International Workshop

Climate and Migration:

Historical and Present Perspectives

About Workshop

Time and Place: 3–4 June 2024, Department of Geography, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic

Call for abstracts: 18 February 2024

Acceptance decision: 15 March 2024

The invitation for this workshop can be found here.

Written records, early instrumental observations or various artefacts represent a significant potential to study past mobility from a climate perspective. Given current concerns over climate change, disasters, and migration, the theme of the meeting is highly topical. Although research into the present impacts of global warming and extreme weather on mobility and immobility has accelerated, the history of climate and migration has received comparatively little scholarly attention.

This meeting aims to initiate new research activities on mobility and climate, share viewpoints and experience, support new international collaborations among researchers, and define research goals. In addition, the meeting will plan the working group’s next activities and publications.

The organisers invite contributions in all of the following topics:

  • Influences of past climate variability and extreme weather events on human migration;
  • Impacts of climate variability on transport;
  • Climate and colonialism;
  • Different spatial and temporal scales of climate, migration, and mobility;
  • Methodological challenges and innovations in the study of climate and migration;
  • Climate change, ecosystems, diseases and migration

The conference is directed at researchers in all career stages, including those with backgrounds in history, archaeology, climate science, and related disciplines. We also encourage museum practitioners, climate communicators, and societal stakeholders with an interest in past climate and migration to apply.

Workshop language


Workshop fee and travel support

Participation is free of charge. Limited travel grants will be available for early career researchers and from low- and middle-income countries. Online sessions are planned for all participants who cannot attend in person.

Submission of abstracts

Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words, a short CV (max. 1 page), and an indication of whether you require travel support by 18 February 2024.

Abstract submission


Dr Lukáš Dolák (Masaryk University)
Prof Sam White (University of Helsinki)
Prof Dr Heli Huhtamaa (University of Bern)
Dr Qing Pei (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)

Partners and Sponsors

The meeting is hosted jointly by the Department of Geography (Faculty of Science, Masaryk University) and the CRIAS group (Climate Reconstruction and Impacts from the Archives of Societies) of the PAGES (Past Global Changes) network. The workshop is organized under the auspices of the Czech Geographical Society, the Department of Geography (Faculty of Science, Masaryk University) and the Mayor of the City of Brno Markéta Vaňková.

The workshop is financially supported by PAGES.

More information can be found on the PAGES calendar.

Links for sharing:

We would also like to draw your attention to the conference "Climate of the past and societal responses to environmental changes" taking place 5-8 June 2024 at the University of Bern, Switzerland. There is a very convenient train connection between the venues of both conferences, allowing for effortless participation in both events.

  • The oral sessions will feature invited keynote speakers and presentations by speakers selected upon an open call. The workshop does not include a poster session. The workshop program will be enriched with a social event.
  • The expected length of one presentation is about 20 minutes. Each presentation will be followed by a short discussion (approx. 10 min)
  • Book of abstracts

Day 1: Monday, June 3rd 2024
9:00 Registration and small refreshment
9:40-10:00 Introduction and welcome
10.00-12:00 Extreme events and mobility in modern South Asia (hybrid) (chair Lukáš Dolák)

  • Mohammad Abdul Quader (Jagannath University, Dhaka): Mobility of natural hazards prone coastal vulnerable people: A case of a riverine island of Bangladesh
  • Abdul Malak (Jagannath University, Dhaka): Older adults’ mobility to tropical cyclone: Insights from the coastal Bangladesh
  • Jathunge Nadeesha Deepika Jayathunga and Nideka Ishani Nanayakkara (University of Colombo, Colombo) (online): Climate change impacts on human mobility and migration: With reference to Anuradhapura and Puttalam Districts, Sri Lanka
  • Sahana Bose (Assam University, Silchar) (online): Assessing the past climate variabilities and extreme weather events on human migration: A study on Indian Sunderbans

12:00-13:00 Lunch break
13:00-14:00 Keynote lecture

  • Radim Tolasz (represented by Adam Valík) (Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, Ostrava): Migration - part of global adaptation to climate change?

14:00-14:15 Coffee break
14:15-16:15 Migration in times of crisis (chair Heli Huhtamaa)

  • Carina Damm (University of Silesia in Katowice, Katowice): (Im)mobile Vikings: Environmental stress and resilience in the medieval North
  • Dominik Collet (University of Oslo, Oslo): Appropriating climate. Personal mobility during the 1770s climate anomaly in Europe
  • Nicolas Maughan (Aix-Marseille University, Marseille): Climate-induced migrations during the late LIA in Southern French Alps: The case of the “Barcelonnettes” from the Ubaye Valley
  • Andrea Kiss (Vienna University of Technology, Vienna): Following the Sun. Droughts, pluvials, and migration in/from the Carpathian Basin in the 18th-19th centuries

16:15-16:45 Coffee break and stretch legs

17:15 Social event
Mysterious underground cathedrals from the years 1874, 1894, and 1917. Two brick and now also a third concrete water tank, which are unparalleled in Europe and whose visit will take your breath away! The Water Tanks are hidden beneath the hill Žlutý kopec in the centre of Brno. Admission fee is about 20 EUR (550 CZK)/per person.

19:00 Workshop dinner (Suzie's steak pub, Kounicova 10, Brno-střed)

Day 2: Tuesday, June 4th 2024
8:00-10:00 Past migrations in East Asia (hybrid) (chair Qing Pei)

  • Xiuqi Fang (Beijing Normal University, Beijing): Creation of social-ecological resilience by migration driven by climate change in the history of China
  • Jie Fei (Fudan University, Shanghai) (online): The Great Drought of 1628 AD and immigration from Chinese mainland to Taiwan Island
  • Diyang Zhang and Siyu Chen (University of Freiburg, Freiburg/University of Bern, Bern): Changing pathways from drought to rural migration: A retrospect of drought events in the North China Plain
  • Pi-ling Pai (Academia Sinica, Taipei): Exploring climate disasters and migration associated with the social unrest of the White Lotus Rebellion in late 18th century China based on the SIER and REACHES databases

10:00-10:30 Coffee break and stretch legs
10:30-12:00 Methods for the study of historical migration (hybrid) (chair Lukáš Dolák)

  • Mika Ichino (Research Organization of Information and Systems, Tokyo) (online): Climate change and severe famines: Exploring the relationship between solar radiation and the dynamics of historical migration
  • Carla Mateus (Maynooth University, Maynooth): Impacts of extreme air temperature events and climate change in Ireland
  • Michael Kahle (University of Freiburg, Freiburg): Decyphering impacts of climatic extremes on mobility by methods of machine learning

12:00-13:00 Lunch break
13:00-14:00 Keynote lecture

  • Julia Mildorfova Leventon (Global Change Research Institute, Brno): The root causes of climate change and how they shape migration and migration response

14:00-14:15 Coffee break
14:15-15:45 Past and contemporary perspectives (chair Sam White)

  • Philipp Nicolas Lehmann (University of California, Riverside): Moves against the state: Climate and migration colonial Southwest Africa
  • Esmatullah Khyber (University of East Anglia, Norwich): Climate change as a catalyst for migration: Understanding the multidimensional and gradual impact of climatic-environmental changes on global migration patterns
  • Natália Melo (University of Évora/In2PAST, Évora): Empowering communities in shaping narratives: a comparative analysis of museum exhibitions and piscatory communities in Portugal and Brazil

15:45-16:00 Coffee break
16:00-16:30 Closing roundtable and discussion

  • Lukáš Dolák, Sam White, Heli Huhtamaa, Qing Pei

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Prof Julia Mildorfova Leventon (CzechGlobe)

No description
  • Julia Leventon is a professor in sustainability science, and is the Head of Department of social dimensions of global change, in the Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences. She is an environmental social scientist whose expertise is in societal transformations for sustainability. She has contributed to the Intergovernmental panel for climate change (IPCC) on this topic, and is currently serving as a coordinating lead author to the Transformative Change assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
  • Julia’s research explores governance processes for transformations, including how democratic decision-making processes can address the scientific imperative of mitigating climate change and biodiversity loss. She is currently leading the Horizon-funded project PLUS Change – Planning Land Use Strategies: Meeting climate, biodiversity and social goals in a Changing world.

Dr Radim Tolasz PhD (CHMI)

No description
  • Head of the Climate Change Department of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMI) and, since 2014, Czech representative in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
  • Since 1986, he has been working at the CHMI as a climatologist. He is a World Meteorological Organization (WMO) expert on climatological databases and climate data exchange and co-author of the Czech climatological application CLIDATA. In cooperation with the WMO, this application is used in more than 30 meteorological services worldwide. Author or co-author of many scientific articles and publications and since 2012 also editor-in-chief of the Meteorological Bulletin and member of the editorial board of the Meteorological Journal.
Information for Participants

Venue and Location

The workshop is hosted at the Department of Geography (Faculty of Science, Masaryk University). The main venue will be at the Faculty of Science, building No. 5, the 1st floor, Room Z4, conveniently located near the Konečného náměstí square station. Building plans specifying the most important rooms and facilities are available to you below.

Map of Locality:

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Department of Geography, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University
Kotlarska 267/2
611 37 Brno
Czech Republic


  • The Eduroam WiFi network is available for all workshop participants.
  • If you do not have access to Eduroam, the MUNIguests WiFi network is provided for you.

    WiFi name: MUNIguests
    Password: MUNIguests


We recommend the following hotels as they are centrally located and offer good value for money.

Masaryk University and the following hotels have negotiated discounts if you book a room. If you decide to accommodate in one of the following hotels, please contact the organizer Lukáš Dolák at, who will help you to arrange the discount.

  • BARCELÓ BRNO PALACE ***** (Šilingrovo náměstí 2, Brno)
  • COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT **** ( Holandská 12, 639 00 Brno)
  • INTERNATIONAL BRNO **** (Husova 16, 602 00 Brno)
  • OREA HOTELS AND RESORTS - OREA HOTEL VORO *** (Křížkovského 49, 603 73 Brno)
  • HOTEL CONTINENTAL **** (Kounicova 6, 602 00 Brno)
  • HOTEL PASSAGE **** (Lidická 23, 602 00 Brno)
  • GRANDHOTEL BRNO **** (Benešova 18, 602 00 Brno)

You can find more hotels on the usual booking platforms (, and on the Brno Tourism website.

More detailed information about Brno city can be found on the

Travel to Brno

You can arrive in Brno by train, by plane or by bus. For more information, please, see the website Go To Brno.

Travel support

  • We kindly ask all workshop participants who asked for travel support to send an invoice and all receipts relating to the travel (fly/train/bus tickets, receipt for paid accommodation, etc.) to the email address It is also possible to send all receipts after the workshop.
  • For easier and faster payment processing, please fill in the invoice template which you obtained via email.
  • Upon receiving all receipts, all reported travel costs will be reimbursed to your bank account.

Useful Links

Workshop Policies


  • Since the workshop is held in a hybrid format, all presentations and subsequent discussions will be recorded. By participating in the workshop, you give permission for your presentations to be recorded.

Anti-harassment Policy

  • Climate and Migration workshop is committed to providing a harassment- discrimination-free meeting experience for everyone. We do not tolerate harassment, discrimination or inappropriate behaviours of workshop participants in any form, whether in person or online.

Unacceptable Behaviour at the Workshop

Unacceptable behaviour includes, but is not limited to:

  • Harassment, bullying, psychological abuse or discrimination in any form.
  • Offensive, degrading, defamatory, frightening, intimidating or insulting verbal or written comments or behaviour.
  • Any statements or behaviour that reinforce hierarchies and prejudice relating to gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, physical appearance, body size, age, religion, social class, birthplace or any other aspect of an individual’s identity.
  • Sexist, misogynist, transphobic, homophobic, classist or racist language, expression, or behaviours.
  • Unwanted or unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behaviour.

Guidelines for Reporting of Unacceptable Behaviour

  • Anyone asked to stop any of the above unacceptable behaviour is expected to comply immediately.
  • If a participant engages in unacceptable behaviour, the congress organisers can take any actions necessary to maintain the welcoming environment of the congress for other participants.
  • If someone makes you or anyone else feel unsafe or unwelcome, or you have any other concerns, please report it to our anti-harassment contacts, Heli Huhtamaa or Qing Pei, as soon as possible. Their emails and phone numbers can be found in the Contacts section.



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