• Room 8A-31, NU-building

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

    1081 HV Amsterdam

Personal profile

Personal information

Prof. Philip Ward is Head of the Global Water and Climate Risk section of the the Department of Water and Climate Risk. He is Professor of Global Water Risk Dynamics at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM). Since 2012 he has been a guest researcher at Deltares, and in 2013-2014 he was a visiting scientist at Columbia University in New York.

His current research focuses on flood and drought risk assessment at the global and continental scale. In the last few years, Philip has developed models to assess these risks today and in the future, as well as methods to assess the effectiveness and feasibility of disaster risk reduction strategies. His research fuses high-level scientific impact with key societal questions, and searches for solutions to global environmental challenges. He has authored more than 90 papers in international peer-reviewed journals, including more than 10 in Nature journals and PNAS. In 2019, he was awarded the European Geosciences Union Plinius Medal, for his outstanding contribution to natural hazards research. He is convener of several major sessions on large scale flood and natural hazard risk, including those at the European Geosciences Union, the American Geophysical Union, and the World Bank GFDRR’s Understanding Risk forum. 

Prof. Ward has been awarded prestigious VIDI and VENI grants from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) to conduct research on global scale flood and drought risk. Through these projects, he has developed the state-of-the-art global flood risk assessment model GLOFRIS, which is used by a large range of stakeholders and decision makers, including the World Bank, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, OECD, UN-HABITAT, and several reinsurance companies. He also developed the online web-tool Aqueduct Global Flood Analyzer with the World Resources Institute and Deltares. Currently, he leads work packages or tasks in several EU-funded international research projects: IMPREX, eartH2Observe, and RISES-AM. He has been awarded grants/projects from agencies including NWO, European Commission, World Bank, FAO, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, KNAW, Knowledge for Climate, Climate changes Spatial Planning, and Deltares.

Prof. Ward coordinates, or teaches in, courses at Masters and Bachelors level on: Integrated Modelling in Hydrology; Tools in Environmental Resource Management; Risk Assessment; Water Policy; and Thesis Writing. He is currently adviser to 8 PhD students.


Flood risk, water resources management, drought risk, hydrology, global modelling, storm surge modelling, GIS, climate change impacts; climate variability impacts, climate-water interaction.


2008: PhD Simulating discharge and sediment yield characteristics in the Meuse basin during the late Holocene and 21st Century (defence: 23 January 2009).

2005: MSc Environment and Resource Management (cum laude). Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

1999: BSc Geography (First Class Honours). The University of Manchester, U.K.


Ancillary activities

  • Elsevier | Amsterdam, The Netherlands | Editor | 2023-01-01 - 2025-12-31
  • Deltares | Delft | Medewerker | 2023-05-01 - 2024-04-30

Ancillary activities are updated daily

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 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


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