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Adapting to climate change: List of experts from Aarhus University

Find out which Aarhus University researchers who work on climate change and learn more about their areas of special expertise.

2015.04.29 | Camilla Schrøder

Climate change adaptation in Europe, ECCA 2015 and project BASE

Hans Sanderson, Senior Researcher, Department of Environmental Science, chairman of ECCA 2015 and the BASE project

hasa@envs.au.dk, + 45 8715 8632, + 45 3013 1569

Today, there are large gaps between national climate adaptation strategies, concrete initiatives and policy areas.  Senior Researcher Hans Sanderson heads a research group with over 80 scientists from 11 EU countries with a budget of more than DKK 60 million. Until 2017, the group will be gathering knowledge and experience from local public and private climate adaptation initiatives and is performing cost-benefit analyses.  The project is called BASE ( Bottom-Up Climate Adaptation Strategies toward Sustainable Europe). The aim is to create links between knowledge at the local level to the European level and to establish a knowledge base for evaluating what initiatives have the greatest effect and have the greatest payoffs in relation to climate adaptation. Hans Sanderson is also chairman of the second European Climate Adaptation Conference (ECCA 2015) which AU is hosting on behalf of the European Commission. Hans Sanderson has a unique insight into climate change adaptation across Europe and at the level of EU policy.

Climate change adaptation in agriculture, food and global warming

Jørgen E. Olesen, Professor, Head of Section, Department of Agroecology - Climate and Water

jeo@agro.au.dk, + 45 8715 7778, +45 4082 1659

Jørgen E. Olesen

Jørgen E. Olesen is an expert in the agricultural sector's impact on the climate and the effects of climate change on food production, including how agriculture can adapt to climate change. Jørgen E. Olesen has participated in a number of expert groups on a national and international level, including the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Danish government's nature and agriculture commission. He is also honorary professor at the University of Copenhagen.

Mapping of geological changes and climate with advanced data

Lars Arge, Professor, Department of Computer Science, head of the Center for Massive Data Algorithmics (MADALGO)

large@cs.au.dk, + 8715 6284, + 4160 6166

Data is king. Across the world, a paradigm shift is taking place in our  approach to both research and business. Big data means that focus has shifted to developing methods that can harvest data rather than generate data. In the public sector, big data provides opportunities to improve efficiency and take preventive action, because it makes it possible to base decisions on very large amounts of information. Professor Lars Arge from the Department of Computer Science is among the the world’s foremost experts in the development of algorithms for efficient handling and analysis of large amounts of data. Lars Arge is director of the Danish National Research Foundation's Centre for Massive Data Algorithmics (MADALGO), and has been involved in the development of a ‘cloudburst map’ that shows the consequences of extreme precipitation in any area in Denmark. Lars Arge was awarded the Elite Researcher Prize in 2010, and he is currently chairman of the board of the spin-off the company SCALGO that develops advanced analysis products based on detailed terrain data and markets the cloudburst map.

The following five researchers are all associated with the BASE project, which is a major pan-European research project that runs until 2017, and which is performing and comparing a number of case studies across national borders.

Ecosystem-based climate change adaptation

Marianne Zandersen, Senior Researcher, Department of Environmental Science

mz@envs.au.dk, + 45 8715 8728, + 45 2242 2927

Marianne Zandersen’s research combines environmental science and economics. Her research area is climate adaptation and ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation, for example by involving citizens in developing green and climate adaptation zones in urban areas. She has also investigated how willing farmers are to let their fields flood to prevent flooding in the city.  

Farmers' climate change adaptation

Anders Branth Pedersen, Senior Researcher,Department of Environmental Science - Environmental Social Science

abp@envs.au.dk, + 8715 8545, + 2629 5468

How do farmers perceive climate change, and who is responsible for adapting agriculture to the more extreme weather conditions of the future? Anders Branth Pedersen and other scientists at the Department of Environmental Science are behind a case study that surveyed more than 1,000 Danish farmers about their attitudes to climate change, in addition to asking groups of farmers from Holstebro and Lolland a number of additional questions. The case study was coordinated with three other countries (Portugal, the Czech Republic and Spain), so that the results are comparable across national borders. Anders Branth Pedersen will present the findings from Holstebro, the Czech Republic, Spain and Portugal at the European Climate Conference in Copenhagen. He also has extensive knowledge about policy analysis, for example on the regulatory barriers that affect climate change adaptation in the agricultural sector.

Climate change policy, climate adaptation in cities, the relationship of environmental policy to other areas of policy and co-benefits, drivers for climate change adaptation.

Anne Jensen, Senior Researcher,Department of Environmental Science - Environmental Social Science

aj@envs.au.dk,+ 8715 8633, + 2682 7673

Anne Jensen is currently working on local and national climate adaptation strategies. Specifically, she is exploring Copenhagen and other Danish municipalities' policies and strategies for assessing their capacity to adapt to climate change as well as the driving forces that are important for the success of incorporating climate change adaptation into local projects. The keywords in this context are strong leadership and co-benefits: in other words, that climate adaptation initiatives must be integrated into other activities that benefit the city, citizens and commercial development such as green spaces and natural playgrounds. The learning organisation as well as citizen involvement and networks involving several municipalities are other significant factors. The projects are being carried out in collaboration with Senior Researcher Helle Ørsted Nielsen as well as researchers in the UK, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy in order to compare results across national borders. Anne Jensen has conducted research on climate change adaptation for a number of years, and has considerable knowledge about climate change adaptation in urban environments and the positive effects of different political initiatives.

Climate change adaptation locally and nationally

Helle Ørsted Nielsen, Senior Researcher, Department of Environmental Science and Department of Political Science

hon@envs.au.dk, + 8715 8879, + 3018 3140

Helle Ørsted Nielsen conducts research on climate change adaptation in municipalities, opportunities and barriers to the incorporation of climate change adaptation as interdisciplinary field at the national and local level, agricultural climate change adaptation in Denmark and other EU countries, as well as strategies for climate change adaptation in different EU countries.

Climate adaptation - instruments and barriers 

Mette Termansen, Professor of Environmental Economics, Department of Environmental Science

mter@envs.au.dk, + 8715 8645, +  5239 0497

Mette Termansen works on climate adaptation in Denmark, the Nordic region and the EU, especially in the area of agriculture. In particular, has investigated insurance as a climate adaptation mechanism.


Climate adaptation and homeowners, VisAdapt

Anne Gammelgaard Ballantyne, Assistant Professor, Department of Business Development and Technology

anne@auhe.au.dk, + 87166965, + 61675313

Anne Gammelgaard Ballantyne is one of the researchers behind a new web tool to homeowners called VisAdapt. What is special about VisAdapt is that is collects climate information all the way down at the local level.

Climate adaptation and homeowners, Lolland case-study

Nina Baron, PhD Student, Department of Environmental Science - Enviromental social science

nba@envs.au.dk, + 87158639, + 51927731 


Research, All groups, External target group, Aarhus University