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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - IRI THESys

Climate Change and Sustainable Risk Management for Agriculture – Building business resilience through adaptation. The Case Study of the ´Mount Hesse´ farm in Australia

Christin Meyer is a PhD student at the Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and a member of the IRI THESys Graduate Program. Her research interests include challenges and risks from climate variability and change on agricultural production, quantitative modelling of cropping and livestock production and sustainable adaptation strategies.

The agricultural sector is highly vulnerable to climate variability and change. Climate change is supposed to aggravate the exposure of agriculture to natural perils through increased variability of weather patterns and increased frequency and severity of extreme climate events. Production conditions are directly and indirectly influenced by climate change. Drier conditions or even droughts for example, are causing direct influences on crop production, which tends to fall and recover sharply. In contrast, the livestock production tends to fall less sharply in drought years as farmers can use supplementary feed to support production. Although the effects are more indirect through changes in pasture, the effects of droughts are noticeable much longer on livestock than on cropping production.

My PhD thesis focuses on the risks, challenges but also possible opportunities that climate variability and change is coming along with for the Mount Hesse farm and area, which is located south-east of Melbourne/Australia. There has been a temperature increase of about 1°C over the last century and a precipitation decrease. This trend is expected to continue in future which means that adaptation strategies are becoming a vital concern. Adaptation aims at reducing risks for  agricultural production, helps to cope with uncertainty, harness beneficial opportunities and supports business resilience. Although the Australian farmers are superb adapters, climate change might pose new challenges. In my PhD thesis, I will model historical crop yields and simulate future yield developments, as well as correlations between climate parameters and wool quality. Beside quantitative research, I will also conduct qualitative expert interviews to include local knowledge to ensure sustainable output.

Christin Meyer is a doctoral researcher at the Institute for Climate Impact Research and a member of the IRI THESys Graduate Program. She graduated as a Master of Science in Geography at the University of Hamburg in October 2013. The focus of her thesis was Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and climate change in South Africa, where she conducted several qualitative expert interviews in August and September of 2012. Upon finishing her degree, she did a 6-month internship at the Munich Re foundation (Munich), focusing on global problems such as climate change, risks and sustainable resources management.

Since 1 September 2014, Christin Meyer works at the Institute for Climate Impact Research and became an IRI THESYs member one month later. She focuses on challenges from climate change to agricultural production for the south-eastern area of Melbourne and is being supervised by Prof. Hermann Lotze-Campen (PIK), Dr. Frank Wechsung (PIK) and Prof. Jürgen Scheffran (University Hamburg).


Christin Meyer


Christin Meyer, Doctoral Researcher
THESys Graduate Program
Phone: +49 331 288 2586
E-mail: Christin.Meyer@pik-potsdam.de