Dr. Rainer Bell

Post doc

Research Associate in the Research Group "Geomorphology and
Environmental Systems”

Research interests/regions

  • Integrative natural hazard and risk analysis and management, cascading hazards and risks
  • Mountain geomorphology, landslides, floods, permafrost
  • Early warning systems
  • GIS, Remote sensing and spatial analysis in general
  • Himalayas (Nepal), Andes, Austria, Germany, Norway, Iceland, China

Teaching (at Universities of Bonn, Vienna and Klagenfurt)

  • GIS courses including remote sensing (topics: geomorphology, natural hazard and risk modelling)
  • Field courses in geomorphology
  • Courses on Earth System Science and Global Environmental Change
  • Introductory courses to geomorphology and physical geography
  • Field trips (e.g. Nepal, Romania, European Alps, SW-Germany, Eifel/Rheinland)
  • KaVoMa course: Multi hazards and risk analysis
Avatar Bell

Dr. Rainer Bell

0.029 (154)

Meckenheimer Allee 166

53115 Bonn

Office hours: by arrangement

Curriculum vitae

Since 2021: Post-Doc at Department of Geography, University of Bonn

2017-2020: Post-Doc at Department of Geography, University of Innsbruck (part time)

2017 and 2019-2021: External lecturer at Department of Geography and Regional Research, University of Klagenfurt, Austria

Since 2015: Lecturer in the study course Master of Disaster Management and Risk Governance, University of Bonn and the BBK (Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance)

Since 2015: Editor at Dr. C. Pana Buchverlag, Langscheid

Since 2014: Freelancer

2007-2013: Post-Doc at Department of Geography and Regional Research, University of Vienna, Austria

2003-2007: Phd-student at Department of Geography, University of Bonn – title of the PhD thesis: “Lokale und regionale Gefahren- und Risikoanalyse gravitativer Massenbewegungen an der Schwäbischen Alb” (Local and regional landslide hazard and risk analysis in the Swabian Alb, Germany)

1998-2002: Studies of Geography, Geology and Soil Science at University of Bonn – title of the Diploma Thesis: “Landslide and snow avalanche risk analysis – methodology and its application in Bíldudalur, NW-Iceland”

1996-1998: Studies of Geography, Geology and Soil Science at the Universities of Cologne and Bonn

  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Geomorphologie (DGGM)
  • Deutscher Arbeitskreis für Naturgefahren und Naturrisiken (AK Naturgefahren/Naturrisiken)
  • European Geoscience Union (EGU)
  • Österreichische Geographische Gesellschaft (ÖGG)
  • Österreichische Forschungsgruppe für Geomorphologie und Umweltwandel

For ongoing projects please visit the research page here.

Completed projects

  • Resilience of tourism systems to natural hazards in the Himalayas (touRES) (2017-2020, Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW))
  • Susceptibility map for debris flows, debris slides and soil slides in Western Norway, Trøndelag and Agder, (Norway) (2014-2017, Norwegian water resources and energy directorate (NVE), in collaboration with Norwegian Geotechnial Institute (NGI)
  • Deriving landslide metrics and analysing landslide age based on surface roughness from Airborne Laser Scanning Digital Terrain Models (2013)
  • Development of methods for the landslide hazard assessment in Lower Austria (MoNOE) (2009-2014, Province of Lower Austria, Austria)
  • Integrated landslide early warning systems (ILEWS) (2007-2010, BMBF)
  • Integrative Landslide Risk Analysis and Perception in the Swabian Alb, Germany (InterRISK) (2003-2007, DFG)

Mountain hazards and permafrost degradation

Schrott, L., Bell, R. & Blöthe, J. H. (2023)

Safeguarding Mountain Social-Ecological Systems, p. 31-41, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-822095-5.00005-X

Synergies and trade-offs in the management objectives forest health and flood risk reduction

Rackelmann, F., Sebesvari, Z. & Bell, R. (2023)

Front. For. Glob. Change 6, Section Forest manamentemt, DOI: 10.3389/ffgc.2023.1208032

Weather, climate change, and transport: a review

Gössling, S., Neger, C., Steiger, R. & Bell, R. (2023)

Natural Hazards, DOI: 10.1007/s11069-023-06054-2

A Seismic Approach to Flood Detection and Characterization in Upland Catchments

Dietze, M., Hoffmann, T., Bell, R., Schrott, L. & Hovius, N. (2022)

Geophysical Research Letters, 49, e2022GL100170. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2022GL100170

Die Flutkatastrophe im Juli 2021 in Deutschland

Bell, R., Kron, W., Thiebes, B. & Thieken, A. (2022)

In: Deutsches Komitee Katastrophenvorsorge e.V. (DKKV) (2022): Die Flutkatastrophe im Juli 2021 in Deutschland. Ein Jahr danach: Aufarbeitung und erste Lehren für die Zukunft. In: DKKV-Schriftenreihe Nr. 62, Bonn.

More than heavy rain turning into fast-flowing water - a landscape perspective on the 2021 Eifel floods

Dietze, M., Bell, R., Ozturk, U., Cook, K. L., Andermann, C., Beer, A.R., Damm, B., Lucia, A., Fauer, F.S., Nissen, K.M., Sieg, T. & Thieken, A.H. (2022)

Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 22(6), 1845-1856. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-22-1845-2022

Major geomorphic events and natural hazards during monsoonal precipitation 2018 in the Kali Gandaki Valley, Nepal Himalaya

Bell, R., Fort, M., Götz, J., Bernsteiner, H., Andermann, C., Etzlstorfer, J., Posch, E., Gurung, N. & Gurung, S.(2021)

Geomorphology, 372, 107451. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2020.107451

Hydro-torrential hazard vs. anthropogenic activities along the Seti valley, Kaski, Nepal: Assessment and recommendations from a risk perspective.

Gurung, N., Fort, M., Bell, R., Arnaud-Fassetta, G. & Maharjan, N.R. (2021)

Journal of Nepal Geological Society, 62, 58-87. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3126/jngs.v62i0.38695

 Two Perspectives – One Goal: Resilience Research in Protected Mountain Regions.

Huber, L., Posch, E., Bell, R., Höferl, K.M., Steiger, R., Tasser, E. & Leitinger, G. (2021)

Journal on Protected Mountain Areas Research and Management, 13, 12-20. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1553/0x003c9d98

Other publications

Edited book


Invited talks (selected)

Edited book:

  • Bell, R., Mayer, J., Pohl, J., Greiving, S. & Glade, T. (2010) (Eds.): Integrative Frühwarnsysteme für gravitative Massenbewegungen (ILEWS). Monitoring, Modellierung, Implementierung. Klartext Verlag, Essen, 271 S. (available at: https://www.univie.ac.at/ilews/www.ilews.de/ilews-buch/index.html, 05.12.2020)



  • Bell, R. (2007): Lokale und regionale Gefahren- und Risikoanalyse gravitativer Massenbewegungen an der Schwäbischen Alb. Dissertation, Universität Bonn, 305 S. (avialable at: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11811/3113)
  • Bell, R. (2002): Landslide and snow avalanche risk analysis – methodology and its application in Bíldudalur, NW-Iceland. Unveröffentlichte Diplomarbeit, Geographisches Institut, Universität Bonn, 135 S.


Invited talks (selected):

  • Bell, R. (2021): Die Flutkatastrophe im Ahrtal (Juli 2021). Hintergründe – Ursachen – Konsequenzen. Bonner Netzwerks Internationaler Katastrophenschutz und Risikomanagement, 29.11.2021.
  • Gurung, N. Fort, M., Bell, R., Arnaud-Fassetta, G. (2021): Study of Geo-hazards in Kali Gandaki valley, Nepal Himalaya and way forward. Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Kathmandu, Nepal, 27.01.2021.
  • Bell, R. (2019): Umgang mit multiplen Naturgefahren und Naturrisiken bei Kritischen Infrastrukturen. DACH Naturgefahren Workshop. ÖBB, SBB, Rhätische Bahn und DB Netz AG. München, 13.05.2019.
  • Bell, R. (2019): Naturgefahren in Nepal – Risiken und Resilienz. WIWI aktuell, WIWI Fakultät, Institut für Geographie und Regionalforschung, Universität Klagenfurt, Universität Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Österreich, 19.06.2019.
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