Climate Stress Syria: Who we are

Main project team: The core team consist of Lina Eklund, Pınar Dinç and Petter Pilesjö, from the Department of Pysical Geography and Ecosystem Science/Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University. We also have a few people helping out in different parts of the project, listed below.

Lina Eklund has a Ph.D. in Physical Geography and Ecosystem Analysis from Lund University. Her Ph.D. project involved research on the link between people and land in Iraqi Kurdistan. She finished her Ph.D. in 2015 with the dissertation “No Friends but the Mountains: Understanding Population Mobility and Land Dynamics in Iraqi Kurdistan”. Her current research interests are placed within the fields of land system science and environmental security. With the use of satellite images and spatial methods, she explores the potential connections between drought, migration, land use, and conflict in the Middle East. She is a researcher at the Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science at Lund University.

Lina is the PI of this project and focuses mainly on drought, land degradation, the land system effects and the social-ecological impacts.

Lina’s Publications (link)

Pınar Dinç holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Department of Government at the London School of Economics. She has been a postdoctoral researcher at Lund University as a Swedish Institute fellow between 2017 and 2018 and a Marie-Sklodowska Curie fellow between 2018 and 2020. Her research interests lie in the areas of nationalism, ethnicity, social movements, memory, diaspora, and the conflict and environment nexus in the Middle East and beyond. Since 2020, Pinar is leading the Turkey Beyond Borders: Critical Voices, New Perspectives project at Lund University. From 2021 onwards, she will be working as a researcher at the Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science at Lund University.

In this project, Pinar leads the research on the societal effects of climate stress, including research on Syrian migrants in Syria, the Middle East and Europe.

Pinar’s publications (link)

Petter Pilesjö is a Professor at the Centre for Geographical Informations Systems (GIS Centre) at Lund University. He is a geographer and a spatial modeller with a Ph.D. in Physical Geography/soil erosion/GIS from 1992. Since 1986 he has been working with research and education in Europe and developing countries (mainly Africa, Asia, and the Middle East). His research is focusing on GIS in environment, health studies, implementation of GIS and pedagogic research e.g. in social sciences (regional development and economy), as well as on technical issues (modelling and algorithm development). Areas of special interest are hydrological modelling, topographical modelling/interpolation, coastal planning, morphometry, remote sensing, and positioning (including GPS). He has long experience in organising and conducting GIS courses and workshops in Sweden as well as in developing countries.

In this project, Petter serves as an advisor who provides feedback on logistical, administrative as well as scientific questions, and this he ensures the project moves forward successfully.

Petter’s Publications (link)

Other project members:


Gianna Angermayr is currently pursuing her studies in Economic Development at the Department of Economic History of Lund University. She has a background in international law, political sciences, contemporary history and international economics, as she studied at the University of Geneva for her Bachelor in International Relations. Her main interests lie within the water-food-agriculture nexus in relation to structural transformation and economic development, with a particular focus on emerging economies and developing countries.


Berit Mohr – Master student who wrote her thesis on drought, land abandonment and migration in North-Eastern Syria

Cecilia Axelsson Örberg – Project assistant and workshop coordinator

Orwa Ajjoub – Project assistant working on interviews with Syrian migrants

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