Department of Geography: Modeling Social Vulnerability and Resilience to Flood Hazards (Garschagen, Yang)

Department / Institute
Department of Geography
Subject area
Geography, Hydrology, Geo-information System
Project title
Modeling social vulnerability and resilience to flood hazards
Name of supervisors
Prof. Dr. Matthias Garschagen, Dr. Liang Emlyn Yang
Number of open positions
1 or 2
Language requirements
(see below)
Academic requirements
(see below)
Applications shall be compiled into one PDF document which includes a motivation letter, detailed CV, list of publications, a research proposal (3-5 pages), supporting documents/certificates, and contact details of at least two potential references. Applications are welcome until January 15, 2023 by 23:59 CET. Earlier applications are reviewed early. Please send your application to both

Prof. Dr. Matthias Garschagen:

Dr. Liang Emlyn Yang:

Project description

Increasing studies are warning that the risk of flooding in megacities is rapidly rising, especially in fast developing Asia, due to the overlapping effects of climate change and strong urbanization. It is meanwhile observed that human societies can certainly manage floods’ impacts and learn to live in flood prone areas, i.e. human societies have a capacity of resilience to floods and their impacts. This project has two specific research topics:

  • Understanding flood vulnerability changes in context of social, economic, and urban development
  • Investigating past social resilience to flood hazards and its changes over a long historical period

Studies on both topics shall aim to develop quantitative and modeling tools to simulate social vulnerability and resilience to flood hazards. Specific research areas include China, Southeast Asia and South Asia countries.

Academic Requirements

  • Completed Master's degree in geography, hydrology, geo-information system, remote sensing, natural hazards, risk management, rural and urban studies, or other closely related fields
  • Knowledge in climate change risks, adaptation and resilience, particularly flood hazards and water management in developing and emerging Asia regions
  • Curiosity and interests in the historical geography, environmental history, anthropology and culture at the Mekong upstream and the Tea-Horse Road area in Southwest China
  • Experience with quantitative assessment and modeling approaches, e.g. Agent-Based Model, Urban Growth Model, Social Network Analysis, spatial analysis and data visualization
  • Publishing experience of peer-reviewed scientific papers is an advantage

Language Requirements

  • English fluency is required with good scientific speaking and writing skills (at least IELTS 6.5, TOEFL IBT 95, or other equal certificates).
  • Language skills (written and oral) in German, Chinese, and/or that at the Mekong basin would be preferable.

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