• Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), De Boelelaan 1111

    1081 HV Amsterdam

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Dr Lena Reimann is a postdoctoral researcher at the department of Water and Climate Risk of the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She has conducted her PhD research at the Coastal Risks and Sea-Level Rise research group of the Department of Geography at Kiel University, Germany. Her PhD research focused on developing spatial data and modelling approaches to characterize exposure and vulnerability in coastal locations potentially exposed to the impacts of sea-level rise. In her work, Lena explores the uncertainty in future coastal risks with the help of sea-level rise scenarios and socioeconomic scenarios (Shared Socioeconomic Pathways, SSPs).

In recent years, Lena has worked on gravity-based migration modelling at continental to global scales. In close collaboration with the City University of New York (CUNY) Institute for Demographic Research (CIDR), she has developed and extended a modelling approach (called CONCLUDE) that allows for producing spatial population projections that account for rural-urban and inland-coastal migration, urban sprawl, as well as migration due to sea-level rise. This work was initiated during a six-month research visit at CIDR, funded by a Fulbright doctoral scholarship.

Furthermore, Lena has experience in stakeholder-led approaches that she has gained through her involvement in the EVOKED project (‘Enhancing the value of climate data – translating risk and uncertainty utilizing a Living Labs approach’; 2017-2020), in which she has developed local SSPs to support adaptation planning in Flensburg, a city in northern Germany. She has also been a lead author to the First Mediterranean Assessment Report (MAR1); has contributed to IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report (AR6); and is currently Coordinating Lead Author to the MedECC Special Report on Environmental Change, Conflict and Human Migration.

Lena is conducting her postdoctoral research as part of the COASTMOVE and CLIMAAX projects. COASTMOVE (2021-2026) pursues the aim to assess migration due to sea-level rise with the help of an agent-based modelling approach. In this project, Lena is responsible for the collection, management, and development of global-scale socioeconomic datasets. Her research focusses on developing methods to characterize social vulnerability at global scale, which will provide the baseline conditions for the agent-based approach. The CLIMAAX project (2023-2026) develops a pan-European climate risk assessment toolbox that will be used and extended by more than fifty regions across Europe. Here, Lena assembles the exposure and vulnerability data needed, and integrates them in the toolbox.


Social vulnerability, global geospatial exposure and vulnerability data, climate migration, gravity-based migration modelling, spatial population projections, Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs), continental-scale coastal risk assessments, sea level rise, UNESCO World Heritage, scenario analysis, scenario development, risk indices, GIS, R.


2021: PhD in Geography, Kiel University, Germany.

2015: Master of Education in English and Geography, Kiel University, Germany.

2011: Bachelor of Arts in English and Geography, Kiel University, Germany.

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Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water


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