dr. G. Özerol (Gül)

Associate Professor

About Me

Dr. Gül Özerol is a policy scientist, concerned with the sustainable and equitable governance of natural resources. She holds a PhD degree in Governance for Sustainability from the University of Twente, MSc degrees in Integrated Assessment from the University of Osnabrück, Germany, and in Industrial Engineering from the Middle East Technical University, Turkey.

Her research and teaching experience extends over 20 years,mainly in the Middle East and Europe. Her expertise and recognition in water, energy and climate governance relies on local, national and international collaborations. A core value in her work is co-producing knowledge with societal stakeholders, ranging from governmental authorities in the North Sea Region, to NGOs in Palestine. From 2016 until 2023, she was also the senior editor of Fanack Water, an online platform covering water and climate issues in the Middle East and North Africa.

She supervises PhD and postdoctoral researchers and BSc and MSc students, and teaches courses and gives guest lectures that often resonate with her research interests. Since 2022, she has been serving as the educational director of MEEM, the MSc programme in Environmental and Energy Management.


Dr. Gül Özerol is keen to improve the scientific and practical foundations of governance and infrastructure studies by applying comparative and transdisciplinary research methods. She has gained experience and recognition in actor-based and institutional analysis of natural resource governance, focusing on water, energy and land resources. Over the past 20 years, she participated in and managed collaborative projects in Europe, North America, Middle East and North Africa, and gained local experience in Turkey, Palestine, the Netherlands, Germany and the United States.

PhD supervision

  • Nof Afghani: Governance of the water-energy nexus: The case of desalination in Jordan (ongoing)
  • Ann-Katrin Ellermann: Comparison of participatory and collaborative approaches to water governance in Europe (ongoing)
  • Amro Wawi: Data governance and digitalisation in water management, Palestine (ongoing)
  • Franziska Baack: Climate change adaptation and stakeholder engagement in the cities of Overijssel, the Netherlands (ongoing)
  • Juliane Schillinger: Comparative analysis of the impacts of armed conflict on local water management systems in the Middle East (ongoing)
  • Adnan Mirhanoglu: A socio-material approach to water access struggles of smallholder farmers - Co-shaping actors, institutions, and infrastructures in Ağlasun, Turkey (with KU Leuven, completed in 2023)
  • Marielle Feenstra: Gender just energy policy - Engendering the energy transition in Europe (completed in 2021)
  • Latif Mohammadzadeh: Climate change adaptation and farmer decision making in the Urmia Lake basin, Iran (guest researcher in 2019)
  • César Casiano Flores: Context matters - Water governance assessment of the wastewater treatment plant policy in Central Mexico (completed in 2017) 

Research interests

  • Water, energy and climate governance
  • Sustainability transitions in water and energy sectors
  • Transdisciplinary and comparative research methods


Ghanian, M., Ghoochani, O. M., Mohammadzadeh, L., Cotton, M. , Ozerol, G., & Tiefenbacher, J. P. (2023). Interactions Between Changing Climates and Land Uses: The Case of Urmia Lake, Iran. In M. Basu, & R. DasGupta (Eds.), Indigenous and Local Water Knowledge, Values and Practices (pp. 139-159). Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-9406-7_9
Casiano Flores, C., Müller, A. P. R., Dolman, N. , & Özerol, G. (2023). Assessing the leapfrogging potential to water sensitive: the Dutch case of Zwolle. Journal of Water and Climate Change, 14(5), 1638-1655. https://doi.org/10.2166/wcc.2023.493
Mirhanoğlu, A. , Özerol, G., Hoogesteger, J., VAN DEN BROECK, P., & Loopmans, M. (2023). Socio-Material Bricolage: (Co)Shaping of Irrigation Institutions and Infrastructures. International journal of the commons, 17(1), 69-86. https://doi.org/10.5334/ijc.1188
Bressers, H. T. A. , & Özerol, G. (2022). Coping with extreme events in midsize cities: Enabling practitioners to assess the supportiveness of their governance context. Paper presented at 3rd International Conference on Climate Change & Water 2022, Tours, France.
Sayers, P., Gersonius, B. , Özerol, G., Nugraha, E., & Schipper, C. A. (2022). A Framework for Cloud to Coast Adaptation: Maturity and Experiences from across the North Sea. Land, 11(6), Article 950. https://doi.org/10.3390/land11060950
Mirhanoğlu, A., Loopmans, M. , & Özerol, G. (2022). Social Head-Enders: Access and Authority in Irrigation Governance. Society and Natural Resources, 35(2), 185-203. https://doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2021.2009944
Mohammadzadeh, L., Ghanian, M., Shadkam, S. , Özerol, G., & Marzban, A. (2021). Application of a land use change model to guide regional planning and development in the south basin of the Urmia Lake, Iran. Environmental earth sciences, 80(17), Article 545. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-021-09837-7
Feenstra, M. H. (2021). Gender just energy policy: engendering the energy transition in Europe. [PhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT, University of Twente]. University of Twente. https://doi.org/10.3990/1.9789036551960

UT Research Information System

Google Scholar Link


Main educational activities of Dr. Gül Özerol take place within MEEM, the MSc programme in Environmental and Energy Management. Since 2022, she serves as the educational director of the programme. She also co-teaches and coordinates the Water Management, Rurban Commons and Research Proposal courses within the programme, and supervises students in MEEM and other programmes.

Over the past 10 years, she has contributed to various BSc and MSc programmes within and outside the University of Twente by designing and giving courses and co-supervising students on topics related to her research interests, such as urban water management, participatory irrigation management, gender equity in water governance, and climate adaptation in rural and urban areas. 

Affiliated Study Programmes


Courses Academic Year  2023/2024

Courses in the current academic year are added at the moment they are finalised in the Osiris system. Therefore it is possible that the list is not yet complete for the whole academic year.

Courses Academic Year  2022/2023


Dr. Gül Özerol is the project manager for the University of Twente in GOVAQUA (2023-2027), an EU Horizon Europe project on innovations for a transition to a sustainable and equitable water governance. She is leading the work package on participatory and collaborative approaches and co-leading the workpackage on transitions to sustainable and equitable water governance.

She was the project manager for the University of Twente and work package leader in CATCH (2017-2022) and C5a (2019-2022), EU Interreg projects on climate resilience in the North Sea Region, and in CATCH+ (2018-2021), a spin-off of the CATCH project focusing on the Province of Overijssel. All three projects involved close collaboration with local, reigonal and national authorities in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK.

From 2013 until 2020, she was the coordinator of the Palestinian-Dutch Academic Cooperation Programme on Water (PADUCO) that involved six universities from Palestine and five universities from the Netherlands. She also participated in seven projects, focusing on her research interests, such as water governance assessment, climate adaptation in agriculture, and gender equity in water management and research.

Current Projects

Finished Projects

Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Ravelijn (building no. 10), room 1155
Hallenweg 17
7522NH  Enschede
The Netherlands

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Mailing Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Ravelijn  1155
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands