Postdocs at IIASA

2014 Postdocs

Artem Bakalanov, ASA          

Artem Baklanov, originally from Russia, joins the Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) program at IIASA from the N.N. Krasovskii Institute of Mathematics and Mechanics (Yekaterinburg, Russia). To study global economic and political problems, it is important to gain understanding of complex dynamics of interactions between players acting under pressure of diversification of interests. This implies in particular that each actor may have different interests - long-term ones and short-term ones - that may disagree. For example, in the iterated Traveler's Dilemma and in the iterated Volunteer's Dilemma, the players' long-term and short-term interests are in strong conflict. The analysis of iterated dilemmas will help reveal features of learning through interaction, allowing the individuals to cope with behavioral uncertainty, to understand interests of other individuals and to adapt to changing social environments.

Matthias Wildemeersch, ASA & ESM

Matthias Wildemeersch joins the Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) program at IIASA from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). His research interests span various aspects of signal processing  and network science and 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 his 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

Daniel Jessie, originally from the United States, joins the Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) program at IIASA from the University of California, Irvine. There, his research focused on developing different analytic approaches to questions that arise in the analysis of complex systems, in particular on the nature of strategically interacting agents. In joining the ASA program at IIASA, Jessie plans to further this research by extending the methods to include, among other things, dynamic agents situated on a network. The unique interdisciplinary nature of IIASA will allow for the application of these techniques to a variety of important real-world issues.

Lisa Scholten, WAT & ENE

Lisa Scholten joins IIASA from Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology. Her main research focus is the long-term planning of urban water infrastructures under uncertainty, combining methods from engineering, system analysis and the decision sciences.  Within her project “WinCity – A framework for water-energy infrastructure planning” she aims to: identify if, when, and how alternative water infrastructures are considered in long-term urban planning, explore the benefits of integrated planning with a focus on the water-energy nexus, and ultimately provide practical decision support for more sustainable urban infrastructure planning. Sustainable water management for growing urban areas including mega-cities and balancing competing demand from different sectors will be central to identifying robust solutions for the multiple links between water, energy and other sectors. The decision support framework will be co-developed and validated together with stakeholders facing a practical water infrastructure decision problem to ensure the practical relevance of the approach.

Luzma Nava Jiménez, WAT

Luzma Fabiola Nava Jiménez, originally from Mexico, joins the Water (WAT) Program at IIASA from Laval University at Quebec City, Quebec. How to build strong and adaptive institutions to govern transboundary water bodies and face environmental challenges? Transboundary river basin environmental challenges are comparable across the United States-Mexico border and depend on the capacities and political will of each government. Both the transboundary Colorado River Basin and the Rio Grande/Bravo Basin face environmental problems such as water scarcity conditions and a strong reliance for both countries and their populations on those transboundary water resources. The goal of her research is to define a qualitative methodology to evaluate and compare different scenarios of transboundary water resources environmental governance and to assess water management for transboundary basins and formulate recommendations to enhance and optimize current environmental governance. Luzma 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: 26 January 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