Research on heat and drought in urban contexts – DLGS 2021 starts

A new cohort of the Dresden Leibniz Graduate School (DLGS) started at the beginning of March. The fellows of the DLGS 2021 will spend three years researching challenges of spatial sustainability transformations. DLGS 2021 focuses on "heat and drought in urban contexts". The application period for cohort number 12 starts in June.


three people stand next to each other

The new DLGS-cohort: Claire Gallacher, Raghid Shehayeb and Subhashree Nath. (from left) (Photo: A. Pohl/IOER-Media)

The eleventh cohort of the DLGS is the first one, whose research is oriented towards the new scientific concept of the interdisciplinary graduate school. The concept puts spatial aspects of the transformation towards sustainability at the centre of research. The current cohort of the DLGS is primarily dedicated to the question of how cities can better cope with heat and droughts and become more resilient to these environmental risks.

The candidates of the DLGS-cohort 2021 at a glance:

Claire Gallacher graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Geography from the University of Glasgow in her home country of Scotland, before completing the Masters of Environmental Governance program at the University of Freiburg. Her master’s thesis looked at species distribution modelling and GIS analysis of endangered tree species in Central Asia in order to identify priority sites for conservation efforts. This was inspired by the work she done during her internship with Bioversity International in Kuala Lumpur on the APFORGIS project. In her doctoral thesis she will expand on her interest in GIS applications to sustainability planning and environmental governance, working on the topic of “Hyperlocal mapping of urban heat islands, vulnerability and risk”. Particular areas of focus shall include the collection of air temperature data where there is a significant gap, and how to successfully link the results of novel GIS analysis and participatory governance to practical solutions for transformative change. Claire Gallacher will be supervised by the director of IOER, Professor Marc Wolfram.

Subhashree Nath holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from IP University, New Delhi, India, and an MSc. in Integrated Urban Development & Design from Bauhaus University, Germany. Her master’s thesis was a proof-of-concept for a novel method developed for assessing liveability in slum upgrading schemes. She continues her research goal towards community-based resilience development & transformation of informal settlements in her doctoral thesis at DLGS. The thesis will test the use of a web-based decision-making toolkit for community-based adaptation of heat-resilience in informal settlements in India. She will be supervised by Prof. Wolfram from the IOER, too.

Raghid Shehayeb graduated as a civil and environmental engineer from Beirut Arab University in Lebanon and completed his master’s degree in Integrated Water Resources Management at the Technische Hochschule Köln. His master’s thesis assessed the urban water security of Beirut considering the water supply, socioeconomic, climate change, and ecosystem dimensions. Furthermore, Raghid developed his research experience through an internship at UNU-FLORES working on diverse topics such as smart water reuse and water management in textiles. With the growing challenges from urban heat and droughts, Raghid’s PhD at DLGS aims to develop and apply an integrated urban heat and drought assessment framework which will support decision making towards more resilient cities against the corresponding risks. His research is supervised by Prof. Jochen Schanze, Chair of working group "Theoretical and Methodological Basics of Ecological Urban and Regional Development", and Dr. Regine Ortlepp, head of the Research Area "Environmental Risks in Urban and Regional Development".

Next application period starts in June

The Dresden Leibniz Graduate School (DLGS) is a joint interdisciplinary facility of the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER), and the Technische Universität Dresden (TUD). It hosts international doctoral students selected in a competitive process, and supported by a full scholarship or contracted part-time at the IOER. Following an overall concern for producing knowledge to enhance spatial sustainability transformations, each call for applications focuses on one particular topic. Currently, the topic for the 12th cohort, starting graduate studies in March 2022, is being developed. The call for applications will be published in June 2021.

Further information on the website of DLGS