Options Magazine, Winter 2023: IIASA researcher Martin Jung is a rising star in the field of conservation research with a passion for exploring how biodiversity and conservation issues can truly be embedded in complex systems.

Options 2023 © M. Silveri | IIASA

Jung has always been interested in biodiversity, ecology, and conservation both in terms of exploring our natural world and understanding and quantifying how biodiversity will be affected in response to global change. This led him to pursue his studies in Biodiversity and Environmental Sciences, culminating in a PhD from the University of Sussex in the UK focusing on broad-scale biodiversity impacts.

At IIASA, Jung is involved in a range of projects related to ecological modeling and integrated planning for conservation and nexus issues, all of which broadly try to identify cost-efficient future conservation and restoration priorities for biodiversity, while minimizing impacts on the bioeconomy.

“Biodiversity is at the heart of so many elements of a wider system. With its decline, we can expect entire systems to be affected,” he notes. One of his research interests is to explore how biodiversity and conservation issues can be truly embedded in complex systems. So far current quantitative approaches allow few feedbacks between biodiversity and other sectoral issues.

“Conservation issues can be quite complex and require extensive collaboration across disciplines, which is what makes working in an interdisciplinary environment such as IIASA so important,” he explains.

In the future, Jung wants to play a bigger role in supporting other biodiversity conservation scientists and practitioners by making new data and quantitative tools openly available.

By Langit Rinesti