François Gemenne is a specialist of environmental geopolitics and migration dynamics at the University of Liège, where he is a FNRS senior research associate and the Director of the Hugo Observatory. He also heads the Observatory on Defence and Climate of the French Ministry of Defence, jointly with Bastien Alex at IRIS. He also lectures on climate change and migration policies in various universities, including Sciences Po (Paris and Grenoble) and the Free University of Brussels, where he holds the Bernheim Chair on Peace and Citizenship.
As a lead author for the IPCC, his research deals mostly with environmental and migration governance. He has worked in particular with populations displaced by environmental changes, including natural disasters, and the policies of adaptation to climate change. He has conducted field studies in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, Tuvalu, China, Kyrgyzstan, the Maldives, Mauritius and Japan, after the Fukushima disaster. He has been involved in a large number of international research projects on these issues, including EACH-FOR, HELIX, EDGE and MECLEP, for which he is the global research coordinator. He also coordinated the DEVAST project, one of the first international projects to examine the social and political consequences of the Fukushima disaster. In 2015, he was recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to pursue research at Princeton University.
He has also been the scientific advisor of the exhibition ‘Native Land. Stop Eject’ at the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, in Paris. He has consulted for several organisations, including the International Organisation of Migration (IOM), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank, the ACP Observatory on Migration and the British government (Foresight). In 2010, he was awarded the ISDT-Wernaers Prize for achievement in the communication of science to the general public. He holds a joint doctorate in political science from Sciences Po Paris and the University of Liege (Belgium). He also holds a Master in Development, Environment and Societies from the University of Louvain, as well as a Master of Research in Political Science from the London School of Economics. Between 2008 and 2010, he was awarded a post-doctoral scholarship from the AXA Research Fund.
He has published in various journals, including Science and Global Environmental Change, and has authored several books, amongst which ‘Géopolitique du Climat’ (Armand Colin, 2009 & 2015), ‘The Anthropocene and the Global Environmental Crisis’ (edited with C. Hamilton and C. Bonneuil, Routledge 2015), an Atlas of Environmental Migration (with D. Ionesco et D. Mokhnacheva, Routledge 2016) and most recently ‘Atlas de l’Anthropocène’ (with A. Rankovic and Atelier de cartographie de Sciences Po, Presses de Sciences Po 2019). He is also the director of the Sustainable Development series at Presses de Sciences Po, a leading French academic publisher, and the President of the Board of the NGO Climate Voices, which seeks to connect youth from the global North and the global South around climate issues.