Raya Muttarak — Program Director, IIASA Population and Just Societies Program
Raya Muttarak is the Program Director of the IIASA Population and Just Societies (POPJUS) Program and Acting Research Group Leader of the Migration and Sustainable Development (MIG) research group. Since 2017, 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.
Dr. Muttarak holds an MSc and DPhil in Sociology from the University of Oxford, and pursued her postdoctoral research at the European University Institute in Florence, winning first the Max Weber fellowship, followed by the Marie Curie Intra-European Postdoctoral Fellowship. She 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.
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. In 2018-20, she served as a Chair of Population-Environment Research Network of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP).
Dr. Muttarak's research focuses mainly on the reciprocal relationship between population and the environment. Her current research projects include: 1) Differential impacts of climate variability on human health, migration and child welfare, 2) Climate change attitudes, voting patterns and environmental behaviours, 3) Modeling and forecasting future vulnerability and adaptive capacity. Furthermore, 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.