On October 19th, Mia Wannewitz, a PhD candidate of the TRANSCEND project, successfully defended her dissertation. Facing a commission and her two supervisors, Prof. Matthias Garschagen and Prof. Fred Krüger, Mia presented her key findings in a genuinely filled room at the Geography Department of the LMU Munich.

Mia’s research focused on advancing the current conceptualisation and understanding of collective adaptation to climate change, using highly exposed and vulnerable neighbourhoods in Jakarta as a case study. Taking into account the socio-cultural diversity within highly exposed and vulnerable neighbourhoods, the study examined which groups form in the context of long-term adaptation to flooding (Wannewitz, Garschagen, forthcoming) and how the members of these groups are mobilised to actively engage in collective adaptation activities (Wannewitz, Garschagen, Petzold, 2023). The work also provides a conceptual overview of how the diversity of differently adapting groups might evolve on a neighbourhood or city scale and which implications that could have for the overall adaptation (Wannewitz, Garschagen, 2023).

After the insightful presentation, Mia navigated through rigorous questioning from the commission and the audience. The defence ended with the commission determining and proclaiming the grade to Mia and the public audience. Closing the formal part, Mia was handed a creatively designed doctor’s hat by her colleagues – not without realising that the next hat has to be made soon.