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Keynote speakers

3rd International ConferenceNatural Hazards and Risks in a Changing World
Addressing Compound and Multi-Hazard Risk

Dr. Jenty Kirsch-Wood

UNDRR Alternate

Multi-Risk Approaches for Reducing Disaster risk in the context of the Global Agendas

Jenty Kirsch-Wood joined UNDRR in 2022 as the Head of Global Risk Analysis and Reporting.  Previously she served as UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Kyrgyzstan and advised Viet Nam and Nepal on climate change and disaster resilience issues. She also served as the Disaster and Climate Change Policy Focal Point for UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.   She has nearly 20 years’ experience working with UN agencies and non-governmental organisations in Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kenya and Somalia.   

Jenty holds a Master’s Degree from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor’s Degree from Harvard University.  

Dr. Mariana Madruga de Brito

Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology, UFZ-Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany

Tracking adaptation measures and socio-economic impacts of multi-hazards and using machine learning and NLP

Mariana Madruga de Brito is an interdisciplinary scientist working in the intersection of natural and social sciences. After obtaining an MSc in Engineering (2014), she pursued a PhD in Geography at the University of Bonn, investigating the socioeconomic vulnerability towards floods (2015-2018). From 2019 to 2023, she was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), where she pioneered innovative approaches for assessing drought and flood socioeconomic impacts using text as data. In 2023, she established the Computational Sociology for Extreme Events working group at the UFZ, focusing on the use of computational social sciences methods such as large language models and network analyses in multi-hazards risk research. During her career, she undertook research stays in Vigo, Copenhagen, Porto Alegre, Klagenfurt, Potsdam, and Amsterdam. Her current research focuses on knowledge synthesis using quantitative methods, long-term monitoring of climate impacts on society, analyses of human-water interactions, and investigating social inequalities.

Dr. Wim Thiery

Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Department of Water and Climate

Will you live an unprecedented life?

Wim Thiery is a climate scientist focused on modelling extreme events in a changing climate. After obtaining MScs at KU Leuven in Philosophy (2008) and Terrestrial Ecosystems and Global Change (2011), he was an FWO PhD fellow investigating the interaction between climate and the African Great Lakes with a regional climate model (2011–2015). From 2015 to 2018, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at ETH Zurich, where he investigated the historical and future impacts of irrigation on climate extremes at the global scale. In 2017 (age 29), he was appointed as research professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, where he established the BCLIMATE Group. With over 900 media contributions since 2014, he is one of Belgium’s leading climate science communicators. During his research, he undertook research exchanges to Montréal, Berlin, and Zurich, and conducted field campaigns to Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo to install automatic weather stations on Lake Kivu and Lake Victoria. Thiery is contributing author of the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land (2019) and the Sixth Assessment Report (2021). His expertise includes climate change, climate extremes, regional and global climate modelling, land-atmosphere interactions, land management, storm early warnings, energy meteorology, and global-scale climate impact modelling. In 2017, Forbes magazine elected him as a member of the “Forbes 30 under 30 Europe”, bringing together “the brightest young entrepreneurs, innovators and game changers in Europe”. In 2023, he received one of the Arne Richter Awards for Outstanding Early Career Scientists from the European Geosciences Union.


European Commission Representative

Multi-risk science for the European Commission

J-P, as he is usually called for ease of pronunciation, is a Project Officer at the European Commission’s DG ECHO currently coordinating the Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network’s science pillar and previously designing criteria for humanitarian aid funding and beneficiary estimation. He holds a Bachelor and a Master of Administrative Sciences from the University of Tampere, a police officer’s degree, and is attempting to complete a PhD in Applied Economics at the University of Antwerp on behavioural climate change aspects of humanitarian aid and disaster risk management. Before the EU, he served in different public sector roles, such as impact and threat foresight at the Prime Minister’s Office of Finland, international security analysis at Police of Finland and OSCE, or military assignment under NATO, EU and UN in Afghanistan and Chad.