and domestic violence.

She has published widely in the field of population dynamics, environment, and sustainable development, including publications in high impact journals such as Science, Nature Climate Change, Nature Sustainability, The Lancet, and Global Environmental Change.

Last update: 03 FEB 2022