Project overview

This innovative project aims to increase flood resilience across Malaysia. It will do this by establishing which areas of Peninsular Malaysia are particularly vulnerable to flooding, and estimating the potential damage and disruption that flood events cause to local communities.

Flooding, occurring during the monsoon season, is a significant natural risk in Malaysia, causing fatalities and forcing thousands of people to evacuate their homes.

Using existing  data on climate and land use, together with hydrological and flood risk research tools, scientists will estimate which areas are vulnerable to flooding and how flood water impacts people and livelihoods.

By combining this information with local interviews amongst communities affected by previous flood events, the project team will assess the risk and estimated impact of flooding across the country, and investigate how these may change in the future.

Economic analysis will be used to understand how potential changes in different sectors of the economy could affect exposure to flooding. Hydrological tools will be used to show where river levels may rise and cause flooding, and engineers will apply new analyses to demonstrate the impact of the flood waters.

The research outputs will be combined into a new multi-scale visualisation of flood risk in Peninsular Malaysia.

“This project aims to improve understanding of the current and future flood risk in Malaysia for long-term benefits of the society and the nation. Incorporating a multi-scale approach into the flood risk assessment will be greatly improved by the current positive collaborative efforts and the extent of the available information.”

Dr Balqis Mohamed Rehan, Principal Investigator (Malaysia), UPM

“Incorporating research into how communities are affected by flooding, including the timing of events, is a new approach to assessing flood risk and vulnerability. With its rapidly expanding economy and monsoon climate, Malaysia is an ideal place to develop such flood models. Flooding is an ongoing challenge for people in both the UK and Malaysia, and I look forward to working with our Malaysian colleagues to develop a next-generation approach to understanding flood risk and vulnerability.”

Dr Vicky Bell, Principal Investigator (UK), CEH

Our Research Team

Our interdisciplinary research team consists of environmental scientists, hydrologists, economists and engineers from Malaysian and UK partners: Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), Sayers and Partners Limited, UK.



Our Funding Partners

The UK partners are supported by the Newton Fund via the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC). The Malaysia Ministry of Education is providing funding for the Malaysian partners.


NERC, Ministry of Education Malaysia and ESRC Logos

Our Project Personnel

Dr Vicky Bell Principal Investigator, UK UK CEH
Dr Balqis Mohamed Rehan Principal Investigator, Malaysia Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)
Ms Lisa Stewart Project Manager UK CEH
Dr James Miller   UK CEH
Dr Zed Diyana Zulkifli   Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)
Dr Badronnisa Yusuf   Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)
Dr Bakti Hasan Basri   Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)
Prof. Dato’ Dr. Ekhwan Toriman   Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
Dr Ponnambalam Rameshwaran   UK CEH
Ms Alexandra Kaelin   UK CEH
Ms Helen Davies   UK CEH
Paul Sayers   Sayers and Partners
Shabir Ahmad Kabirzad Postgraduate Student Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)
Tochukwu Okeke Postgraduate Student Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)
Eva Fatdillah Postgraduate Student Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM

Principal Investigator (UK) - Dr Vicky Bell
Location: Wallingford, UK

Principal Investigator (Malaysia) - Dr Balqis Rehan
Location: Kuala Lumpur

Project Manager (UK) - Ms Lisa Stewart
Location: Wallingford

PROJECT TIMELINE:   January 2019 — December 2021

Principal Investigator (UK)

2018-present    Principal Scientific Officer at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

2000-2018        Senior Scientific Officer at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford

1991-2000        Higher Scientific Officer at the Institute of Hydrology, Wallingford

Principal Investigator (Malaysia)

Dr. Balqis Rehan
Principle Investigator (Malaysia)

Project Manager (UK)

Lisa Stewart