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Geography and Environmental Science
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Dr Alessandro Sorichetta PhD

Associate Professor

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Associate Professor in Applied Geospatial Research

Alessandro is an Associate Professor at WorldPop and the Centre for Environmental Sciences within the School of Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Southampton. He graduated in Geological Sciences at the University of Camerino (Italy) in 2001 and received his PhD in Earth Sciences (hydrogeology) from the University of Milan in 2011. Before starting his PhD, he worked as a Research Scholar at the City University of New York (CUNY) and a Research Assistant at the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) of Columbia University. After completing his PhD, Alessandro was a Grantholder at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission until he joined WorldPop in 2014.


2011 – PhD in Earth Sciences, University of Milan, Italy

2001 – MSc Degree in Geological Sciences, University of Camerino, Italy


2020-Present: Associate Professor, WorldPop, School of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Southampton

2018-2020: Principal Research Fellow, WorldPop, School of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Southampton

2016-2018: Senior Research Fellow, WorldPop, School of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Southampton

2014-2016: Research Fellow, WorldPop, School of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Southampton

2012-2014: Grantholder, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Joint Research Centre, European Commission

2011-2012: Research Fellow, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Milan

2006-2007: Research Assistant, CIESIN, Earth Institute, Columbia University

2005-2007: Research Assistant, CUNY Research Foundation

2004-2007: Research Scholar, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, CUNY Queens College

Research Interests and Highlights

Alessandro has broad research interests around the interaction between humans and the environment. Within WorldPop his research activities focus mainly on improving the demographic evidence base in low- and middle-income countries to support health, environmental, disaster, and development applications. In particular, Alessandro is leading the development of cutting-edge approaches, integrating data from multiple sources, to (i) model population distribution, including its demographic characteristics, over time and space, (ii) estimate human mobility and connectivity at multiple temporal and spatial scale, and (iii) assess urbanization and its effect on multiple environmental matrices.

PhD Supervision

2016- 2020: Jeremiah J. Nieves; School of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Southampton (Title: Modelling global human settlements to better inform annual population modelling)

2012-2016: Dr Stefania Stevenazzi, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Milan (Title: Time-dependent methods to evaluate the effects of urban sprawl on groundwater quality).

PhD research

Title: Groundwater vulnerability assessment using statistical methods

Supervisors: Professor Marco Masetti, Professor Giovanni Pietro Beretta

Funding Agency: Doctoral School of Earth, Environment and Biodiversity, University of Milan

Research Highlights

In 2018, as a member of WordPop, Alessandro also received the Vice-Chancellor’s Research Impact Award, from the University of Southampton, for his contribution to the delivery of impactful research having real economic and social benefit for the world. In 2017, he received the 2016 IPUMS International Research Award, from the Minnesota Population Center, which honours the best published research using IPUMS International data to advance/deepen the understanding of social and demographic processes. In 2016, Alessandro’s research on migration was also covered on the front page of European Hospital @Medica.

Alessandro is currently involved in POPGRID Data Collaborative which main objective is to bring together and expand the international community of data providers, users, and sponsors concerned with georeferenced data on population, human settlements and infrastructure.

Additionally, Alessandro is also contributing to the GEO Human Planet Initiative, which main aim is to develop a new generation of measurements and information products providing new a more integrated understanding of the human presence on planet Earth and new goal-driven metrics in support of post-2015 international frameworks.

Finally, Alessandro is a member of the United Nations Network on Migration “Thematic Working Group 1 Data”, aiming at developing and implementing a global programme to build and enhance national capacities in migration data collection, analysis and dissemination

Recent research projects

2019-Present: Mapping seasonal denominator dynamics in low and middle income settings (Funding Agency: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)

2018-PresentLand Use Status, Change and Impacts in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos (Funding Agency: NASA LCLUC Program)

2018-2019: Mapping gender-disaggregated migration flows at sub-national scales for low and middle-income countries (Funding Agency: Swiss Confederation, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Human Security Division.)

2016-2019: High resolution global mapping of women of childbearing age, pregnancies and births for Zika burden estimation (Funding Agency: Wellcome Trust)

2016-2018: Updated malaria elimination feasibility ranking and regional elimination block analysis (Funding Agency: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)

2015-2018: Global high resolution population denominators (Funding Agency: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)

2014-2017: High Resolution demographic and mobility mapping (Funding Agency: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)

2014-2016: Synthetic populations for malaria modelling (Funding Agency: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation/Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute)

2013-2016: Mega Urban Changes and Impacts in the Decade of the 2000s (Funding Agency: NASA LCLUC Program)


Research group

Population, Health and Wellbeing (PHeW)

Affiliate research groups

WorldPop, Centre for Environmental Sciences

Research project(s)

Mapping gender-disaggregated migration movements at subnational scales in and between low- and middle-income countries

Mapping seasonal denominator dynamics in low and middle income settings (Seasonality)

Editorial Responsibilities

2020-Present: Editorial Board Member of Scientific Data

2020-Present: Editorial Board Member of Remote Sensing (Environmental Remote Sensing section)

2019-Present: Guest Editor of Remote Sensing for the Special Issue “Modelling Built-Settlements from, between, and beyond Remotely-Sensed Observations

2015-2020: Editorial Board Member of the Italian Journal of Groundwater

2012-2014: Associate Editor of the International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructure Research (IJSDIR).

Other Advisory Roles

2020-Present: Member of the United Nations Network on Migration “Thematic Working Group 1 Data

2020-Present: Member of the Programme Committee of the Expert Workshop “Human Migration: potential areas for combinations of Big Data” held at SocInfo2020, Pisa, Italy (Oct 6th, 2020)

2019-Present: Member of the SoGES Management Group (University of Southampton)

2019-Present: Member of the WorldPop Portfolio Management Team

2017-Present: Member of the POPGRID Data Collaborative “Population Intercomparison/Validation Working Group”

2017-2019: Member of the GEO Human Planet Initiative Steering Committee

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Book Chapter



Undergraduate and Postgraduate Teaching

2020/21-Present: ENVS1004 Environmental Science: Concepts and Communication (lecturer and tutor)

2020/21-Present: ENVS1006 Environmental Science: Research and Applications (lecturer)

2020/21-Present: ENVS1007 Environmental Field Techniques and Applications (lecturer)

2020/21-Present: ENVS2007/ENVS6006 Environmental Pollution (lecturer)

2020/21-Present: ENVS3024 Literature Review (project supervisor)

2020/21-Present: ENVS6036 Advanced GIS and Spatial Analysis (lecturer)

2019/20-Present: ENVS3019 Individual Project (project supervisor)

2019/20-Present: ENVS6009 Advanced Research Project (project supervisor)

2019/20-Present: MEDI6071 Dissertation by Research/Professional Project (project supervisor)

2018/19-2019/20: SOES2038 Exploration Geophysics and Remote Sensing (Remote Sensing-component lead and lecturer)

2017/18-Present: GEOG6109 Programming for GIS and Spatial Analyses (lecturer)

2015/16-Present: GEOG6061/68 Core Skills in GIS (lecturer)

Other Educational Activities

2018: Worldpop Winter School on Spatial Demography (organizer and lecturer)

Dr Alessandro Sorichetta
Regus, Cumberland House, Grosvenor Square
Southampton, SO15 2BG, UK

Room Number : 39/2011

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