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Pier Vellinga is professor in Climate Change at Wageningen University Research and VU Amsterdam. Originally, he specialised in Coastal Engineering contributing to the Deltaplan of the Netherlands.

In 1987 he became advisor to the Netherlands Environment Minister on climate change. In that period he helped to shape international climate policies and he was one of the initiators and first bureau members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

In 1991 he joined VU Amsterdam as professor in Environmental Sciences and as director of the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM).

In 2007 he took up a position at Wageningen University Research as well, to lead the national climate change research programme ‘Knowledge for Climate’. Pier Vellinga is a board member of several research institutes and environmental organisations in the Netherlands and abroad.


  • Pier Vellinga has a broad experience in doing research with a range of disciplinary sciences. Over time his domain broadened and started to include the social dimensions of global environmental change. He was among the first in the Netherlands to publish about climate change and its implications regarding water and energy. Exploring the link between science and society was particularly challenging in his work at the World Bank, UNEP and UNDP. While at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) he initiated the European Forum on Integrated Environmental Assessment and later on the Industrial Transformation Project of the Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP/International Council of Scientific Unions). Meanwhile, he was a member of many policy advisory councils, such as the Energy Council (AER), the Advisory Board of the SNS Bank and the Advisory Board of the Chemical Industry (VNCI).
  • At national level he is actively involved in the setting up and management of two more major national programmes: 'Climate changes Spatial Planning' and 'Living with Water'. In 2005 he was appointed as chairman of the board of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ at Texel).
  • Pier Vellinga has published more than 120 articles on environmental sciences and related societal issues as author or co-author in scientific journals, books, scientific reports, and proceedings of a more general nature.


1986: PhD thesis in Technical Sciences, Delft University of Technology.

1976: Master's degree in Civil Engineering, Delft University of Technology.


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