Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment

Jillian Student

Date: 27 March 2020
Time: 16:00 - 17:30
Location: Auditorium, Wageningen University

Dissertation title: 

Vulnerability is dynamic: An interactive approach to enhance adaptation strategies to climate change for coastal tourism

Group: Environmental Policy Group, Wageningen University
Promotor: prof. dr ir APJ Mol 
Co-promotors: dr MAJ Lamers and dr SB Amelung

Extra information:


Vulnerability (to climate change) is dynamic. Yet, scientific understanding is limited on how vulnerabilities emerge and how emergent vulnerability affects adaptation strategies. Change creates complexity for understanding social and environmental consequences for coastal tourism destinations, recognised by the IPCC as being vulnerable to climate change and dependent on tourism revenue. This research provides a conceptual lens for capturing dynamic vulnerability. The dynamic vulnerability approach explicitly includes human-human and human-environment interactions, and incorporates simulation-guided interviews, agent-based modelling, companion modelling, and local actors to improve understanding of these ongoing interactions. Although the research focuses on the Caribbean islands of Barbados and Curaçao, the dynamic approach presented and operationalised has wider implications: the tools can be applied to other coastal destinations and the concepts can be used for other vulnerability assessments. In terms of adaptation strategies, the approach shows the main factors limiting and contributing to actions under changing conditions.