PhD Project: Environmental Change and Migration at Lake Urmia (Iran)
Human induced climate change and natural resource exploitation threaten societies and ecosystems worldwide. Lake Urmia, located in northwestern Iran and forming the world’s second largest hypersaline lake, has been drying up since the mid-1990s as a result of climate change and excessive water consumption in its catchment area. Consequences of the lake’s desiccation include the degradation of land and fresh water resources, public health and food security concerns, economic decline and unemployment, creating an increasingly difficult socio-economic context for over 5 million people living in the basin’s surroundings.
The goal of my research is to provide details and help to build hypotheses on how and in how far sow-onset environmental change induces migration and other adaptation strategies of individuals, households and communities affected by the disaster. Environmental, economic and social factors are interrelated and need to be examined jointly in order to understand the role environmental factors play in population movements. Moreover, I seek to provide concrete evidence on how migration itself can serve as an adaptation strategy and how it can in turn support in the area of origin, for instance through translocal networks and remittances.
my general research focuses at the chair of human geography:
- transformation of the Global South
- natural resource management (including energy resources)
- renewable energies
- climate change & climate policy
- Since 10/2017: Research Associate at the Chair of Human Geography and Resource Strategies (Augsburg University)
09/2016 - 03/2017: Master degree candidate at Munich Re in the department GeoRisksReseach & Corporate Climate Centre (GEO/CCC)
- 02/2016 - 06/2016: Internship at Munich Re in the department GeoRisksResearch & Corporate Climate Centre
- 08/2015 - 09/2015 & 02/2015 - 04/2015: Internships at SMG Standortmarketing Gesellschaft / Regional Management of district Miesbach
- 03/2014 - 05/2014: Internship at environmental education institution „Umweltstation Augsburg“
- 10/2014 - 05/2017: Master of Science Geography (Augsburg University)
Master Thesis: "Fire and storm risks for forests in the continental United States. Risk analysis and risk management solutions, taking into account vulnerability factors and climate change impacts“
- 10/2011 - 09/2014: Bachelor of Science Geographie (Augsburg University)
Bachelor Thesis: "Hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in Europe as a resource strategy for achieving energy supply security by reducing the dependence on Russian energy imports?"
- NANU! e.V. – Netzwerk Augsburg für Naturschutz und Umweltbildung
Schmidt M., Transiskus S., Gonda R. (2019): Environmental degradation at Lake Urmia (Iran): Exploring causes and impacts on rural livelihoods (unpublished)