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Welcome to the RTG NatRiskChange

In the wake of changing hydro-climatological, geo-physical and socio-economic conditions the magnitude, frequency and impact of certain types of natural hazards are likely bound to change as well. This is highly of utmost importance for many regions in the world where risks due to natural hazards have to be managed and mitigated and this is where the research training group “Natural hazards and risks in a changing world (NatRiskChange)” aims to foster the scientific knowledge basis. This research training group started on October 1st 2015 and is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG. The central goal of NatRiskChange is to pursue the development of methods to improve hazard and risk analysis and quantification based on the transient, non-stationary nature of hazards and risks in response to changing natural and anthropogenically altered components of the Earth system. Key scientific aims are the development, testing, and pilot application of studies on identification, quantification (mechanisms) and prediction of transient natural hazards and associated risks.

Landslide topology uncovers failure movements

Understanding the different ways landslides occur could contribute to more accurate predictions. Find out more in this nature communications article,co-authored by NatRiskChange member Joaquin Ferrer!

Defense Seth Bryant

Congratulations to Seth Bryant on his defense on 12 July 2024

As the first member of the third cohort, Seth Bryant successfully defended his dissertation titled "Aggregation and Disaggregation in Flood Risk Models".

Guided tour

NatRiskChange Spring Retreat on Telegrafenberg, 6/7 March 2024

At this year's Spring Retreat, NatRiskChange members presented their great progress in the PhD projects. To round it off, GFZ staff took us on a guided tour around the Science Park "Albert-Einstein".


Resolution enhancement of flood inundation grids

Seth Bryant developed a lightning-fast algorithm that boosts the resolution of flood maps using high-resolution terrain data. Click here to view his new study.


First machine-learning approach to derive sediment export projections until the year 2100

In her new study, Lena-Katharina Schmidt projects sediment export from two highly glacierized alpine catchments under climate change using non-parametric regression.

Kata with hat

Congratulations to Katharina Schmidt on her defense on 12 December 2023

Katharina successfully defended her thesis titled "Altered Hydrological and sediment dynamics in high-alpine areas: exploring the potential of machine-learning for estimating past and future change"


Resilience of transportation infrastructure networks to road failures

New paper out by Jonas Wassmer: This study highlights the need for targeted road repair and reinforcement, with a focus on maintaining traffic flow for emergency responses.

Poster by Amalie

Amalie Skålevåg wins OSPP Award by EGU!

This year's OSPP Award (Outstanding Student and PhD candidate Presentation) at the EGU 2023 goes to NatRiskChange member Amalie Skålevåg. Congratulations!

Flyer Conference 2024

Call for abstracts!

Abstract submission is now open for the "3rd International ConferenceNatural Hazards and Risks in a Changing World" in Amsterdam, 12-13 June 2024


NatRiskChange is on Bluesky!

Follow us on Bluesky for regular updates on new publications, conferences, field work and other activities.

Participants and presenters at the AFAD workshop

Workshop "Landslides in a Changing World" with the Turkey Disaster and Management Authority (AFAD

On 27 October, we welcomed a delegation of 16 guests from Turkey at our institute for a joint workshop on landslides hazards and risks. See our Bluesky post for more details and photos!

Fall Retreat 2023

NatRiskChange Fall Retreat 2023 in Kemnitz

From 11 to 13 September, NRC members and PIs met for this year's fall retreat, with impressive talks and constructive discussions, a career perspectives workshop and a lake to swim in and hike around.

Zahra defense

Defense of Zahra Zali on 12 September 2023

Congratulations to Zahra Zali on successfully defending her thesis on "Volcanic tremor analysis based on advanced signal processing concepts including music information retrieval (MIR) strategies"!

Paradoxical insight on frequent flood experience

Frequent flood experience has a paradoxical impact on households: They become better prepared, but feel less resilient. Read more in the new NHESS study by Lisa Köhler!

The role of atmospheric rivers in the distribution of heavy precipitation events over North America

Employing event synchronization and complex networks analysis, this new study by Sara Vallejo reveals a cascade of heavy precipitation events (HPEs), related to intense atmospheric rivers (ARs).

Figure 2

New paper out by NatRiskChange member Behnam Maleki Asayesh

Behnam has published an article in the JGR Solid Earth titled "Depth-Dependent Aftershock Trigger Potential Revealed by 3D-ETAS Modeling". Have a look!

Lucy with her doctoral hat next to her colleagues

Defense of Lucy Mtilatila on 27 June

How will future climate change affect hydropower and water availability? Lucy Mtilatila, associated member of NatRiskChange, dealt with this in her PhD. Congratulations on her successful defense!

Omar receives his doctoral hat

Defense of Omar Seleem

On 20 June, associated member Omar Seleem successfully defended his dissertation titled "Towards urban pluvial flood mapping using data-driven models". Congratulations!

Lisa wearing her doctoral hat

Defense of Lisa Luna on 22 June 2023

Congratulations to Lisa Luna on successfully defending her PhD thesis on "rainfall-triggered landslides: conditions, prediction, and warning"! Lisa was a dedicated member of the 2nd cohort.

NRC members at the EGU

NatRiskChange members at the EGU

8 core members and 3 associated members presented their research in talks, PICOs and posters at the EGU in Vienna in April. We thank the organizers and conveners for a great and inspiring conference!

Save the date conference

Save the date! 3rd International Conference on Natural Hazards and Risks in a Changing World 2024

The "3rd International Conference on Natural Hazards and Risks in a Changing World: Addressing Compound and Multi-Hazard Risk" will take place 12 to 14 June 24 in Amsterdam. Sign up for the waitlist!

Lukas Schoppa defense

Defense of Lukas Cornelius Schoppa

On 24 March, Lukas Schoppa successfully defended his dissertation on "Dynamics in the Flood Vulnerability of Companies". Congratulations!

NatRiskChange Paper on Flood Risk Assessments out!

This article analyses different case studies from NatRiskChange research projects to assess adequate level of detail for flood risk assessments.

Figure from Paper

New Nature paper out by NatRiskChange members and alumni!

The study "Less extreme and earlier outbursts of ice-dammed lakes since 1900" was led by NRC alumnus Georg Veh and co-authored by NRC members Lisa Luna and Natalie Lützow and NRC alumna Kristin Vogel.

Dr Erwin Rottler receives his award

Best hydrological dissertation in Germany

For his results, which are particularly relevant for society, NatRiskChange alumnus Dr Erwin Rottler was awarded the prize for the best hydrological dissertation by the German Hydrological Society.


First paper out by 3rd cohort doctoral researcher Paul Voit

At the end of his first year, Paul Voit already published his first research article on a new index for quantification of heavy rainfall events. Congratulations!

Thoralf at the Science Slam

Thoralf Dietrich at UP Science Slam

In July and November, Thoralf gave a talk on "Sound of Seisms - Vulkantremor auf Island" at Science Slams in Golm and at the Potsdamer Waschhaus, in front of a science enthusiastic audience.

Seti Khola River in informal settlement in Pokhara

New paper out by 2nd cohort doctoral researcher Melanie Fischer

Melanie Fischer and others have published an article in a special issue of NHESS, titled "Rare flood scenarios for a rapidly growing high-mountain city in Pokhara, Nepal". Congratulations!

NatRiskChange members at the Geo.X Retreat

NatRiskChange members at the Geo.X Retreat

Eight doctoral and postdoctoral NatRiskChange members participated in the Geo.X retreat. There they had the chance to present their research and meet other geoscientists from Berlin and Potsdam.

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Follow @NatRiskChange on Twitter

We are exited to share our research and activities on twitter and find out about yours. Follow us to connect, share and stay updated!

Discussion on Good Science at NRC Spring Retreat
Photo: Karen Lebek

NatRiskChange Spring Retreat 2023

On 9 and 10 March, NatRiskChange members and PIs met for the Spring Retreat in Potsdam Griebnitzsee. All members of the third cohort and two associated members presented their work on natural hazards and risks in a series of scientific talks. The interdisciplinary audience was impressed by the great progress that the PhD students had made since last year's Fall Retreat. The first day was rounded off by a productive discussion on what Good Science is. At the end of the second day, the three task force groups presented their plans and ideas for their task forces on natural hazards in Italy, Turkey / Syria and Brazil.


Discussion on Good Science at NRC Spring Retreat
Photo: Karen Lebek

group photo at the NatRiskChange retreat

NatRiskChange Fall Retreat 2022 in Niemegk

NatRiskChange PhDs and PIs spent three days together at the NatRiskChange Fall Retreat 2022, with great talks, inspiring discussions, some fun and serious games and a hike through the lovely countryside of Brandenburg. All PhD students from the 3rd cohort and some associated members had the chance to present the current status of their research to the group and discuss open questions. There was plenty of time for getting to know each other, networking and exchanging ideas on the way forward.

group photo at the NatRiskChange retreat