Centre of Natural Hazards and Disaster Science

News from 2015

PhD student within CNDS defends his thesis


CNDS PhD student Elias Garcia-Urquia (Department of Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University) will defend his thesis on the 3 December 2015. The defence will take place at 10:15 in Polhemssalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala. The title of the dissertation is The Use of Press Archives in the Temporal and Spatial Analysis of Rainfall-Induced Landslides in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 1980-2005. The opponent is José Cepeda from Norwegian Geotechnical Institute.


CNDS PhD student presented on a conference in Washington D.C.


CNDS PhD student Monika Rydstedt Nyman and her supervisor Magnus Johansson has participated in a conference in Washington D.C. on Climate Adaptation, organized by The American Transport Research Board.

Monika gave a presentation on the merits of using industrial investigation method on natural hazards, exemplified with a case study from a flooded railway tunnel in Sweden in 2013.
- "It was a great conference, many researchers both from Europe and the United States and a significant number of practitioners and consultants working with climate-related hazards in transport and infrastructures."

Monika is an externally financed PhD, funded by the Swedish Transport Administration.

CNDS researcher mentioned in Times of India


A presentation on Swedish climate politics and implementation by Mikael Granberg, Karlstad University was highlighted in the Times of India.

Mikael Granberg, Associate Professor in political science and Director of The Centre for Climate and Safety, Karlstad University has just returned from travelling in India. The purpose of the journey was to create new, and develop existing, collaborations with universities in India, research environments and researchers in the fields of research climate related risks and effects of climate change.

Mikael did research presentations and met researchers, teachers and students at the Central University of Himachal Pradesh in Dharamsala. Mikael also presented at the Malaviya Centre for Peace Research (MCPR) at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi, a university with which Karlstad University has had a more than 25-year long collaboration. The presentation in Varanasi on the theme ”Climate change policy and practice: the Swedish experience” was highlighted in a Times of India article on the 3 November, 2015.

Weaknesses in the Swedish crisis management is shown in a wildfire report


CNDS researcher Fredrik Bynander, Swedish Defence University (Crismart) has been involved in the investigation of the crisis management in connection to the wildfire that swept through the forests of Västmanland, Sweden in 2014.

PhD student within CNDS defends his licentiate thesis


Tito Maldonado, PhD student within CNDS at the Department of Earth Sciences (Uppsala University), will defend his licentiate thesis ”Aspects of climate variability during winter and summer in Central America” on 6 November 2015 at 10:15 in Norrland II at Geocentrum. The opponent is Rodrigo Caballero from the Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University.

Welcome to the seminar!

CNDS researcher is interviewed by Sveriges Television


CNDS researcher Charles Parker (Department of Government, Uppsala University) was interviewed by Sveriges Television (the Swedish public service television company) regarding the climate plans submitted to the UN on 1 October 2015, in advance of the UN climate summit this December in Paris. The interview was aired on Rapport on the 2 October 2015.

CNDS PhD student defends his licentiate thesis


Adam Dingwell, PhD student within CNDS at the Department of Earth Sciences (Uppsala University), will defend his licentiate thesis ”Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling of Volcanic Emissions” on 9 October 2015 at 13:15 in Norrland II at Geocentrum. Read the abstract. Welcome to the seminar!

Date: 2015-10-09
Time: 13:15
Place: Norrland II, Geocentrum
Opponent: Lennart Robertson (Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute)

PhD student within CNDS defends her thesis


Agnes Jane Soto Gómez (Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University) will defend her thesis on the 9 October 2015. The defence will take place at 10:00 in Hambergsalen, Villavägen 16, Uppsala. The title of the dissertation is Geographical Distribution of Disasters Caused by Natural Hazards in Data-scarce Areas: Methodological exploration on the Samala River catchment, Guatemala. The opponent is Günter Blöschl from Vienna University of Technology.


CNDS researcher in Climate Change Leadership Seminar


CNDS researcher Charles Parker (Department of Government, Uppsala University) participates in a seminar on 25 September 2015 at the Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University. The day will include presentations and discussion around the prospects for the climate change negotiations in Paris. Also on the speakers list are: Doreen Stabinsky, (Zennström visiting professor of climate change leadership), Bo Kjellén (SEI), Christer Karlsson (Department of Government, Uppsala University), Friederike May (CEMUS), Andrea Nightingale (SLU), Jonas Ebbesson (Stockholm Environmental Law and Policy Centre, Stockholm University).

  • Date: 2015-09-25, kl. 10:00
  • Place: Evolutionary Biology Centre, Norbyvägen 14, Ekmanssalen
  • Preliminary programme

Thank you for attending the Annual Assembly 26-28 August 2015!


For the fifth consecutive year CNDS organized an Assembly at Sunnersta Herrgård for PhD students and researchers within CNDS. This year we reviewed 5 progress reports as well as 3 research presentations.

Thank you very much for attending this year’s Assembly!

Sunnersta 2015

PhD student within CNDS publishes in Nature


Colin Walch, PhD student at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research (Uppsala University), publishes in Nature Climate Change. Colin attended the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, held in the Japanese city of Sendai between 14-18 March 2015, where delegates from around the world agreed on a new framework for disaster risk reduction for the years 2015-2030. The article Expertise and policy-making in disaster risk reduction is a commentary on the Sendai negotiations.

CNDS in Almedalen


CNDS will be represented in Almedalen (Sweden's largest annual political meeting place, Visby on Gotland):

Mikael Granberg, Associate Professor of political science at Karlstad University, will participate in a seminar arranged by Svensk Försäkring: Can we ignore climate adaptation?

Wednesday, July 1 at 11.00-12:15

Fredrik Bynander, Associate Professor of Political Science, National Defence University, will participate in a seminar organized by the National Defence University: The gray area - standards for peace and war in a new geopolitical situation in Europe.

Thursday, 2 July 10:30-11:15

PhD student within CNDS defends his thesis


Alexander Vladimir Conde from the Department of Earth and Space Sciences (Chalmers University of Technology) defended his thesis on 10 April 2015. The defence took place in EA-salen at 14:00 in Hörsalsvägen 11, Göteborg. The title of the dissertation is Application of DOAS, FTIR and Multi-GAS for Studies of Evolving Volcanic Activity. The opponent was Professor Tobias P. Fischer, University of New Mexico, USA.

Thank you for attending the CNDS-IRDR workshop


Thank you for attending the CNDS-IRDR networking workshop on Monday and Tuesday, 11-12 May 2015, at the Department of Government, Uppsala. Several PhD students from CNDS and IRDR presented their work and identified common research interests. The participants also had stimulating discussions on the research field and potential future collaboration between CNDS and IRDR with CNDS researchers and Professor David Alexander.

IRDR workshop

Successful evaluation of CNDS


Between 2010 and 2014, 43 Swedish strategic research areas (SRA’s), including CNDS, were funded by the Swedish Government. During 2014 the SRA’s were evaluated and the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (FAS now Forte), the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (Formas), the Swedish Energy Agency (Energimyndigheten), and the Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA) were responsible for carrying out the evaluation. External reviewers as well as an expert panel conducted the evaluation. Last week, the evaluation, together with recommendations for the future, was announced and CNDS can be proud of a positive and successful evaluation statement.

The short evaluation statement about CNDS:

  • Performance: Excellent/good
  • Strategy: Good
  • Added value: Excellent

"This SRA uses an interdisciplinary approach to disaster management and response. It brings together several strong disciplinary groups at UU but it has been difficult to manage across organisational boundaries. There are few role models globally that are truly interdisciplinary – perhaps only 4 or 5, including IRDR at UCL (with whom they are starting to cooperate), ARMIT at Melbourne and a group at Columbia University. There are also links with the insurance industry which for obvious reasons has a long tradition of trying to understand disasters. Hiring 30 PhDs has been a major use of resources and the SRA has established a graduate school in its area. Very large numbers of people applied for these posts. Four graduates have found jobs quickly (3 of them in academia). The intention is to shift recruitment toward post-doctorates and KaU and FHS are starting Bachelors and Master’s courses in the area. UU is supporting the centre through ‘general’ measures such as its programme council and the willingness to invest in new people. UU plans to establish the SRA as an organisationally selfstanding center jointly between the disciplinary domain of (i) Humanities and Social Sciences and (ii) Science and Technology – So far, the main influence on innovation has been through the SRAs engineering activities – other things will take a long time to filter through to the economy. The SRA appears to be doing good research and to have a strong strategy for its medium term development. A key uncertainty is the extent to which this value added will be counteracted by the institutional rigidities of the university.”

Network between CNDS and IRDR at University College London


Three PhD students at CNDS visited IRDR (Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction) in London in November 2014. During their stay, they initiated a network between PhD students at IRDR and CNDS which can be utilized for collaboration between the two research centres in the future.

During spring, PhD students and senior researchers from both research centres will participate in two workshops. A first workshop, for which the PhD students with Lina M. Eriksson as main applicant received funds from the Uppsala Forum for Democracy, Peace and Justice, is held in Uppsala, 11-12 May 2015. Besides participants from CNDS, we welcome three PhD students from IRDR and Professor David Alexander. The second workshop will be organised in London during June 2015. Several PhD students and researchers at CNDS will travel to London for this occasion.

CNDS researchers at the Conference on Climate and Safety 2015


We have seen severe impacts of extreme weather events in recent years around the world, also described in reports from the IPCC. A current topic is how climate adaptation and disaster risk management can be integrated in broad societal planning.

Welcome to the conference Climate & Safety on 26-27 May 2015 in Karlstad. The conference is a venue for all of us who work with climate-related risks in different ways: as professionals, politicians, or researchers, from local or national authorities, from public or private sector. The conference is the sixth in a series arranged by the Centre for Climate and Safety at Karlstad University and a part of CNDS.

Knowledge gets into action through awareness, policy and planning. That is why climate politics and awareness have been chosen as specific themes for the conference. Presentations of experiences and knowledge from practice and research are mixed with discussion sessions.

From the programme: Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNISDR Professor Čedo Maksimović, Imperial College London, talks about Blue-Green dreams- adapting cities to intense rainfall

Get inspired by our international guests, gain momentum from collegial exchange of experiences, and start your next project at our round-table discussions.

Special offer for students (PhD students included) 700 SEK for both days.

PhD course entitled "Uncertainty in Environmental Modelling" at Geocentrum


Professor Keith Beven will give, a ninth time, the course in "Uncertainty in Environmental Modelling" at Geocentrum (Uppsala University) on 8–17 June 2015. I enclose an invitation to the course and would appreciate either (i) your application if you are a PhD student, or (ii) if you could inform any prospective PhD students you think would benefit from the course. Application deadline is 4 May 2015.

CNDS researchers at the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, Sendai, Japan 2015


By Susann Baez Ullberg, CRISMART, Swedish Defence University and Colin Walch, Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University

With spring on its way and the cherry blossom beginning, the third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction took place in the Japanese city of Sendai on the 14-18 of March, 2015. More than six thousand people attended this meeting, which was divided into three segments; the intergovernmental segment focused on negotiating the new framework; the multi stakeholder segment focused on matters of practice and the public forum which was more scientifically oriented. Delegates from all over the world agreed on a new framework for disaster risk reduction for the years 2015-2030. The so called Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (SFA) builds on the existing Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 (HFA). It aims at preventing new disasters and reducing existing disaster risk through the implementation of integrated measures. In order to achieve this goal, the framework contains has seven global targets to reduce mortality, affected people, loss and damage; increase risk reduction strategies; and enhance international cooperation.

The SFA emphasizes that while Nation States have the primary responsibility for disaster risk reduction and are also responsible for engaging in broad international cooperation on these matters, stakeholders at all societal levels should contribute to this work. However, civil society organizations were not invited in the negotiation room, greatly limiting their input in the text. While the SFA remains a non-binding agreement, delegates disagreed on many points, especially when it came to recognize conflict and climate change as underlying factors. Technology transfers between developed and developing countries as well as attempts to link the SFA to the SDGs also created much opposition in the room and delayed the agreement. At the end, it was a minimal agreement that was adopted by consensus after an extensive intergovernmental negotiation process that started in July 2014. Only time will tell us what the results are from this new framework.

Sendai 2015
Photo of the closing ceremony, Sendai 2015. CNDS PhD student Colin Walch together with Margareta Wahlström. CNDS researcher Susan Baez Ullberg.

CNDS research in thematic issue about Natural Disaster Science


Natural Disaster Science is the theme of a special issue of Geografiska Annaler in which researcher connected to or invited by CNDS present their research.


It is Geografiska Annaler: Series A, Physical Geography that in March published an thematic issue named ”Natural disaster science – A Nordic approach to integrated research on disaster risk”. Sven Halldin, Fredrik Bynander och Ernst van Groningen, all active within CNDS, were guest editors for this issue. They have also written the preface about the need of interdisciplinary research on disaster risk reduction and the ambition of CNDS to contribute in this respect. Further, senior researchers within CNDS as well as CNDS doctoral students are represented among the authors.

The subjects presented in the special issue stretch over engineering, natural and social sciences and comprise multi- and interdisciplinary research. Olauson et al. (2015) have investigated the possibilities to supply disaster areas with self-supporting wind generators. Three natural science-based papers treat precipitation in various perspectives (Achberger et al. (2015), Hidalgo et al. (2015), García-Urquía and Axelsson (2015)). International disaster-management cooperation in Central America (Guinea Barrientos et al. 2015) and response to the ash cloud from the Icelandic volcanoes Eyjafjallajökull and Grímsvötn (Parker, 2015) are described in two papers. Nohrstedt and Nyberg (2015) have studied policy development in Swedish flood risk management and Boin and Bynander (2015) have analysed the normative underpinnings of organisational collaboration in crisis-coordination. Troll et al. (2015) combine volcanology and anthropology to study oral traditions in Indonesia as an ancient hazard-mitigation tool. The rain-gauge density needed for an optimal precipitation input to a given hydrologic/hazard analysis has been investigated by Girons Lopez et al. (2015) and Soto et al. (2015) have studied the relation between disasters and geomorphological characteristics. Ibrion et al. (2015) have explored time as a crucial parameter for seismology and the possibilities to mitigate earthquake disasters in Iran.

Member of the CNDS International Advisory Group receives prestigious Award


Mr. Allan Lavell, member of the CNDS International Advisory Group, receives the prestigious United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction. This award was announced at the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, 14–18 March 2015 in Sendai, Japan. The Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction was founded in 1982 through a donation by the Japanese Ryoichi Sasakawa (1899-1995).

Allan Lavell
CNDS PhD student Colin Walch together with Allan Lavell, Sendai 2015

Welcome to CNDS Academy 13 March 2015


The next CNDS Academy will take place at Geocentrum in Uppsala on 13 March. At the Academy two of our doctoral students will present their work.

  • Jenni Koivisto (Centre for Climate and Safety, Karlstad University)
  • Zeinab Jeddi (Department of Earth Sciences, UU)

We will also listen to Doreen Stabinsky (Uppsala University’s first holder of the Zennström Visiting Professorship in Climate Change Leadership)


CNDS PhD student receives international award


Nina von Uexkull, a PhD student within CNDS Research School, and the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University, has recently won a prize for her work.
Nina von Uexkull received the ISA Jacek Kugler Political Demography and Geography Student Paper Award at the Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association in New Orleans. The award recognizes her paper "Climate variability and the local correlates of communal conflicts, Sub-Saharan Africa 1989-2008” as the best paper with a political demography and geography theme written by a PhD candidate and presented at the International Studies Association Annual Convention in 2014.


Nina von Uexkull with Jacek Kugler

CNDS PhD Students’ Conference Activity during 2014


PhD students within CNDS participated in many different conferences and workshops around the world during 2014. They visited more than 25 events in 18 different countries where they presented their research in various contexts.

Conference Map 2014

Source: Built upon original by Roke CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons