Read how IIASA works with research partners across the globe to deliver world-class research.
Science and policy must work together to achieve a sustainable future for humanity.
Jan Sendzimir first came to IIASA in the summer of 1983 to work with H.T. Odum on systems energy analysis of national economies. He is presently working in the Risk and Resilience (RISK) Program.
Dr. Sendzimir studied systems ecology as part of the environmental engineering program at the University of Florida, Gainesville, USA, under H.T. Odum (master’s degree in 1984) and C.S. ("Buzz") Holling (PhD in 1998). In the interim he worked as a wetlands ecologist in the design and integration of natural and artificial wetlands into waste treatment systems. In addition to field research on the dynamics of lake, river and forest ecosystems, Dr. Sendzimir collaborates with academia, NGOs and government on research applied to problems with complex combinations of ecological, economic and sociopolitical factors that occur over relatively large areas such as river basins, major watersheds and mountain chains. A major research area focuses on how ecological, social and economic interactions influence our capacity to adapt to and/or mitigate change at different scales and how that affects the robustness and resilience of social-ecological systems to change. He uses conceptual and formal modeling as social simulation exercises (role-playing games) to integrate perspectives from different disciplines and sectors of society in decision-making frameworks such as the adaptive management process.
Dr. Sendzimir’s current projects use modeling to guide scientific research - policy development related to the sustainable development of communities in major river systems: The Narew, Odra and Barycz rivers (Poland), the Rhine and Elbe (Germany), the Tisza river (Ukraine, Romania, and Hungary), and the Amudarya (Uzbekistan) as well as in semi-arid regions in Africa (Sahel) and Central America (Central Cordillera of Nicaragua).
Last update: 02-MAY-2016
Kaboré I, Moog O, Ouéda A, Sendzimir J, Ouédraogo R, Guenda W, & Melcher AH (2018). Developing reference criteria for the ecological status of West African rivers. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 190 (1) DOI:10.1007/s10661-017-6360-1.
Magnuszewski P, Ostasiewicz K, Chazdon R, Salk C, Pajak M, & Sendzimir J (2015). Resilience and alternative stable states of tropical forest landscapes under shifting cultivation regimes. PLoS ONE 10 (9): e0137497. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0137497.
Linnerooth-Bayer J, Dubel A, Sendzimir J, & Hochrainer-Stigler S (2015). Challenges for mainstreaming climate change into EU flood and drought policy: Water retention measures in the Warta River Basin, Poland. Regional Environmental Change 15 (6): 1011-1023. DOI:10.1007/s10113-014-0643-7.
Kok K, Baerlund I, Floerke M, & Sendzimir J (2015). European participatory scenario development: Strengthening the link between stories and models. Climatic Change 128 (3): 187-200. DOI:10.1007/s10584-014-1143-y.
Sendzimir J, Slezak G, Ouedraogo R, Magnuszewski P, Oueda A, Nianogo A, Moog O, Pelochek F, et al. (2015). A synthetic overview of the SUSFISH project (Sustainable Management of Water and Fish Resources in Burkina Faso): society meets ecology. Final Report. Vienne, APPEAR, 2015, 80 p.
McGowan KA, Westley F, Fraser EDG, Loring PA, Weathers KC, Avelino F, Sendzimir J, Chowdhury RR, et al. (2014). The research journey: Travels across the idiomatic and axiomatic toward a better understanding of complexity. Ecology and Society 19 (3): no.27. DOI:10.5751/ES-06518-190337.
Butz WP, Lutz W, & Sendzimir J (2014). Education and Differential Vulnerability to Natural Disasters. IIASA Research Report (Reprint). IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: RP-14-001
Butz WP, Lutz W, & Sendzimir J (2014). Special Feature, "Education and Differential Vulnerability to Natural Disasters". Ecology and Society
Pahl-Wostl C, Becker G, Knieper C, & Sendzimir J (2013). How multilevel societal learning processes facilitate transformative change: A comparative case study analysis on flood management. Ecology and Society 18 (4): no.58. DOI:10.5751/ES-05779-180458.
Damm A, Eberhard K, Sendzimir J, & Patt A (2013). Perception of landslides risk and responsibility: A case study in eastern Styria, Austria. Natural Hazards 69 (1): 165-183. DOI:10.1007/s11069-013-0694-y.
Linnerooth-Bayer J, Dubel A, Damurski J, Schroeter D, & Sendzimir J (2013). Climate change mainstreaming in agriculture: Natural water retention measures for flood and drought risk management. RESPONSES Project
Linnerooth-Bayer J, Dubel J, & Sendzimir J (2013). Report on integrated options for reducing risk/vulnerability (adaptation) that take account of mitigation. Deliverable 4.3, FP7 RESPONSES Project - European Responses to Climate Change (February 2013)
Linnerooth-Bayer J, Dubel J, Hochrainer-Stigler S, Kryda S, Lschewski L, & Sendzimir J (2013). Impact analysis of climate change on drought/flood risk, and relevant non-climate policies and their implementation, and consequences for agriculture and ecosystems. Deliverable 4.2, FP7 RESPONSES Project - European Responses to Climate Change (26 January 2013)
Halbe J, Pahl-Wostl C, Sendzimir J, & Adamowski J (2013). Towards adaptive and integrated management paradigms to meet the challenges of water governance. Water Science & Technology DOI:10.2166/wst.2013.146.
Sendzimir J, Dubel J, Linnerooth-Bayer J, Damurski J, & Schroeter D (2013). Assessment of the costs, risks and benefits of selected integrated policy options to adapt to flood and drought in the water and agricultural sectors of the Warta River Basin. Deliverable 4.5, FP7 RESPONSES Project - European Responses to Climate Change
Kolasa J, Allen CR, Sendzimir J, & Stow CA (2012). Predictions and retrodictions of the hierarchical representation of habitat in heterogeneous environments. Ecological Modelling 245: 199-207. DOI:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2012.03.030.
Stefanska J, Magnuszewski P, Sendzimir J, Romaniuk P, Taillieu T, Dubel A, Flachner Z, & Balogh P (2011). A gaming exercise to explore problem-solving versus relational activities for river floodplain management. Environmental Policy and Governance 21 (6): 454-471. DOI:10.1002/eet.586.
Westley F, Olsson P, Folke C, Homer-Dixon T, Vredenburg H, Loorbach D, Thompson J, Nilsson M, et al. (2011). Tipping toward sustainability: Emerging pathways of transformation. Ambio 40 (7): 762-780. DOI:10.1007/s13280-011-0186-9.
Fraser EDG, Dougill AJ, Hubacek K, Quinn CH, Sendzimir J, & Termansen M (2011). Assessing vulnerability to climate change in dryland livelihood systems: Conceptual challenges and interdisciplinary solutions. Ecology and Society 16 (3): art.3. DOI:10.5751/ES-03402-160303.
Sendzimir J, Reij CP, & Magnuszewski P (2011). Rebuilding resilience in the Sahel: Regreening in the Maradi and Zinder regions of Niger. Ecology and Society 16 (3) DOI:10.5751/ES-04198-160301.
Kok K, van Vliet M, Baerlund I, Dubel A, & Sendzimir J (2011). Combining participative backcasting and exploratory scenario development: Experiences from the SCENES project. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 78 (5): 835-851. DOI:10.1016/j.techfore.2011.01.004.
Sendzimir J, Flachner Z, Pahl-Wostl C, & Knieper C (2010). Stalled regime transition in the upper Tisza River Basin: The dynamics of linked action situations. Environmental Science & Policy 13 (7): 604-619. DOI:10.1016/j.envsci.2010.09.005.
Dubel A, Magnuszewski P, Sendzimir J, Krolikowska K, & Jamontt-Skotis M (2010). Final draft of all Causal Loop Diagrams. Deliverable 2.8, SCENES (Water Scenarios for Europe and for Neighbouring States), Wageningen University, Netherlands
Magnuszewski P, Sendzimir J, & Dubel A (2010). Conceptual framework for integrated analysis of European water resources. Deliverable 2.9, SCENES (Water Scenarios for Europe and for Neighbouring States), Wageningen University, Netherlands
Kok K, van Vliet M, Baerlund I, Sendzimir J, & Dubel A (2010). Pan-European backcasting exercise, enriched with regional perspective, and including a list of short-term policy options. Deliverable 2.10, SCENES (Water Scenarios for Europe and for Neighbouring States), Wageningen University, Netherlands
Pahl-Wostl C, Jeffrey P, & Sendzimir J (2010). Adaptive and integrated management of water resources. In: Water Resources, Planning and Management. Eds. Grafton, R.Q. & Hussey, K., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521762588
Kok K, van Vliet M, Baerlund I, Sendzimir J, & Dubel A (2009). First ("first-order") draft of pan-European European storylines - Results from the second pan-European stakeholder workshop. Deliverable 2.6, SCENES (Water Scenarios for Europe and for Neighbouring States), Wageningen University, Netherlands
Pahl-Wostl C, Sendzimir J, & Jeffrey P (2009). Resources management in transition (Guest Editorial). Ecology and Society 14 (1): no.46.
Eakin H, Winkels A, & Sendzimir J (2009). Nested vulnerability: Exploring cross-scale linkages and vulnerability teleconnections in Mexican and Vietnamese coffee systems. Environmental Science & Policy 12 (4): 398-412. DOI:10.1016/j.envsci.2008.09.003.
Krolikowska K, Magnuszewski P, Magnuszewska J, & Sendzimir J (2008). Dynamics of sustainable development - Karkonosze Mountains and Odra River Valley in Poland. In: Learning for a Sustainable Future: Innovative Solutions from the Baltic Sea Region. Eds. Rohweder, L. & Virtanen, A., Uppsala: Baltic University Press. ISBN 978-91-976494-3-8
Ostasiewicz K, Tyc MH, Radosz A, Magnuszewski P, Goliczewski P, Hetman P, & Sendzimir J (2008). Multistability of impact, utility and threshold concepts of binary choice models. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications 387 (25): 6337-6352. DOI:10.1016/j.physa.2008.08.006.
Kaemaeri J, Alcamo J, Baerlund I, Duel H, Farquharson F, Floerke M, Fry M, Houghton-Carr H, et al. (2008). Envisioning the future of water in Europe - The SCENES project. E-WAter 2008 (3): 1-28.
Sendzimir J (2008). Patterns of landscape structure, by discontinuity. In: Discontinuities in Ecosystems and Other Complex Systems. Eds. Allen, C.R. & Holling, C.S., New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-14444-5
Stow C & Sendzimir J (2008). Evaluating the textural discontinuity hypothesis: A case for adaptive inference. In: Discontinuities in Ecosystems and Other Complex Systems. Eds. Allen, C.R. & Holling, C.S., New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-14444-5
Lasut A, van Vliet M, Kok K, & Sendzimir J (2008). Review of Regional and Pilot Area Consultations and Consistency of Scenario Development Approaches. Deliverable 2.3, SCENES (Water Scenarios for Europe and for Neighbouring States), Wageningen University, Netherlands
Pahl-Wostl C, Sendzimir J, Jeffrey P, Aerts JCJH, Berkamp G, & Cross K (2008). Managing change toward adaptive water management through social learning. Ecology and Society 12 (2): art.30.
Sendzimir J, Magnuszewski P, Flachner Z, Balogh P, Molnar G, Sarvari A, & Nagy Z (2008). Assessing the resilience of a river management regime: Informal learning in a shadow network in the Tisza River Basin. Ecology and Society 13 (1): art.11.
Krolikowska K, Kronenberg J, Maliszewska K, Sendzimir J, Magnuszewski P, Dunajski A, & Slodka A (2007). Role-playing simulation as a communication tool in community dialogue: Karkonosze Mountains case study. Simulation & Gaming 38 (2): 195-210. DOI:10.1177/1046878107300661.
Martin LA, Magnuszewski P, Sendzimir J, Rydzak F, Komorowski H, Lewandowska-Czarnecka A, Wojanowska J, Krolikowska K, et al. (2007). Microworld gaming of a local agricultural production chain in Poland. Simulation & Gaming 38 (2): 211-232. DOI:10.1177/1046878107300663.
Prell C, Hubacek K, Reed M, Quinn C, Jin N, Holden J, Burt T, Kirby M, et al. (2007). If you have a hammer everything looks like a nail: traditional versus participatory model building. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 32 (3): 263-282. DOI:10.1179/030801807X211720.
Sendzimir J & Flachner Z (2007). Exploiting ecological disturbance. In: Farming with Nature: The Science and Practice of Ecoagriculture. Eds. Scherr, S.J. & McNeely, J.A., Washington D.C.: Island Press. ISBN 9781597261272
Sendzimir J, Magnuszewski P, Balogh P, & Vari A (2007). Anticipatory modeling of biocomplexity in the Tisza River Basin: First steps to establish a participatory adaptive framework. Environmental Modelling & Software 22 (5): 599-609. DOI:10.1016/j.envsoft.2005.12.032.
Sendzimir J, Magnuszewski P, Balogh P, & Vari A (2006). Adaptive management to restore ecological and economic resilience in the Tisza River Basin. In: Reflexive Governance For Sustainable Development. Eds. Voss, J-P., Bauknecht, D. & Kemp, R., Cheltenham Glos: Edward Elgar. ISBN 978
Magnuszewski P, Sendzimir J, & Kronenberg K (2005). Conceptual modeling for adaptive environmental assessment and management in the Barycz Valley, Lower Silesia, Poland. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2 (2): 194-203. DOI:10.3390/ijerph2005020001.
Light S, Serafin R, O'Riordan T, Bochniarz Z, Sendzimir J, & Blann K (2004). The role of biodiversity conservation in rural sustainability: An introduction. In: The Role of Biodiversity Conservation in the Transition to Rural Sustainability. Eds. Light, S., NATO Science Series: Science & Technology Policy. ISBN 1
Sendzimir J (2004). Patterns of landscape structure, mammal phylogeny and body size. In: The Role of Biodiversity Conservation in the Transition to Rural Sustainability. Eds. Light, S., NATO Science Series: Science & Technology Policy. ISBN 1
Sendzimir J, Balogh P, & Vari A (2004). Experimental design framework to restore ecological services and economic resilience in the Tisza River Basin. Forstliche Schriftenreihe an der Universität für Bodenkultur, Wien 18: 1-32.
Sendzimir J, Balogh P, Vari A, & Lantos T (2004). The Tisza River Basin: Slow change leads to sudden crisis. In: The Role of Biodiversity Conservation in the Transition to Rural Sustainability. Eds. Light, S., NATO Science Series: Science & Technology Policy. ISBN 1
Weichselgartner J & Sendzimir J (2004). Resolving the paradox: Food for thought on the wider dimensions of natural disasters. Mountain Research and Development 24 (1): 4-9.
Sendzimir J & Weichselgartner J (2003). Enhancing Short-term Responses with Larger-scale Perspectives. Paper presented at the PERI Symposium "Toward an International System Model in Emergency Management," 22-26 September 2003, Public Entity Risk Institute, Fairfax, VA, USA 
Sendzimir J, Allen CR, Gunderson L, & Stow C (2002). Implications of body mass patterns for ecosystem conservation and wildlife management. In: Landscape Ecology and Resource Management: Linking Theory with Practice. Eds. Bissonette, J. & Storch, I., Washington: Island Press.
Water, adaptive management, action research, sustainable development, participatory science, group model building, resilience and irreversible change
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313