JRG "Umwelt und Gesundheit"
c/o South Asia Institute
Dpt. Geography
Voßstraße 2
69115 Heidelberg

JRG - Environment and Health


15 September 2021

Presentations at the International Conference on Sociohydrology, Delft, 6-8 September 2021

In September, the first international sociohydrology conference was hosted in Delft, Netherlands, as a hybrid event. Juliane Dame, Susanne Schmidt, Carina Zang and Marcus Nüsser presented research results entitled "Hydrosocial dynamics and water conflicts in the Upper Huasco Valley, Chile – an integrative assessment". In another paper, Marcus Nüsser, Susanne Schmidt and Juliane Dame presented the topic "Potential, limitations and risks: Towards a socio-hydrological framework for the Himalayan region". Juliane Dame received a grant from the Newave (Next Water Governance) project.

International Conference on Sociohydrology


10 August 2021

Article on adaptation strategies in Chile published in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction

An article by Laura Meltzer, Juliane Dame, and Sabine Gabrysch (PIK, Potsdam) in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction addresses adaptation strategies in the aftermath of a flood event in northern Chile, with particular attention to health consequences. A standardized survey revealed that physical health impacts were uncommon and mild, and not linked to adaptation behaviour. However, mental health impacts were common and an ongoing issue one year after the flood. Material damages and affected infrastructure determined individual adaptation strategies.

Article on adaptation strategies in Chile


12 July 2021

Special issue on the Covid19 pandemic and geographical research in South Asia published in ASIEN

Judith Müller, together with Carsten Butsch (Cologne/Bonn), Alexander Follmann (Cologne) and Markus Keck (Cologne/Göttingen), has co-edited a special issue on "Geographies of South Asia: Empirical Research and the Pandemic" published in June 2021 in the journal ASIEN of the German Association of Asian Studies. The editorial highlights the challenges that geographical research in South Asia in general; and the ways in which they have been exacerbated by the Covid19 pandemic in particular. Other contributions in the issue highlight the diversity of geographical research in South Asia and report on research on social and ecological issues in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Special issue on "Geographies of South Asia: Empirical Research and the Pandemic"


19 May 2021

Judith Müller successfully completed her doctorate

On May 19, 2021, Judith Müller successfully completed her PhD and defended her doctoral dissertation entitled: „Urban Mountain Waterscapes in Leh, Indian Trans-Himalaya – The Transformation of Hydro-Social Relations“.


15 February 2021

Laura Meltzer passed oral examination successfully

Laura Meltzer successfully passed her oral examination as part of the medical doctoral program (Dr. med.) at the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg. Congratulations! In the meantime, she has started her residency in gynaecology.


19 December 2020

Proceedings of the annual meeting of the Arbeitskreis Südasien online

The latest proceedings of the 10th annual meeting of the Arbeitskreis Südasien (Working group on South Asia), which was hosted in Freiburg in January this year, have now been published. The volume edited by Alexander Follmann (Cologne), Judith Müller und Gregor Falk (Freiburg) compiles current contributions in geographical research on South Asia. The current volume in the series "Geographies of South Asia" includes a contribution by Judith Müller, Juliane Dame and Marcus Nüsser on the topic of "Urbane waterscapes im Hochgebirge (Urban high mountain waterscapes)". The publication is available open access via CrossAsia-eBooks.

Publication "Geographien Südasiens"


26 October 2020

Contribution to the anthology "Warnsignal Klima: Hochgebirge im Wandel"

The consequences of climate change are particularly evident in high mountain regions, which are the focus of the newly published book "Warnsignal Klima: Hochgebirge im Wandel". The anthology includes a chapter by Marcus Nüsser, Juliane Dame und Susanne Schmidt on the topic "Socio-Hydrology of the Transhimalaya - Meltwater Availability and Irrigated Agriculture."

Anthology "Warnsignal Klima: Hochgebirge im Wandel"


8 November 2020

Article about research on Ladakh in "The Hindu"

On November 8, 2020, the Indian daily newspaper "The Hindu" published the article "Lessons from Ladakh’s glacial lake outburst - The cause was not spillover but rather a tunnelling drainage process" which deals with the research study (Cryosphere hazards in Ladakh) of the Department of Geography at the South Asia Institute.

Article in "The Hindu"


2 November 2020

Paper on glacier changes in Chile published in Geosciences

An article by Katharina Hess, Susanne Schmidt, Marcus Nüsser, Carina Zang and Juliane Dame in the peer-reviewed journal Geosciences deals with glacial changes in the watershed of the Río Huasco, northern Chile ("Glacier Changes in the Semi-Arid Huasco Valley, Chile, between 1986 and 2016"). In the semi-arid and arid regions of the Chilean Andes, meltwater from the cryosphere is a key resource for the local economy and population. In this setting, climate change and economic activities foster water scarcity and resource conflicts.

The change analysis reveals a more or less stable period between 1986 and 2000 and a drastic decline in the glacier-covered area by about 35% between 2000 and 2016. The detailed assessment of six subregions indicates a more pronounced glacier decrease in the vicinity of the Pascua Lama mining project.

The article is part of a Special Issue on Climate Variability and Landscape Dynamics in Mountain Ecosystems and is available online:

Article in "Geosciences"


30 September 2020

Paper presented at the virtual biennial meeting of the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN), 22-25 September 2020

The third biennial conference of the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN) has been realised as a virtual conference due to the Covid-19 pandemic. More than 1000 participants attended the event with the central theme „Contested Natures: Power, Possibility, Prefiguration“. Judith Müller, Juliane Dame and Marcus Nüsser presented results from research in Ladakh entitled „Urban Mountain Waterscapes: Changing Hydro-Social Relations in Leh (Ladakh), India“.

The third biennial conference of the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN)

Wasserbehaelter Leh Ladakh

Photo: J. Dame, 2017



7 September 2020

New publication: “Cryosphere hazards in Ladakh: the 2014 Gya glacial lake outburst flood and its implications for risk assessment“

An article by Dr. Susanne Schmidt, Prof. Dr. Marcus Nüsser, Dr. Ravi Baghel and Dr. Juliane Dame has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Natural Hazards, which deals with the causes and consequences of a glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) in the village of Gya in the Indian region of Ladakh. The article attempts to reconstruct the causes and consequences of the 2014 glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) event in Gya, Ladakh. The authors analysed the evolution of the Gya glacial lake using a high temporal and high spatial resolution remote sensing approach. In order to frame the case study in a larger picture, we produced a comprehensive inventory of glacial lakes for the entire Trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh. The results can help evaluate the exposure to cryosphere hazards and identify alternative mechanisms and spatial patterns of GLOFs in the Himalaya.

Article in "Natural Hazards"


14 June 2020

New publication: “Urban Mountain Waterscapes: The Transformation of Hydro-Social Relations in the Trans-Himalayan Town Leh, Ladakh, India“

An article by Judith Müller, Dr. Juliane Dame and Prof. Dr. Marcus Nüsser was published in the international peer-reviewed journal "Water". The study aims to understand the transformation of the urban mountain waterscape and the role of different actors involved. It examines the influence of urbanisation processes on water access and infrastructures in Leh town. Using quantitative and qualitative social science methods, the study assesses the evolving challenges in Leh’s waterscape and illustrates water governance approaches and underlying discursive strands.

Publication on MPDI


4 February 2020

Paper presentation at the New Cultural Geography 17 “Technocultures und Technoscapes” in Bonn

At the conference "Technocultures and Technoscapes" (New Cultural Geography 17) in Bonn (30.01-01.02.2020), Juliane Dame, jointly with Tomás Usón (Institute for European Ethnology, HU Berlin) presented results of their research in Chile under the title, “The Production of Hydrological Knowledge as a Power Factor: Conflicts over Water in the Yali Alto Catchment Area, Chile.”

New Cultural Geography 17 “Technocultures und Technoscapes”


29 January 2020

Contribution to the textbook "Geography"

In the third edition of the textbook Physical Geography and Human Geography, edited by H. Gebhardt, R. Glaser, U. Radtke, P. Reuber and A. Vött, a chapter on "Water as a Field of Conflict: Global and Local Dimensions" by Marcus Nüsser and Juliane Dame has been published.


28 January 2020

Paper presented at the meeting of the research group South Asia (Arbeitskreis Südasien) in Freiburg

Judith Müller presented at the annual conference of the research group South Asia (“Arbeitskreis Südasien”), which took place in Freiburg. Her presentation was titled “Urban Waterscapes in High Mountains – An Integrative Analysis in Leh, Ladakh”. Moreover, she was re-elected as a member of the executive board of the research group and is a co-editor of this year’s conference proceedings.

10th Annual Conference of the Research Group South Asia (Ger)


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