Nina Goldman, PhD

Human geographer and social science enthusiast.

I am a human geographer in a love affair with the social sciences. My interests are wide-ranging and not confined to disciplinary boundaries, so I’ll enjoy anything that will tweak my brain. In my research, I am concerned with the question of how an urban environment can affect the wellbeing and health of its inhabitants. My new passion project is called: A Geography of Loneliness. Reach out via the contact form, if you’re interested in collaborating.

I grew up in a bilingual household (English/German) which resulted in my becoming an expert in cultural misunderstandings with an odd love for peas.

When I’m not working on my research, I enjoy introducing young people to sailing, by taking them on week-long trips around the Mediterranean or Baltic Sea. I discovered sailing back in 2011. After a 4 month trip around Europe in 2014 I became part of the active skipper group who are also responsible for the maintenance of two sailing catamarans.

Upcoming talks: 

  • Referentin und Podiumsgast an der Kinder- und Jugendkonferenz, 21. Nov. 2024, Binningen, Schweiz.
  • Podiumsgast an der 6. Fachtagung Sozialplanung und Soziale Arbeit zum Thema “Einsamkeit als gesellschaftliche Herausforderung“, 14. Mai 2025, Olten, Schweiz.

My Projects

Reach out if you want to know more about any specific project.


  • A Geography of loneliness (03/2023-02/2025). A collaboration project with two wonderful experts from the University of Manchester and Imperial College London. Building on existing work at ICL, expanding it to two European cities (Basel and Manchester) and adding a geographic and social perspective. This project is part of my PostDoc.Mobility Fellowship, which is funded by the SNSF for 24 months with CHF 110,330.  Recording of a public lecture held in May 2022 and the slide deck.
  • Consultation on an international Loneliness study for a large multinational cooperation (2023/24).
  • Commissioned by the World Health Organization to conduct a global review of loneliness policies (since 2024).
  • Talk: Dialogabend über Einsamkeit. Gesellschaftliche Perspektiven, politische Impulse und nachbarschaftliche Ansätze (May 2024), Basel, Switzerland.
  • Keynote: Einsamkeit: Theorie, Implikationen und Interventionen at 26. Österreichische Gesundheitsförderungskonferenz, (June 2024), Villach, Austria. Aufnahme des Vortrages hier.
  • Presentation at the 2024 Global Loneliness Awareness Summit (June 2024), Washington D.C., USA. Watch it here (my talk starts at 34:16).


  • Pilot project (09/2022-02/2023): Loneliness amongst University Students. As part of a research seminar in geography, I developed a questionnaire on this topic with my students, in which we first surveyed students at the University of Basel. The aim of our study is to find out how widespread loneliness and social isolation are among students at the University of Basel and what circumstances can lead to this. We would like to show how students can best be supported so that they feel less lonely or isolated.
  • Social media recruitment for research studies (09/2021-06/2022). Postdoctoral research unravels the benefits and challenges of using social media for research study recruitment based on insights from an interview study with multidisciplinary experts. This was part of an EU Horizon 2020-funded project called “TherVacB – A Therapeutic Vaccine to Cure Hepatitis B”.
  • The Taming of the Flu (08/2018-06/2021). Doctoral research within a large interdisciplinary project entitled “System analysis of seasonal influenza: virus transmission and evolution in the City of Basel”, which was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and involved several research groups.
  • Experimental erosion research (02/2017-02/18). Work with biochar-enriched substrates to see how they behave under different rainfall conditions and to test if the method of photogrammetry is able to quantify erosion rates.


Contact me if you are interested but have no access to the papers

PostDoc-Project: A Geography of Loneliness

  • Goldman N, Khanna D, El-Asmar ML, Qualter P, El-Osta A (2024): Addressing Loneliness and Social Isolation in 52 countries: A Scoping Review of National Policies. BMC Public Health 24, 1207. Article here and mentioned in Psychreg.
  • Goldman N (2023): Thoughts on loneliness in the European city. European Urban Research Association. Conversation #58. here

PostDoc-Project: Social media recruitment for research studies

  • Goldman N, Willem T, Buyx A, Zimmermann BM (2023): Practical Benefits, Challenges, and Recommendations on Social Media Recruitment: Multi-Stakeholder Interview Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research 25, e44587. here
  • Willem T, Starke G, Goldman N, Willem T, Buyx A, Zimmermann BM (submitted): “Broken by design”? Trustworthiness of social media platforms for clinical study recruitment – a qualitative, multi-stakeholder study.

PhD-Project: The Taming of the Flu

  • Goldman N, Reuther S (2023): Stadtgesundheit. Macht die Stadt krank? Regio Baseliensis 64(1), 3-15. here
  • Goldman N (2021): The taming of the flu. Spatial patterns of influenza-like illness and the challenges and opportunities in immunisation on a city level. Doctoral Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. here
  • Egli A, Goldman N, Müller N, et al. (2021): High-resolution influenza mapping of a city reveals socioeconomic determinants of transmission within and between urban quarters. Submitted. Preprint here
  • Müller NF, Wüthrich D, Goldman N, et al. (2020): Characterising the epidemic spread of Influenza A/H3N2 within a city through phylogenetics. PLOS Pathogens 16(11), e1008984. here
  • Egli A, Saalfrank C, Goldman N, et al. (2019): Identification of influenza urban transmission patterns by geographical, epidemiological and whole genome sequencing data: Study protocol. BMJ open 9(8), 1-10. here
  • Goldman N, Saalfrank C, Schneider-Sliwa R (2019): Grippeerkrankungen und gesundheitsbezogenes Verhalten in Stadt-quartieren. Ausgewählte Resultate einer Haushaltsbefragung. In: Schneider-Sliwa R (ed.): Stadt, Region, Landschaft. Forschungsbeiträge der Basler Stadt- und Regionalforschung. Basel: Schwabe, 168-173. here

MA-Project: Experimental erosion research

  • Fister W, Goldman N, Mayer M, Suter M, Kuhn NJ (2018): Testing of photogrammetry for differentiation of soil organic carbon and biochar in sandy substrates. Geographica Helvetica 74, 81-91. here

Some other random things…

Voice over for a video on lake sediment coring in Switzerland. Produced by the Geoecology research group at the University of Basel and the Office for Archaeology Canton Thurgau, Switzerland. EN version.


Since 2017 I have taken students on excursions and developed my own courses. I highly enjoy interacting with students, which has been insightful and inspiring for my own research.

BA classes

MA classes


  • Urban Health, Basel, 1 day, 2022
  • Conference visit: Swiss Geoscience Meeting, 2 days, 2022/23
  • Ecology in agriculture and forest management, Basel-Land, 1 day, 2021
  • Energy and sustainability, Basel, 1 day, 2020/21
  • Poverty, Basel, 1 day, 2017/18/19/20/21
  • Spatial transformations and space (re)uses, Zurich, 1 day, 2019/20/21
  • Urban development and spatial structures, Berlin, 3 days, 2018/19
  • City and port development, Basel, 1 day, 2019 
  • Trinational human geography excursion, Switzerland/Germany/France, for the Sun Yat-sen University (China), 14 days, 2018


  • Preparation course for the Swiss Certificate of Competence for Ocean Yachting, Verein Jugendprojekte, 2016/17/18/19


Ever wondered what research actually looks like? Or what we do during field excursions?