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JPEGLecturer in geography in the Asie du Sud et Himalaya Dept, INALCO

Contact : ornella.puschiasis [at]

Research in progress :

In order to extend my work on mobility and the socio-spatial restructurings that accompany it, my current research focuses on new forms of relations to space that are created during a migrant’s journey. I’m now looking into the reconfiguration of the local level via the circulation of knowledge and practices through the use of new information and communication technologies. My work is dedicated to integrating new articulations of territories and transfer modalities.

Research Experience

Although most of my fieldwork takes place in the Nepalese Himalayas and in the United States, I recently had the opportunity of working on French concerns when I took part in setting up the SOCLIM (SOCiété Climat) research project funded by the Rhine-Meuse Water Agency in collaboration with the University of Lorraine and the École Nationale du Génie de l’Eau et de l’Environnement de Strasbourg (ENGEES). In 2018, I carried out post-doctoral work within UMR GESTE (GEStion Territoriale de l’Eau et de l’Environnement) on territorial knowledge of water and climate change in the Rhine-Meuse catchment area.

Prior to that, I contributed as a post-doctoral student to the ANR PRESHINE project (Pressure of water and soil resources in the Nepalese Himalayas) at the Centre for Himalayan Studies, a CNRS research unit. In 2016 I studied the effect of the Sherpa population’s spatial mobilities between Nepal and the United States on water and soil management. This work was a follow-up to my PhD in geography, which I defended in 2015 and which focused on perceptions of variations in water resource availability and on possible links to climate change among Sherpas in the Khumbu (Everest) region of Nepal. Parallel to that, I joined the interdisciplinary project ANR PAPRIKA : "CryosPheric responses to Anthropogenic PRessures in the HIndu Kush-Himalaya regions : impact on water resources and society’s adaptation in Nepal".

Keywords :
- Perception and representation of environmental changes
- Translocal and transnational circulation of knowledge and practices
- Access to and management of water

Fieldwork :
- USA (New York)
- Nepal (high mountains, Khumbu valley, Kathmandu)

Main publications :

- Puschiasis O. (2015). Des enjeux planétaires aux perceptions locales du changement climatique : pratiques et discours au fil de l’eau chez les Sherpa du Khumbu (Everest, Népal). Doctoral dissertation in geography. Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense.

- Smadja J., Aubriot O., Puschiasis O., Duplan T., Grimaldi J., Hugonnet M. et Buchheit P. (2015) Changement climatique et ressource en eau en Himalaya, Revue de géographie alpine

- Aubriot O., Smadja J., Arnaud Y.,Chevallier P., Delclaux F.,Laj P., Neppel L., Puschiasis O.,Savéan M. and Seidel J.L.,(2012) The impact of climate change on water availability for population in Eastern Nepal ; a methodological approach taking into account the various origins of water. Hydro Nepal, Proceedings of National Conference on Water, Food Security and Climate Change in Nepal.

- Gasselin P., Puschiasis O., Bourliaud J. and Metais S., (2010) La fertilité revisitée : innovation et crise des agricultures de l’altiplano bolivien. Proceedings of International conference ISDA, Montpellier.

Main papers :

- "De ’yak-driver’ à ’taxi-driver’ : les pratiques de mobilité des Sherpa du Khumbu (Népal) à New York" Café géographique Chambéry, 12 October
- "Where is ’local’ ? The changing knowledge about climate in Khumbu". International Conference of the Society for Social Studies of Science/European Association for Study of Science and Technology. Session "Local knowledge in a changing climate : the experimental politics of coproduction ». Barcelona (Spain), 31 August-3 September
- “Assessing climate change through the lens of water : local perceptions among Sherpas in Khumbu (Everest region)“. Research seminar at the centre Martin Chautari . Kathmandu (Nepal), 16 July
- “From global issues to local perceptions of climate change : practices and discourse regarding water resources among the Sherpas of Khumbu (Everest region, Nepal)” International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). Kathmandu (Nepal),12 April

- "Entre données quantitatives et données qualitatives : regards croisés sur le changement climatique et l’eau dans la région de l’Everest". Journée d’étude Perception du changement climatique et enjeux de la gestion de l’eaudans le cadre de la COP21. Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre, 30 November.

- "Au-delà des discours sur la fonte des glaciers : entre pratiques et savoirs, Vallée du Khumbu (région de l’Everest), Népal". Séminaire perception du climat. EHESS. 23 January.

Other activites :

Since 2015 - Member of Réseau Chercheurs Népal a network of researchers concerned about Nepal in the wake of the April 2015 earthquake.

Since 2012 - Member of rés-EAUx : network in Social Sciences on Water at the University of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense.
Video (in French) : "Ornella Puschiasis, aux sources d’une recherche" dated June 2013

For her thesis, Ornella Puschiasis spent more than a year in Nepal in the village of Pangboche. The main purpose of her work was to study the impact of changes in water availability on populations in a region that is regarded as being highly affected by climate change. A memorable scientific and human experience...