Sara is a research fellow at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research is mainly focused on supporting decision-making and governance of climate change adaptation and resilience. Sara applies various tools and methods including mental modelling, social simulation, and resilience assessment tools to understand human adaptation behaviour and identify ways to improve resilience of local communities against future climate risks.

Since 2018, Sara has been largely working on the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance programme which is a multi-sectoral collaboration focusing on finding practical ways to support communities in developed and developing countries strengthen their resilience to flood risk. In addition, sara has been a:


Sara completed her PhD in Urban and Regional Planning at University of Twente, Netherlands. In her thesis, she developed a participatory method using a combination of Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping (FCM) and Agent-Based Modelling (ABM) to support policy option analysis for water scarcity. Sara also holds an MSc in Urban Design from the University of Delft, Netherlands, and a BSc in Architecture from University of Guilan in Iran.

Research interests

  • Urban climate risk governance
  • Decision making for climate adaptation and resilience
  • Adaptation behaviour to flood and heat risks
  • Participatory decision making
  • Social simulation and mental modelling


Research - 2024

Research - 2023

The authors of this people propose a framework for the co-production of policy-relevant indicators and decision-support tools that track past, present, and future climate-induced disease risks across hazard, exposure, and vulnerability domains at the animal, human, and environmental interface. Read more

Research - 2022

This analysis shows that urban flood resilience as a concept has evolved over the last two decades. From an engineering concept with a strong focus on ensuring that the built environment can withstand a flood to a more recent definition as a transformative process with the aim to enable all parts of the urban system to live with floods and learn from previous shocks. Read more

The authors of this paper offer a critical review and an assessment of approaches to climate and disaster resilience measurement with a particular focus on three issues: (1) the consideration of compounding socioeconomic and climatic risks in approaches to resilience measurement; (2) the methodological and technical aspects of resilience measurement; and (3) the application and practicability of resilience measurement across various contexts to reliably inform decision-making processes. Read more

Aerial view of flood

Research - 2021

Research - 2020

This paper explores the role of national laws in determining the nature of flood risk management (FRM) and in particular the ability to increase flood resilience in the context of climate change. The authors therefore call for a shift in FRM away from post-event activism towards forward-looking planning through an anticipatory resilience approach. Read more

Research - 2019

The authors of this paper develop an integrated modelling methodology combining an Agent-Based Model with Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping and use it to simulate impacts of policy options addressing the problems of water scarcity for a farming community in Rafsanjan, Iran. Read more


Policy - 2024

This report presents insights on heat resilience policy and practice in the UK to inform future preparedness and responses to extreme heat, incorporating the experiences and views of decision-makers and practitioners who worked on the frontline of the 2022 heatwaves across England. Read more

Policy - 2023

Policy - 2021

Policy - 2020

Policy - 2019

This submission was made to the Environment Agency's consultation on its draft strategy for flood and coastal risk management in England, and draws on the Grantham Research Institute's work and expertise over many years in this area. Read more

This paper summarises the Institute's submission to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ call for evidence on policy direction to prepare the UK for flooding and coastal erosion, drawing on a decade of work by the Grantham Research Institute with the insurance industry and policymakers addressing issues around climate change and adaptation. Read more


News - 2023

Sara Mehryar and Swenja Surminski were awarded the fifth Jose Maria Sarriegi scientific dissemination prize for the article ‘Investigating flood resilience perceptions and supporting collective decision-making through fuzzy cognitive mapping’,published in 2022 in the journal ofScience of the Total Environment. Read more

News - 2022

News - 2020

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