Staff Profile: Dr. Andreas Kopf


Office: CELT Room 106
Tel. Ext.: 32173


MA (University of Mannheim, Germany); PhD (USP, Fiji)

Research Area

environmental and climate change, social inequality, migration and development, Sustainable Development


I was born and raised in Germany, where I attended the University of Mannheim and obtained my Master of Arts degree in Sociology and Socio-Economic History in 2010. During my learning journey in Mannheim, I had developed a keen interest on environmental problems and how society creates and handles these issues and gained the necessary theoretical knowledge and research skills to take on the next step in my life which led me to the South Pacific. In 2012, I started pursuing my doctoral research in Environmental and Development Sociology and graduated in 2017 with a PhD for which I was awarded a prestigious university prize (The Gold Medal and Vice-Chancellor and President’s Prize for the best PhD graduate).

Courses taught:

SO122 Classical Sociological Theories and Methodologies (Semester 2)
SO200 Modern Social Theory (Semester 1)
SO401 Sociological Theory (Semester 1)

Research Interests:

My main research interest is assessing the challenges vulnerable households and communities face from environmental change, particularly climate change, and how they adapt. More specifically, I am interested in understanding and explaining the adaptation decision making processes among human and social systems to current and future impacts of climate change. Based on sociological, psychological and human-geographical theories and concepts, my doctoral dissertation investigated grassroots’ knowledge, understanding, and perceptions of, and responses to climate change in various rural communities in Fiji. Additionally, I researched gendered aspects of climate change vulnerability in Fiji and the political discourses surrounding international climate change negotiations from a Small Islands Developing States perspective. I also have published on various aspects challenges of social-economic development in the Pacific. My current research focuses social vulnerability in a multi-hazard context in the Pacific Island region.

Graduate Supervision

Current PhD students:

  • Sunia Baikeirewa PhD in Social Policy on Multi-stakeholder perceptions of climate finance effectiveness for relocation in Fiji: A case-study from two relocated communities (primary supervisor)
  • Afrada Atika Shah PhD in Psychology on Psychological Dimensions of Environmental Threats: A Qualitative Exploration among Fijians with Disabilities exposed to Cyclones (co-supervisor)

Current MA students:

  • Mashnil Shinoy MA in Sociology on Primary prevention programs and policies on violence against women and girls from the perspectives of young Indo-Fijian women living in informal settlements in Suva (co-supervisor)
  • Malakai Waqa MA Sociology on Human displacement and impact on indigenous identity; case study of two frontier communities in Fiji (primary supervisor)
  • Seforsa Waisele MA in Sociology on a Critical examination of Support Services for Persons with Disabilities in Fiji (primary supervisor)

Completed MA students:

  • Sam Kaiapam MA in Sociology on Impacts of Labour Migration on Migrants and their Families: A Case Study of Vanuatu (Co-supervisor)
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