Postdocs at IIASA

2015 Postdocs

Peter Bednarik, EEP & RPV

Dr. Bednarik joined both IIASA’s Evolution and Ecology (EEP) and Risk, Policy and Vulnerability (RPV) programs in February 2015 as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar. His current focus is integrating theoretical and empirical approaches from research on evolution of cooperation and cultural theory. Peter Bednarik studied mathematics at the University of Vienna, where he completed his master's degree in 2011 with a focus on evolutionary game theory under the supervision of Josef Hofbauer. In his PhD thesis, which he completed in 2014 at the University of Goettingen, he focused on the evolution of cooperative behavior from an experimental perspective. From November 2014 to February 2015, he worked at the Department of Economics, WU Vienna, with Ulrich Berger and Rupert Sausgruber.

Luciano Mendes, MAG & ESM

Dr. Mendes is an Agricultural Engineer. He holds a M. Sc. from Iowa State University and a Ph.D. from the Federal University of Viçosa (2014, Brazil), with his thesis partly developed at Wageningen UR (The Netherlands). His research has been dedicated to laboratory and field monitoring and modeling of gaseous emissions from livestock production systems. Since the completion of his Ph.D. studies, Dr. Mendes has worked as a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Farm Technology Group of Wageningen University. Since September 2014, Luciano has been working at the Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO) in Belgium where modeled the dispersion and odours and dust downstream pig barns while assembling a calculation tool to estimate ammonia emissions reduction factors from new dairy cattle systems. As of August 2015, Dr. Mendes is joining the Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) and the Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Programs at IIASA, aiming at building a bridge between two pre-existent IIASA tools (GAINS and GLOBIOM). In the process of accounting for the interchangeable parameters between GAINS and GLOBIOM, Dr. Mendes will assess the transition between the Amazon rainforest lands and livestock/crop systems in South America.

Adam French, RPV & ASA

Dr. Adam French joins the Risk, Policy, & Vulnerability (RPV) and the Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) programs from a Ciriacy-Wantrup Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on natural resource governance, socio-environmental conflict, and institutional innovation in multi-level systems being transformed by global change. At IIASA, Dr. French will combine meta-analytical and empirical research to examine the implementation of the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) paradigm in contexts of the Global South. This work is targeted at the production of policy-relevant insights and analytical tools, including a conceptual framework for identifying key governance factors that facilitate and hinder the development of more integrated—and ultimately more just, adaptive, and sustainable—watershed management practices. He is the first recipient of IIASA's Peter E. de Janosi Fellowship. 

Sam Hyun Yoo, POP

Dr. Yoo, originally from South Korea, joins the World Population Program (POP) as a postdoctoral research scholar from Arizona State University. His research interests focus on human fertility and reproductive health, in particular how fertility behaviors are shaped and change over time. At IIASA, he plans to extend his research to the relationship between fertility intentions and behaviors. Although fertility intentions are considered an important determinant of fertility behaviors, the predictive power of fertility intentions remains obscure. His research will explore the predictive validity of fertility intentions, variation over life course, and differences across social groups. Dr. Yoo’s research will contribute to our understanding of fertility dynamics and establish better population projections and policy intervention.

2014 Postdocs

Artem Bakalanov, ASA          

Dr. Artem Baklanov from Russia joined the Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program from the N.N. Krasovskii Institute of Mathematics and Mechanics (Yekaterinburg, Russia). He is studying the complex dynamics of players interacting under pressures caused by diversification in their individual interests. His research, which is conducted with reference to global economic and political problems, takes into account that each actor may have interests—both long- and short-term ones—which may be in disagreement. Examples would be the iterated Traveler's Dilemma and in the iterated Volunteer's Dilemma in game theory, where the players' long-term and short-term interests are in strong conflict. Analysis of iterated dilemmas will help reveal features of learning through interaction, with a view to allowing individuals to cope with behavioral uncertainty, understanding the interests of other individuals, and adapting to changing social environments

Matthias Wildemeersch, ASA & ESM

Dr. Matthias Wildemeersch joined the Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) program from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). His research interests, which span various aspects of signal processing  and network science,  focus on the application of probability theory and control theory to network dynamics and robustness. A growing number of phenomena, such as viral attacks in computer networks, spreading of information in social networks, or default contagion in financial networks, depend on the network topology and local interactions between agents. The goal of Dr. Wildemeersch’s work is to improve the understanding of the behavior of large-scale, complex networks and define schemes to improve network stability. This research has many practical implications in real-life networks, for instance, for the design of a regulatory framework. 

Daniel Jessie, ASA

Dr. Daniel Jessie originally from the United States joins the Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program   from the University of California, Irvine. At IIASA, Dr. Jessie plans to broaden the research he carried out at Irvine, which focused on developing different analytic approaches to questions that arise in the analysis of complex systems, in particular, the nature of strategically interacting agents. He will thus extend  his methodology  to include, among other things, dynamic agents situated on a network. Jessie will take advantage of the interdisciplinary nature of IIASA research to test application of these techniques to a variety of real-world issues.

Luzma Nava Jiménez, WAT

Dr. Luzma Fabiola Nava Jiménez  from Mexico joins the Water(WAT) Program at IIASA from Laval University, Quebec. Her research considers how strong and adaptive institutions can be built to govern transboundary water bodies and withstand  environmental challenges. Transboundary river basin environmental challenges are compared across the United States-Mexico border , which depend on the capacities and political will of each government. Populations in both countries strongly rely on water resources from the transboundary Colorado River Basin and the Rio Grande/Bravo Basin,  and both face environmental problems such as water scarcity conditions.  The goal of  Dr. Nava Jiménez’ research is to define a qualitative methodology to evaluate and compare different scenarios of transboundary water resources environmental governance,  to assess water management for transboundary basins, and to formulate recommendations to enhance and optimize current environmental governance. Dr. Nava Jiménez is the recipient of the Luis Donaldo Colosio Fellowship.

2013 Postdocs

Carl Salk, originally from the United States, joins the Ecosystem Services and Management (ESM) program at IIASA from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Crowdsourcing is a tool for coordinating volunteer efforts to solve problems that are intractable by other means. Salk will use the ESM program's GeoWiki geographical crowd sourcing tool to generate better land cover maps at different scales. These maps will in turn be used to address a variety of problems, such as how much land is available for different human needs to how natural resource users cooperate to manage ecosystems.

2012 Postdocs

Image courtesy Nicklas Forsell    Nicklas Forsell (ESM) studies the links between bioenergy, forestry, and   
   agriculture. Originally from Sweden, Forsell comes to IIASA from MINES   
   ParisTech in France. Bioenergy provides an alternative and renewable
   source of energy, but since bioenergy and biofuels are produced on the
   same forests and cropland that are used for wood and food production, it’s
   important to weigh the costs and impacts. Forsell’s research will examine 
   how much bioenergy can be produced sustainably, while also preserving
                          agriculture and forest resources. His work will focus on environmental and
                          economic consequences of policies, with the goal of providing useful
                          information for policymakers.


Image courtesy Wei Liu    Wei Liu (RPV), originally from China, joins IIASA just after completing a PhD
   in Wildlife Conservation and Wildland Management at Michigan State
   University. There, Liu studied how various conservation and development
   programs in the Wolong Nature Reserve in China impacted panda habitat
   and populations and the local community there. At IIASA, Liu plans to take
   his research further, by developing models and scenarios to investigate how
   changing land use affects ecosystem service provision and natural hazard
                          vulnerability in the reserve. His study will also explore how well payment for
                          ecosystem service (PES) programs work in encouraging conservation, and
                          how these programs affect people.

2011 Postdocs

   Narasimha D. Rao (ENE) is researching the relationship between electricity
    access, livelihoods and carbon dioxide emissions in India. His methods
    include economic simulation models of the electricity sector and social 
    welfare, input-output analysis and carbon accounting. His work emphasizes
    modeling policy and institutional influences, such as supply rationing and
    energy subsidies. He intends to use his analysis to project the impacts of
    different urban and rural consumption patterns on carbon emissions (PhD in
                           Environment and Resources (September 2011) from Stanford University,
                           California, USA).

Christina Kaiser (ESM/EEP) is investigating the mechanisms behind the Rhizosphere Priming Effect, i.e. the effect of the release of labile carbon and nitrogen by plant roots on microbial decomposition of soil organic matter. She is developing a model which links carbon and nitrogen input by plants to microbial community composition and function in a spatially
structured soil environment, and analyses how cooperation between microbial functional groups may lead to their coexistence and the emerging of the priming effect (PhD in Ecology (2010) from the University of Vienna).

2010 Postdocs

Nuno Bento (TNT) is investigating growth dynamics in transport in order to find stronger patterns of change in the sector, as well as new ones pointing to a more structural change in response to raising urbanisation and environmental issues (PhD in Economics (2010) from the University of Grenoble, France).

Xiaojie Chen (EEP) is focusing on the evolutionary dynamics in biological and social systems, especially the emergence and stability of cooperation in social networks by using evolutionary game theory and adaptive dynamics (PhD in Dynamics and Control of Complex Systems (2011) from Peking University, China).

2009 Postdocs

Upasna Sharma (RPV) is researching issues related to communication of uncertainty associated with climate forecasts and climate hazard warnings, particularly, how the target audience of these forecasts and warnings interpret and understand uncertainty. She also intends to empirically
explore whether communicating uncertainty in terms that the target audience could relate to would actually lead to an enhanced response on their part (PhD in public policy and climate change (2009) from the School of Management at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay).

Jose Siri (HGC) is researching how urbanization patterns and urban structure affect the transmission of mosquito-borne disease, and how better understandings of the dispersal of humans, vectors and infection in this context can lead to more effective and efficient public health policy
(PhD in Epidemiology (2006) from the University of Michigan).

2008 Postdocs

Jason J. Blackstock (RAV) is focusing on evaluating the scientific, political and economic implications of climate engineering (a.k.a. geoengineering) concepts aimed at limiting the negative consequences of climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions (PhD in Physics (2005) from the University of Alberta).

Jacob Johansson (EEP) is developing eco-evolutionary models for explaining fundamental patterns of variation in plant community structures. The project is a part of an international collaborative effort to create a new generation of evolutionarily informed vegetation models for predicting
responses to global climatic trends (PhD in Biology (2008) from Lund University, Sweden). 

2007 Postdocs

Christopher Doll (GGI/TNT) is carrying out research on the production of socioeconomic datasets from night-time light satellite imagery and how they can be combined with other data to help answer fundamental questions concerning sustainable development and the human dimensions
of global change (PhD in Remote Sensing (2003) from University College, London).

Edmar Teixeira (LUC) is focusing on the enhancement of the FAO/IIASA Agro-ecological Zones (AEZ) methodology (PhD in Crop Physiology (2006) from Lincoln University, New Zealand).

2006 Postdocs

Tapas Mishra (POP) studied the consequences of stochastic demographic systems on economic growth and development by exploiting their non-stationary temporal and spatial features (PhD in Economics (2005) from the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium). 

Katsumasa Tanaka (PCC) is working on an inverse estimation of the global carbon cycle, atmospheric chemistry, and climate system. He is particularly interested in climate sensitivity and its learning aspect to get an insight into the uncertainty in future climate projections (PhD in Meteorology (2007) from the International Max Planck Institute for Earth Systems Modelling (IMPRS-ESM), Hamburg, Germany).

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Last edited: 07 May 2015


Tanja Huber

YSSP & Postdoc Coordinator

Young Scientists Summer Program

T +43(0) 2236 807 344

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313