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Cambridge Forum for Sustainability and the Environment



Michael Obersteiner is Program Director of the Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria. He joined IIASA's Forestry Program (FOR) in 1993 and has been leading the Group on Global Land-Use Modeling and Environmental Economics since 2001. His background includes the fields of global terrestrial ecosystems and economics, having completed graduate studies both in Austria (BOKU University and Institute for Advanced Studies Vienna) and abroad (Columbia University, New York and Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk). Dr. Obersteiner's research experience stretches from plant physiology and biophysical modeling in the areas of ecosystems, forestry and agriculture to environmental economics, bioenergy engineering and climate change sciences as documented in his publications record.

From 2008 to 2009, Dr. Obersteiner served as a seconded Staff Expert for the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva, Switzerland. During the past decade, Dr. Obersteiner has been the principle investigator at IIASA of more than 30 international projects covering diverse fields of different scales and numerous funding organizations. He has been the coordinator of three EU FP6/7 Projects, including:

  • INSEA (Integrated Sink Enhancement Assessment), which is developing analytical tools to assess economic and environmental effects of enhancing carbon sink and greenhouse gas abatement measures on agricultural and forest lands
  • Global Earth Observation – Benefit Estimation: Now, Next and Emerging” (GEOBENE), which is to developing methodologies and analytical tools to assess societal benefits of GEO in the domains of: Disasters, Health, Energy, Climate, Water, Weather, Ecosystems, Agriculture and Biodiversity.
  • The CC-TAME (Climate Change: Terrestrial Adaptation & Mitigation in Europe) project, which concentrates on assessing the impacts of agricultural, climate, energy, forestry and other associated land-use policies considering the resulting feed-backs on the climate system in the European Union.

Dr. Obersteiner has been a consultant to a number of national and international organizations, including inter alia the European Commission, WWF, OECD, and other national and international institutions. He is author of over 100 scientific papers and consultancy reports in the above mentioned fields.

Program Director of the Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program,
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria
Dr Michael  Obersteiner
Not available for consultancy


Person keywords: 
modelling and future scenarios
global terrestrial ecosystems
food security