Dr. Olivier Walther
Affiliate Faculty, Center for African Studies
Faculty Member, Sahel Research Group
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I am an Assistant Professor in Geography at the University of Florida and an affiliated researcher at the UF Sahel Research Group. Before coming to Florida, I held faculty appointments at the University of Southern Denmark and Rutgers University and worked as a researcher at the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research. In the last twelve years, my research has focused on the development of cross-border trade and the emergence of transnational political violence in West Africa. I have conducted fieldwork in Niger, Nigeria, Benin, Mali, Mauritania and Ghana. My research has pioneered the introduction of social network analysis to the study of borderlands in West Africa. I have served as a lead investigator or collaborator on externally funded research projects from the United Nations, NASA, the European Commission, the European Spatial Planning Observatory, the Danish Agency for Science and Technology and the Luxembourg National Research Fund. Currently, I am coordinating the West Africa research program of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), with a core objective to better understand political insecurity in the region.
- GEO 3502, 2020 Economic Geography
CPO4721 Politics of Ethnic Conflict
Recent Funded Projects
Linking deforestation, urbanization, and agricultural expansion for land-use decisions in Ghana (GALUP) Co-Investigator (PI: Jasmeet Judge). Funded by NASA SERVIR-USAID
Insecurity in the Sahel. Principal Investigator. Funded by the OECD.
Cities and Borders. Co-Principal Investigator. Funded by the OECD.
Gender and Markets: Empowering Women in West African Markets. Co-Investigator. Funded by the World Food Programme.
Transnational Extremist Organizations Network. Principal Investigator. Funded by Danish Agency for Science and Technology.
West African Perspectives Program III: Cross-Border Cooperation. Principal Investigator. Funded by the OECD.
West African Perspectives Program II: Atlas of the Sahel-Sahara. Co-Investigator. Funded by the OECD.
Walther O, Leuprecht C, Skillicorn D. 2020. Political fragmentation and alliances among armed non-state actors in North and Western Africa (1997-2014). Terrorism and Political Violence 32(1): 167-186.
Walther O, Dambo L, Koné M, van Eupen M. 2019. Mapping travel time to assess accessibility in West Africa: The role of borders, checkpoints and road conditions. Journal of Transport Geography 82
Walther O, Klatt M, Boedeltje F. 2019. Mapping international co-authorship networks in border studies (1986-2018). Journal of Borderlands Studies
Walther O, Tenikue M, Trémolières M. 2019. Economic performance, gender and social networks in West African food systems. World Development 124: 1-14.
Skillicorn D, Walther O, Leuprecht C, Zheng Q. 2019. The diffusion and permeability of political violence in North and West Africa. Terrorism and Political Violence DOI:10.1080/09546553.2019.1598388.
Walther O, Leuprecht C, Skillicorn D. 2017. Political fragmentation and alliances among armed non-state actors in North and Western Africa (1997-2014). Terrorism and Political Violence DOI:10.1080/09546553.2017.1364635.
Leuprecht C. Walther O, Skillicorn D, Ryde-Collins H. 2017. Hezbollah’s global tentacles: A relational approach to convergence with transnational organised crime. Terrorism and Political Violence DOI:10.1080/09546553.2015.1089863
Kuépié M, Tenikue M, Walther O. 2016. Social networks and small businesses performance in West African border regions. Oxford Development Studies DOI:10.1080/13600818.2015.1082540
- PhD in Geography, University of Lausanne, 2006
- M.S. in Advanced Studies in Development Studies, University of Geneva, 2004
- M.S. in Geography, University of Lausanne, 2001
- B.S. in Geography, University of Lausanne, 1999
Current Graduate Students
Recent Graduate StudentsWalther