Short CV/Education and training

  • 1978
    M.A. in Geography

  • 1979 – 1985
    Assistant and research associate at Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen, Dept. of Geography

  • 1985 – 1988
    Postdoctoral fellow at the Nepal Research Program of the German Research Council (DFG)

  • 1989 – 1996
    Senior Scientist at Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen, Dept. of Geography

  • 1996 – 2002
    Associate Professor (Extraordinaria) of Geography at Zurich University

  • Since 2002
    Full Professor of Geography at Zurich-University, Head of the Human Geography Division

Selected publications

  • Gurung, G.S., Thapa, K., Kunkel, K., Thapa, G. J., Kollmair, M. & Müller-Böker, U. (2011): Enhancing herders' livelihood and conserving the snow leopard in Nepal. Cat News, 55 Autumn: 17-21.

  • Poertner, E., Junginger, M., Müller-Böker, U. (2011): Migration in Far West Nepal. Challenging Migration Categories and Theoretical Lenses. Critical Asian Studies 43:4, 661-665.

  • Poertner, E., Junginger, M., Müller-Böker, U. (2011): Migration in Far West Nepal. Intergenerational linkages between internal and international migration of rural-to-urban migrants. Critical Asian Studies 43 (1): 23-47.

  • Upadhayaya, P. K., Müller-Böker, U., & Sharma, S. R. (2011): Tourism amidst armed conflict: Consequences, copings, and creativity for peace-building through tourism in Nepal. The Journal of Tourism and Peace Research 1(2): 22-40.

  • Geiser, U., Müller-Böker, U. Ramakumar, R. Shahbaz, B., Steimann, B. & Thieme, S. (2011): Towards an analytical livelihoods perspective in critical development research. In: In: Wiesmann, U. & Hurni, H. (eds. with an international group of co-editors): Research for Sustainable Development: Foundations, Experiences, and Perspectives. Perspectives of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South, University of Bern, Vol. 6. Bern, Switzerland: Geographica Bernensia: 257-271.

    Thieme, S., Müller-Böker, U. & Backhaus, N. (2011): Women's livelihoods in a transnational social space: Labour migration from Far West Nepal to Delhi, India. In: Raju, Saraswati (ed.): Gendered Geographies. Space and Place in South Asia. Oxford University Press India, Delhi 60-81.

  • Uperti, B.R. & Müller-Böker, U. eds. (2010): Livelihoods insecurity and social conflict in Nepal. South Asia Regional Coordination Office, NCCR North-South, Kathmandu (275 pages).

  • Shahbaz, B., C. P., Vinod, Geiser, U. Sadaf, T., Schärer, L. & Müller-Böker,, U. (2010): Access to livelihood assets: Insights from South Asia on how institutions work. In: Hurni, H. & Wiesmann, U. (eds.): Global Change and Sustainable Development: A Synthesis of Regional Experiences from Research Partnerships. Perspectives of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South, University of Bern, Vol. 5. Bern, Switzerland: Geographica Bernensia: 283-297.

  • Thieme, S. & Müller-Böker, U. (2010): Social networks and migration: Women's livelihoods between Far West Nepal and Delhi. European Bulletin of Himalayan Research 35-36: 107-121.

  • Junker, B., Buchecker, M. & Müller-Böker, U. (2007): Objectives of public participation: Which actors should be involved in the decision-making for river restorations? Water Resources Research 43 (10): W10438, doi: 10.1029/2006WR005584: 11 p.

  • Locher, M. & Müller-Böker, U. (2007): 'But now men also listen to the women'. Women's-Development approach in the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project, East Nepal. Asiatische Studien, Études Asiatiques LXI (4): 1113-1139.

  • Kianicka, S., Buchecker, M., Hunziker, M. & Müller-Böker, U. (2006): Locals' and tourists' sense of place: A case study of a Swiss Alpine village. Mountain Research and Development 26 (1): 55-63.

  • Molesworth, K. & Müller-Böker, U. (2005): The local impact of under-realisation of the Lumbini Master Plan: A field report. Contributions to Nepalese Studies 32 (2): 183-211.

  • Thieme, S., Bhattrai, R., Gurung, Ganesh, Kollmair, M., Manandhar, S. & Müller-Böker, U. (2005): Addressing Nepalese migrant workers' needs. Mountain Research and Development 25 (2): 109-114.

  • Haupt, F. & Müller-Böker, U. (2005): Grounded research and practice. PAMS – a transdisciplinary programme component of the NCCR North-South. Mountain Research and Development 25 (2): 100-103.

  • Thieme, S. & Müller-Böker, U. (2004): Financial self-help associations among Far West Nepalese labor migrants in Delhi, India. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal 13 (3): 339-361.

  • Müller-Böker, U. & Kollmair, M. (2000): Livelihood strategies and local perceptions of a new nature conservation project in Nepal. The Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project. Mountain Research and Development 20 (4): 324-331.

  • Müller-Böker, U. (1999): The Chitawan Tharus in Southern Nepal. An Ethnoecological Approach. Nepal Research Centre Publications, No 21. Kathmandu, Stuttgart (224 pages).

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • National Center of Competence in Research North-Sout: Research Partnerships for Sustainable Development (Phase 3): Thematic Node 1: Institutions, livelihoods and conflicts (SNSF, SDC)

  • Negotiating rural development in South Asia's periphery (SNSF)

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

Scientific offices and functions held at the University of Zurich

  • Deputy Director of the Department of Geography, since 2010

  • Director of Zurich Graduate School in Geography, since 2010

  • BoD member of International (interuniversity) Graduate School North-South, since 2010

  • Steering Committee North South Partnerships UZH, since 2008

  • University Commission: International Relationships, since 2004

  • University Zurich Priority Research Programme: Asia and Europe, since 2005

  • Executive Committee of University Zurich Priority Research Programme: Asia and Europe, 2005 – 2009

  • President of MNF-Commission: Promotion of Young Researchers, University of Zurich, 1999 – 2003

Scientific offices and functions held outside the University of Zurich

  • Corresponding member of Austrian Academy of Science, since 2011

  • Member ad personam of Swiss Commission for Research Partnerships in Developing Countries (KFPE), 2010 – 2011

  • Council of European Association of South-Asian Studies, since 2010

  • Vice-President of Geographic Ethnographic Society of Zurich, since 2004

  • BoD National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South, since 2001

  • Swiss UNESCO commission, domaines sciences naturelles, 2000 – 2008

  • President of Geographic Ethnographic Society of Zurich, 2001 – 2004

  • Advisory Board of Interacadémique Commission de Recherche Alpine (ICAS), 1999 – 2002

  • Chairing (together with H.-G. Bohle) the VGDH Study Group: Development Theories, since 1997

Review activities

  • Scientific journals, research councils and institutions (e.g. SNSF, DFG, RCN, ETHZ, VW-Stiftung, NGS)

  • Appointment committees (Germany, Switzerland, Thailand, USA)

  • Habilitations and promotions


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