Martin Beniston




Martin Beniston was born in England in 1953 and holds three passports (Swiss, British, French). He undertook his university studies in England (BSc in Environmental Science at the University of East Anglia and MSc in Atmospheric Physics at the University of Reading), and completed his Doctoral dissertation on Atmospheric Modelling at the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD) of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. More recently, he obtained his Habilitation degree at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich in Climate Modelling.

His career in research has led him from France (Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique - LMD - Paris) to Australia (Macquarie University, Sydney), Canada (University of Quebec), Germany (Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg) and, since 1985, Switzerland. He has worked in the fields of air pollution at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL); from 1990-1992 he was director of ProClim (the Swiss National Climate Program of the Swiss Academy of Sciences in Bern), and from 1993-1996, he shared his time between a senior scientist position at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich and the vice-chairmanship of one of the working groups of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, that was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize). He still contributes to the IPCC process as author for several chapters in the sequence of IPCC assessment reports (1996; 2001; 2007). From 1996 to 2006, he held a full professor position as head of the Department of Geosciences/Geography at the University of Fribourg.

On October 1, 2006, he was appointed full professor at the University of Geneva, where he holds the Chair for Climate Research and Director of the new Institute for Environmental Sciences. Among other research tasks, he is since late 2008 the initiator and coordinator of a major EU Framework Programme 7 project (“ACQWA”) dedicated to assessing changes in water resources in vulnerable mountain regions.

Martin Beniston has over 160 publications in the international literature (peer-reviewed journal papers, book chapters), has authored 4 books (one in French) and edited or co-edited a further 9 volumes with major publishers. He is series editor of “Advances in Global Change Research” published by Springer Publishers, and organizes the international and inter-disciplinary Wengen Workshops on Global Change Research in the Bernese Alps, that has brought together leading researchers at the international level to discuss topics relevant to global change issues since 1995. He is a member of international scientific committees in Austria, Canada, Germany, Switzerland and the EU, is a reviewer for numerous international scientific journals, and was elected to the Academia Europea in 2000.

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Jan 26th 2015

This course provides an overview of climate change adaptation for the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) with a focus on the environmental perspective. It will present the key concepts regarding the issues of adaptation to climate change and the methodological tools needed to analyse challenges faced by SIDS, in order to propose sustainable solutions.

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