Michael Obersteiner profile picture

Michael Obersteiner

Principal Research Scholar

Exploratory Modeling of Human-natural Systems Research Group

Advancing Systems Analysis


Michael Obersteiner was Program Director of the Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria until June 2019, and assumed the directorship of the Environmental Change Institute in Oxford (part time as of 1 October 2019 and full time from 1 October 2020). He joined the IIASA Forestry Program in 1993 and had led and developed the ESM Program, which is currently the largest research program at IIASA with over 100 staff, from 2011 until June 2019. 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). His research experience stretches from biophysical modelling in the areas of ecosystems, forestry and agriculture to economics, finance and integrated assessment.

Dr. Obersteiner has led large scale interdisciplinary research projects in the fields of integrated assessment of climate, energy and land-use. He is author of over 250 scientific papers covering a very wide range of science fields. Currently he serves in UNEP's international resource panel (IRP) is lead convening author (CLA) of two IPBES chapters and a steering member to UNISDR's Global Assessment report. He completed graduate studies in Forest Science at the University of Life Sciences, Economics at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna and Columbia University, New York.

Last update: 15 SEP 2020


Khabarov, N. & Obersteiner, M. (2022). Real-Options Management of Oil Palm Plantations under Price Shocks. In: Systems Analysis for Reducing Footprints and Enhancing Resilience, 16-17 November, 2022, Vienna, Austria.

Khabarov, N. , Bednar, J., Smirnov, A. , & Obersteiner, M. (2022). Social Cost of Carbon: Systems Analysis Perspective & Relevance to Policy Targets. In: Systems Analysis for Reducing Footprints and Enhancing Resilience, 16-17 November, 2022, Vienna, Austria.

Liu, Q., Guo, Z., Gao, L., Dong, Y., Moallemi, E.A., Eker, S. , Yang, J., Li, X., Obersteiner, M. , & Bryan, B.A. (2022). A review of model-based scenario analysis of poverty for informing sustainability. Environmental Science & Policy 137 336-348. 10.1016/j.envsci.2022.09.005.

FABLE (2022). National food and land mitigation pathways for net zero. Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture & Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) , Montpellier/Paris, France.