Petr Havlík has been appointed to lead the IIASA Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR) Program.

Portait of Petr Havlik © Petr Havlík

Havlík will take over as BNR Program Director on 1 April 2023. He has previously served in various leadership positions at IIASA, including as the current Interim Program Director for BNR (January 2023 - March 2023), as Research Group Leader of the BNR Integrated Biosphere Futures Research Group (2021-2025), as Deputy Director and then Acting Director of the former IIASA Ecosystems Services and Management Program (2017-2020), and as Head of the former IIASA Environmental Resources and Development Center (2018-2020).

“I am excited about the opportunities ahead in leading what is possibly the world’s largest team in the field of truly integrated biosphere management modeling and research. I intend to bring all my experience to bear from my years at the interface between science and policymaking to unleash the full potential of the BNR Program and IIASA to contribute to sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing challenges humanity is facing today,” says Havlík.

Havlík first joined IIASA in 2007 as a research scholar with the former Forestry Program. His research interests are in integrated modeling of natural resources and ecosystems management for the development of transformations in food and bio-based sectors that enable satisfying human needs, while ensuring the sustainable use of terrestrial and marine environments. In this context, he also led the development of the renowned Global Biosphere Management Model (GLOBIOM).

He coordinates the institute’s contributions to global land use related foresight and assessment activities with European Commission funded research projects, and with international agencies such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the World Bank. At the national level, Havlík coordinates the contribution to policies and regulatory processes in, among others, China, the European Union, Indonesia, and the USA. These projects generated funding for IIASA of about EUR 14 million.

Havlík has been among the World’s most Highly Cited Researchers since 2018 and was ranked by Reuters as the sixth most influential climate scientist worldwide. His scientific excellence is also recognized by his appointment as a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), and the leading roles he plays in other international scientific networks, such as the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP). In addition to the above, he held a three-year joint position between IIASA and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). Havlík received his PhD from the University of Montpellier 1 in France, and Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic.

“Petr brings a wealth of expertise and experience to his new role of providing strategic leadership in the planning and implementation of the IIASA research plan and strategy for the BNR program. His key responsibilities will be to work closely with the BNR research group leaders to coordinate and monitor scientific activities across the BNR program and other IIASA research programs, and further strengthen our collaboration with other institutions,” notes IIASA Interim Deputy Director General for Science, Wolfgang Lutz.

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