Postdocs at IIASA

2017 Postdocs

Alma Mendoza, ESM

Dr. Alma Mendoza, is a Mexican Biologists holding a PhD from the University of Edinburgh (UK). Her latest research focuses on the vulnerability of climate change and land use and cover change and their possible impacts on Mexican biodiversity. She also has experience in working on conservation of species in trade, ecosystem services quantification with a special focus on carbon stocks in temperate forests in Mexico.

Dr. Medoza's research at IIASA will focus on applying different methods to project land use cover change and climate change threats to identify the possible effects on some Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity in Mexico. These results will enable to create the frame work to propose the creation of protected areas to achieve the 11th Aichi biodiversity target in Mexico.

Alison Heslin, POP & RISK

Dr. Alison Heslin is an IIASA Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the World Population Program (POP) and the Risk and Resilience Program (RISK). Her research focuses on globalization, food security, and collective action, looking specifically at the relationship between resource scarcity and conflict. Her dissertation addressed the causes and mobilization processes of contemporary food riots based on qualitative data of riot mobilization in India and Bangladesh. She is expanding this research at IIASA using GIS mapping to understand how food, water, and climatic changes affect collective action and conflict globally. Prior to joining IIASA, Dr. Heslin worked as a Visiting Professor at New York University. She holds a PhD in Sociology from Emory University in Atlanta, USA and is the second recipient of IIASA's Peter E. de Janosi Fellowship.  

Bushra Khalid, POP & EEP

Dr. Bushra Khalid from Pakistan will be working with IIASA's World Population (POP) and the Evolution and Ecology (EEP) Programs. Her research interests are climate and health, numerical weather prediction, and climate modelling. Her project will focus on developing a dynamic disease predictive model with the aim to highlight the disease hotspots and their causing factors to inform end users and policy makers to take mitigation measures in the vulnerable regions. Dr. Khalid finished her PhD in Meteorology from COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Pakistan in 2015. Before joining IIASA she worked as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS), China, in the International Centre for Climate and Environment Sciences (ICCES), researching the impacts of climate change on health. She is an associated member of scientist’s community at The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Italy and received the ‘Gro Brundtland Award’ for professional performance in sustainable development & public health among young female scientists in 2016.

Asjad Naqvi, RPV & ASA 

Dr. Asjad Naqvi, originally from Pakistan, is an IIASA post-doctoral researcher in the Risk, Policy and Vulnerability (RPV) and the Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Programs. At IIASA, Dr. Naqvi plans to expand his earlier research work on using agent-based models to analyze loss and damage estimates in flood affected regions. The project aims to explore various measurements of risk within household and financial networks as a consequence of natural disasters with the goal of identifying tipping points within these networks. Dr. Naqvi finished his PhD in Economics from the New School for Social Research, USA in 2012 with a focus on areas of natural disasters, risk, migration networks, institutional structures, and household level decision making processes. He has worked at the Center for Economic Research Pakistan (CERP) where he did research on earthquake and flood affected areas in Pakistan and recently at the Institute for Ecological Economics at the Vienna University of Economics of Business (WU), where he works on issues of growth, climate change and inequality. Previously, Dr. Naqvi collaborated on projects in the fields of development, migration, institutions, and economic history with the World Bank, Harvard Kennedy School, MIT, University of Chicago, University of Sussex, and the University of London. 

2016 Postdocs

Piera Patrizio, ESM

Dr. Piera Patrizio joins IIASA’s Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) program. Her main research interests refer to the economic and environmental optimization of the bioenergy supply chain and the evaluation of the impact of policy instruments on the development of renewable energy technologies in real geographic regions. She is currently assessing the potential adoption of carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) solutions in the industrial sector by adopting spatially explicit optimization models. Piera Patrizio completed her PhD in 2016 at the Energetic Engineering department of the University of Udine, with a focus on the economic and environmental impact of introducing biogas as a vehicle fuel in the Italian market. In 2014 she has been visiting IIASA as a YSSP student under the supervision of Dr. Sylvain Leduc and Dr. Florian Kraxner.

Fei Guo, ENE & AIR

Dr. Fei Guo, originally from China, joins the Energy (ENE) and Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Programs as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar. His research interests focus on analysis of energy efficiency potential, integrated modelling of energy demand projection and incentive policy evaluation, and market-based instruments for the reduction of energy-related carbon and pollutants emissions (particularly for the buildings sector). At IIASA, he plans to further explore socio-economic heterogeneity and non-cost factors influencing consumer energy and appliance choices and demand in China, as understanding consumer decisions is a crucial component for bottom-up type energy policy modelling. Fei worked as an engineer at Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (BIAD) in China, and as a researcher at Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) in Japan.

Shaohui Zhang, AIR & ENE

Dr. Zhang is an IIASA Postdoctoral Research Scholar joining IIASA's Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases (AIR) and Energy (ENE) programs. His research focuses on understanding energy & resource efficiency, energy transitions, climate change, air pollution, industrial and technological development, technology assessment and policy evaluation, and energy efficiency. At IIASA, he plans to explore the co-benefits of energy efficiency improvement and emission mitigation of air pollutants in China, and to quantify the environmental and public health impacts of pollution by developing a new model tool. Dr. Zhang received his PhD in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy from Utrecht University, the Netherlands, and his MSc in Environmental Science from Zhengzhou University, China. During his PhD studies, he worked on subjects related to industrial energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emission reduction, air quality and public health, with a main focus on the cement and iron and steel industries in China at various scales. Before coming to IIASA, he worked as a guest researcher at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University, the Netherlands.

Edward Byers, ENE & TNT & WAT

Dr. Edward Byers joins the IIASA Energy (ENE), Transitions to New Technologies (TNT) and Water (WAT) groups to continue his research on water and climate change risks to power stations with carbon capture and storage (CCS). His work at IIASA will focus mainly on India and China with the aim of reducing costs and risks for thermal power plants and the development of CCS. He joins IIASA following post-doc work at University of Oxford (UK) and his PhD at Newcastle University (UK), where he investigated the water use of the UK electricity sector and its vulnerability to drought.

Mia Landauer, RPV & AFI

Dr. Mia Landauer is an IIASA Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the Risk, Policy and Vulnerability Program (RPV) and the Arctic Futures Initiative (AFI). Her primary research interests are risk governance, environmental management, and climate change adaptation. During her fellowship Dr. Landauer will focus on risk management and governance of the Arctic with a particular interest in how climatic and environmental changes and related risks are affecting local communities. In a case study context she examines how reindeer husbandry is affected by climate change, land use change, and the growing economic interests in natural resource exploitation. Dr. Landauer received her doctorate degree from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna in 2013. Before joining IIASA she worked as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at Aalto University, Finland, in the Land Use Planning and Urban Studies Group jointly with the Nordic Centre of Excellence (NORD-STAR), researching climate governance of Nordic urban areas.

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: 21 November 2016


Aleksandra Cofala

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Young Scientists Summer Program

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