Brian Fath profile picture

Brian Fath

Principal Research Scholar

Systemic Risk and Resilience Research Group

Advancing Systems Analysis Program

YSSP Scientific Coordinator

Capacity Development and Academic Training Unit


Brian D. Fath is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Towson University, Maryland, USA. He teaches courses in ecosystem ecology, environmental biology, networks, and human ecology and sustainability. He has also taught courses on ecological networks and modeling in Austria, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Russia. He held Fulbright Distinguished Chair positions at Parthenope University of Naples, Italy (2012) and Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic (2019).

Fath first came to IIASA as a participant in the 1997 Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP). Since 2002, he has returned to IIASA every year as a summer research scholar, first within the former Dynamic Systems (DYN) Program and now in the Systemic Risk and Resilience Research Group of the Advancing Systems Analysis (ASA) Program. His work at IIASA contributes to ASA activities in environmental systems modeling, specifically in the area of integrated modeling of ecological-economic networks. In addition, he has been serving as YSSP scientific coordinator since 2011.

He has published over 170 research papers, reports, and book chapters in journals such as the Journal of Theoretical Biology, Ecological Modelling, BioSystems, Ecological Complexity, Ecological Indicators, Ecosystem Services, Environmental Modelling and Software, Energy Policy, the Journal of Cleaner Production, the Journal of Environmental Management, the Journal of Industrial Ecology, PlosOne, Sustainability, Environmental Science and Technology, Ecology and Society, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, and Ecosystems. He co-authored the books A new ecology: Systems perspective (2020); Foundations for sustainability: A coherent framework of life and environment relations (2018); Flourishing within limits to growth: Following nature's way (2015); and Ecological modelling 4th ed. (2011). He is also the editor-in-chief for both the four-volume Encyclopedia of Ecology 2nd ed. (2018) and the six-volume Environmental Management Handbook 2nd edition (2021). Furthermore, he serves as editor-in-chief for the journals Current Research in Environmental Sustainability (Elsevier) and Sustainable Resource Management (Frontiers), and he is the past editor of the journal, Ecological Modelling; secretary general for the International Society for Ecological Modelling; and member and past chair of the Baltimore County Commission on Environmental Quality. Fath was also the 2016 recipient of the Prigogine Medal for outstanding work in systems ecology.

Fath graduated from Miami University, Ohio, USA in 1990 with degrees in physics and aeronautics. He completed an MS degree in environmental science at Ohio State University (1993) and earned a PhD in ecology from the University of Georgia in 1998. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Georgia (1998-2000) with Bruce Beck and the United States Environmental Protection Agency in Cincinnati (2000-2001), before joining the faculty in Towson University in fall 2001.

Last update: 29 JUN 2022