Berry Gersonius PhD, MSc

Senior Lecturer in Urban Flood Resilience


Berry Gersonius (MSc in Civil Engineering from TUDelft) is Senior Lecturer in Urban Flood Resilience at IHE Delft. The scope of his work covers education, research and capacity building in the field of urban water and flood risk management. In 2012, he finalized his PhD study, entitled ‘The resilience approach to climate adaptation applied for flood risk’. His research interests are specifically on the application of resilience to urban water systems, on the development of adaptation policy pathways, and on the delivery of water sensitive cities.

He has been involved as a project member in various national and international research projects (e.g. FP7 FloodProbe, Interreg IVB MARE, COST C22 Urban Flood Management, COM23 Water Robust Building, and UFM Dordrecht). Currently he participates in the CRC WSC project on Socio-Technical Flood Resilience, the ADB project MARE Indonesia, the WOTRO IP Dynamic Deltas, and the Interreg IVB project CAMINO. Berry Gersonius has been reviewer for various international journals (e.g. HESS, J of Hydrology, JFRM, Risk Analysis, Water Management, Water Policy, and Water Research). He is responsible for the course of Water Resilient Cities within the Flood Resilience (Chair) Group.

He is also an expert on flood safety and stormwater for the City of Dordrecht. At Dordrecht, Berry Gersonius is working on the development of an integrated flood risk management strategy for dike ring 22, based on the concept of multi-level safety (i.e. addressing protection, prevention and preparedness). He is a member of the regional Delta Programme Rhine Estuary-Drechtsteden.


Ashley, R., Blanskby, J., Newman, R., Gersonius, B., Poole, A., Lindley, G., Smith, S., Ogden, S. & Nowell, R. 2012. Learning and Action Alliances to build capacity for flood resilience. Journal of Flood Risk Management, 5, 14-22.
Gersonius, B., Ashley, R., Pathirana, A. & Zevenbergen, C. 2012. Climate change uncertainty: building flexibility into water and flood risk infrastructure. Climatic Change, 1-13.
Gersonius, B., Ashley, R. & Zevenbergen, C. 2012. The identity approach for assessing socio-technical resilience to climate change: example of flood risk management for the Island of Dordrecht. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci, 12, 2139-2146..
Gersonius, B., Nasruddin, F., Ashley, R., Jeuken, A., Pathirana, A. & Zevenbergen, C. 2012. Developing the evidence base for mainstreaming adaptation of stormwater systems to climate change. Water Research, 46, 20, 6824-6835.
Pathirana, A., Gersonius, B. & Radhakrishnan, M. 2012. Web 2.0 collaboration tools to support student research in hydrology–an opinion. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions, 9, 2541-2567.
Delelegn, S., Pathirana, A., Gersonius, B., Adeogun, A. & Vairavamoorthy, K. 2011. Multi-objective optimisation of cost-benefit of urban flood management using a 1 D 2 D coupled model. Water science and technology, 63, 1054.
Zevenbergen, C., Van Herk, S., Rijke, J., Kabat, P., Bloemen, P., Ashley, R., Speers, A., Gersonius, B. & Veerbeek, W. 2012. Taming global flood disasters. Lessons learned from Dutch experience. Natural Hazards, 1-9.
Gersonius, B., Morselt, T., Van Nieuwenhuijzen, L., Ashley, R. & Zevenbergen, C. 2011. How the Failure to Account for Flexibility in the Economic Analysis of Flood Risk and Coastal Management Strategies Can Result in Maladaptive Decisions. Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering, 1, 96.
Ven, F., Gersonius, B., Graaf, R., Luijendijk, E. & Zevenbergen, C. 2011. Creating water robust urban environments in the. Journal of Flood Risk Management, 4, 273-280.
Gersonius, B., Ashley, R., Pathirana, A. & Zevenbergen, C. 2010. Managing the flooding system's resiliency to climate change. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers Engineering Sustainability, 163, 15-22.

Other information

Recent and ongoing research projects

  • CRC for Water Sensitive Cities brings together the inter-disciplinary research expertise and thought-leadership of Australia, Singapore, Denmark and the Netherlands to address the challenges in urban water management now facing Australia’s towns and cities. The objective of Flood Resilience Group-led PhD research is to improve adaptation-related decision making to focus expenditure for greatest return on investment and at the same time deliver robust infrastructure for and a resilient community to flooding (and other risks). This will further develop existing Dutch and European approaches for resilient adaptation within an Australian context.
  • FloodProBE is an EU FP7 project with the objective of providing cost-effective solutions for flood risk reduction in urban areas. FloodProBE aims to develop technologies, methods and tools for flood risk assessment and for the practical adaptation of new and existing buildings, infrastructure and flood defences leading to a better understanding of vulnerability, flood resilience and defence performance. This research supports implementation of the Floods Directive through the development of more effective flood risk management strategies. The work is being undertaken in close partnership with industry, and is utilising pilot sites across Europe, to help provide practical industry guidance and cost effective construction solutions.
  • MARE stands for Managing Adaptive REsponses to changing flood risk in the North Sea region. The overarching aim of the project is to enable widespread implementation of local adaptive measures to reduce and adapt to flood risk. Therefore the project sets out to develop and demonstrate a transnational approach to local Flood Risk Management (FRM) through the following parallel areas of activity: setting up Learning and Action Alliances, development of a Climate Proofing Toolbox, and demonstration (Bergen, Dordrecht, Hannover, and Sheffield/Rotherham).
  • NWO WOTRO Integrated Project 'Flood Resilience in the Bangladeshi and Dutch Deltas' will assess and compare the strategies and policies of governments, professionals and communities to reduce flood risk and vulnerability in the Bangladeshi and Dutch Deltas, to contribute to poverty reduction through the strengthening of institutional and community capacities to manage moderate floods and increase resilience to extreme floods. The research will examine how different communities develop, adopt, implement and modify flood risk management policies in the two deltas, and will enhance mutual learning between Bangladesh and the Netherlands.


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