You are here: Home Geography of Global … Team & contact details Prof. Dr. Hartmut Fünfgeld

Prof. Dr. Hartmut Fünfgeld

Chair of Geography of Global Change
E-Mail: hartmut.fuenfgeld[at]
Phone: ++49(0)761 203-3560
Room: 04025


Research topics

  • Global change research, esp. climate change impacts and adaptation
  • Sustainable urban and regional development
  • Social vulnerability and resilience research
  • Development geography
  • Transdisciplinary research

Lecturing and teaching activities

  • Lectures and seminars on: human responses to climate change, development geography, urban governance and planning, energy transition, sustainability planning and management, participatory and transdisciplinary research methods
  • Field trips and study tours: South and Southeast Asia (esp. Sri Lanka, Vietnam), Switzerland, Ruhr Area, Black Forest etc.

Advisory roles and memberships

  • Adjunct Professor, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Global Advisor to the United Nations Global Compact Cities Programme
  • Selection committee member, Waldseemüller Award, Association of the Friends of the University of Freiburg
  • Member, Scientific Council of the Energieagentur Regio Freiburg
  • Editorial board member of the journal Environmental Policy and Governance
  • Past member, Victorian Government Adaptation Expert Reference Group, Australia
  • Past member of the Advisory Committee for the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) ‘Making Cities Resilient’ Campaign
  • Past expert judge for Victorian Government Premier’s Sustainability Awards, Australia
  • Expert reviewer for scientific bodies (selection): Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Austrian Science Fund (FWF), National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF), Australia
  • Reviewer for academic journals and conferences (selection): Nature Climate Change; Global Environmental Change; Environmental Policy and Governance; Environment & Planning C: Government and Policy; Climate Policy; Disasters; Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability; Landscape and Urban Planning; Journal of Environmental Planning and Management; PLOS One; Sustainability; Urban Climate, WIRES Climate Change.


  • Since 02/2018
   Professor of Geography of Global Change, Institute of Environmental Social Sciences and Geography, Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
  • 01/2016 – 01/2018
   Associate Professor in Sustainability and Urban Planning, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT), Melbourne, Australia
  • 01/2015 – 12/2015
   Senior Lecturer Sustainability and Urban Planning & Program Manager, Master of International Urban and Environmental Management, RMIT, Melbourne, Australia
  • 04/2013 – 12/2014
   Director (Acting), Centre for Urban Research, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT), Melbourne, Australia
  • 09/2012 – 03/2013
   Senior Research Fellow, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT, Melbourne, Australia
  • 10/2010 – 08/2012
   Research Fellow, Climate Change Adaptation Program, RMIT, Melbourne, Australia
  • 12/2006 - 09/2010
   Various roles in policy development and program management, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, Freiburg, Germany & Melbourne, Australia
  • 07/2006
   Doctor of Philosophy in Geography, (Thesis: ‘Fishing in Muddy Waters: Socio-Environmental Relations under the Impact of Violence in Eastern Sri Lanka’, Verlag für Entwicklungspolitik, 2007)
  • 02/2003 – 11/2005
   Lecturer in Development Geography, Department of Geography, South Asia Institute, Ruprecht-Karls University of Heidelberg, Germany
  • 04/2001 – 12/2002
   Research Assistant, Department of Geography, South Asia Institute, Ruprecht-Karls University of Heidelberg, Germany
  • 02/1998 – 01/1999
   Research Assistant, Laboratory for Geo-ecology and Geomorphology, Department of Geography, Ruprecht-Karls University of Heidelberg, Germany
  • 2000 – 2001
   Study abroad, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 1997 – 2002
   Undergraduate studies in geography (major), social anthropology and geology

Recently taught courses (at the University Freiburg only)

  • Lecture (B.Sc.): Economic and development geography (in German)– Winter term 2018/19
  • Project seminar (M.Sc.): Actor-focused adaptation to climate change: decision-making and planning processes in southern Baden-Württemberg (in German) – Summer term 2019 & winter term 2018/19
  • Seminar (M.Sc.): Resilience thinking: examining theory and application in geography and urban planning – Winter term 2018/19
  • Seminar (M.Sc.): Spatial implications of energy transition (in German) – Summer terms 2018, 2019
  • Seminar (M.Sc.): Regional studies: integrative case study – Winter term 2018/19