Sebastian Transiskus M.Sc.

Research assistant
Human Geography and Transition Research
Phone: +49 821 598 2762
Room: 1011 (B)
Visiting hours: Wednesday 10:30 - 11:30 am
Address: Alter Postweg 118, 86159 Augsburg

Research Focus

  • environmental migration and immobility

  • transformation of the Global South 

  • natural resource management

  • renewable energies 

  • climate change & climate policy


Sebastian Transiskus is a human geographer who studies the impacts of climate and environmental change, environmental migration, environmental immobility, and rural adaptation. 


More project information (Lake Urmia, Iran) below.

Main Research Project

​​​​​​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.


© Transiskus 2019



Current lecures:


  • „Environmental disaster at Lake Urmia (Iran) – When home is lost forever“

Lange Nach der Wissenschaft, July 16th 2022, Rathaus Augsburg.



Lectures given:


  • „Environmental Change, Migration and Immobility at Lake Urmia (Iran)“

Expert session on climate change, pandemics and the transformation of migration systems, 07.10.2021, 

GeoWoche2021, Digitaler Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Geographie.


  • „Should I stay, or should I go? Environmental change, (im)mobility and place attachment at Lake Urmia (Iran)“ 

Workshop Environmental Humanities, 08.07.2021, WZU Augsburg.


  • „Water crisis at Lake Urmia (Iran): is migration the last resort?“

 Digital theme day "University Worldwide", 08.05.2021, Augsburg.


  • „Environmental Change and Migration at Lake Urmia (NW Iran)“

Conference „Environmental Humanities“,  25-26.02.2019. Umweltstation Schneefernerhaus, Zugspitze. 


  • „Environmental Degradation and Migration at Lake Urmia“

Workshop Environmental Humanities, 19.12.2019, WZU Augsburg.


  • „Effects of slow-onset environmental degradation at Lake Urmia (Iran)“

Green Roundtable „Climate Justice and Migration“, 28.11.2019, Bundestag Berlin.


  • „Environmental Change and Migration at Lake Urmia (Iran)“

Workshop Climate Justice and Migration, 27.11.2019, Heinrich Böll Foundation Berlin.


Work Experience:


  • 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?"


(applied filters: semester: current | institute: Institut für Geographie | lecturers: Sebastian Transiskus | course types: all)
name semester type
04. Proseminar zur Vorlesung: Humangeographie 2 summer semester 2022 Proseminar


  • NANU! e.V. – Netzwerk Augsburg für Naturschutz und Umweltbildung
  • Klima – Climate action for all (offset your carbon footprint:



  • Schmidt, M., Gonda, R. & Transiskus, S. (2020): Environmental degradation at Lake Urmia (Iran): exploring the causes and their impacts on rural livelihoods. GeoJournal (2020). 

  • Transiskus, S. (2020): Wasserkrise und Mobilität am Urmiasee. Ein Beispiel für Trockenheit und Umweltmigration im Globalen Süden. In: Geographische Rundschau - Ausgabe 11/2020 (November).

  • Transiskus, S. (2021): Umweltmigration und Immobilität am Urmiasee (Iran). In: Schriften des Jakob-Fugger-Zentrums Augsburg.

Supervised Final Theses

Resource Strategies & Renewable Energies

  • Nord Stream 2: Political leverage or strategic component of German-European gas supply? (J. Schwarz)

  • The role of Bio-Energy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) in meeting the 2°C target: a critical perspective on the technical, economic and environmental potential (J. Zanzinger)

  • The influence of  landscape aesthetics in the planning process of wind power plants on project acceptance – A Citizen Survey (F. Marzog)

  • Carbon Capture and Storage – An analysis of potentials and risks as well as a consideration of social acceptance in Germany (L. Barghoorn)

  • Energy Transformation in Morocco – Development, Challenges and Potentials (F. Schneider)


Sustainable urban and regional development

  • Effects of the „Future Prize“ of the City of Augsburg on applicants and prize winners as well as on the „Local Agenda 21“ (J. Singer)
  • The role of urban agriculture for urban development in countries with different levels of development: A comparison between Cuba and Germany (A. Hartmann)
  • Environmental Justice in Augsburg: How equitable is access to green spaces in Augsburg? (J. Pfaffenzeller)


Topics currently available for theses (inquiries by e-mail, please):


  • Discussions about a „climate passport“: crazy idea or necessary contribution to global justice?
  • Augsburg's public transport flat rate: Success model for sustainable urban development?
  • Sustainability and Consumption: A Case Study on Foodsharing in Augsburg
  • Food or waste? Action orientation of actors in the retail sector in dealing with food waste in Augsburg
  • The conflict over lignite mining at Hambacher Forst. A political-ecological perspective.
  • Effects of major sporting events on the Global South using the example of „XY“.
  • How important is sustainability in consumption among Augsburg students?
  • Celebrating as if there were a tomorrow – sustainability at festivals

Dear teacher trainees

Unfortunately, research assistants are not allowed to supervise admission essays.

Please contact Karin Thieme, Markus Hilpert and Matthias Schmidt with your inquiries.