Frank Thomalla

Title: Senior Research Fellow

Role: Co-leader, SEI Initiative on Transforming Development and Disaster Risk

Expertise: Vulnerability, resilience and adaptation, with a focus on coastal zones

Centre: Asia

Frank Thomalla is a Senior Research Fellow in SEI's Asia Centre, where he leads the research cluster on disaster risk and co-leads the SEI Initiative on Transforming Development and Disaster Risk.

He has more than 20 years' experience and specializes in disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, and development.

His work focuses on advancing theoretical and practical understanding of the complex interactions of the human-environment system and the implications of these processes for poverty reduction, livelihoods, and sustainable, equitable and resilient development. He has been a principal investigator in a number of large collaborative research and capacity-building projects.

He was a lead author for Chapter 7 ‘Vulnerability of Human-Environment Systems: Challenges and Opportunities’ of the UNEP Global Environment Outlook GEO-4 and a Contributing Author to Chapter 5 ‘Managing the Risks from Climate Extremes at the Local Level’ of IPCC Working Group II (Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation of ‘Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation’.

Most recently, he was lead expert on ‘Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation’ of the UN ESCAP working group on 'Increasing Economic and Technical Cooperation to Address Shared Vulnerabilities and Risks in the Asia Pacific Region' and coordinating lead author of Section 1.4 ‘Increasing Vulnerability to the Impacts of Natural Hazards and Extreme Events’ of the Regional Assessment Report for Asia and the Pacific of the UNEP Global Environment Outlook GEO-6.

He has produced more than 50 journal articles, book chapters, research reports and working papers, and has contributed to numerous national and international workshops and conferences.  

He is on the Board of Editors of the journals Regional Environmental Change and International Journal of Disaster Risk Science and acts as reviewer for several other highly regarded international journals.  He has also contributed to undergraduate and graduate teaching programs in the UK, Sweden, Australia and Thailand.

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