- on November 10, 2022
IIASA looks to recruit a motivated and talented researcher in the area of system dynamics modeling to join the Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) Program.
The ECE Program at IIASA is one of the world’s leading global Integrated Assessment Modeling (IAM) teams, and works to deepen understanding of rapid, just, and feasible systems transformations toward environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Continuing a long tradition going back to the foundation of IIASA, ECE’s modeling tools stand at the heart of the institute’s integrated assessment capabilities, used to explore linked solutions for energy, food, land, and water. Interdisciplinary teams within ECE use these and complementary methods to study trade-offs and synergies between multiple policy priorities and objectives, typically across multiple sectors. ECE’s scientific outputs inform international and national policy efforts related to climate change (e.g., implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement) and sustainable development (e.g., pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals).
ECE seeks a strong candidate who can support advancing the representation of social systems and behavioral factors in climate-economy-environment modeling. Demand reduction through behavioral changes is considered an important mitigation option, and the crucial role of social systems in rapid decarbonization is increasingly acknowledged. Extending global models to explicitly capture bottom-up behavioral change and human-earth system feedbacks will enable assessing the feasibility of widespread behavioral changes and social tipping mechanisms.
The incumbent will contribute to developing modeling methods and data to study the social dynamics of low-carbon behavior changes, such as shifts to plant-based diets, emerging from individual behavior change and in relation to economic, environmental and political factors. They will join and (co-)lead existing research efforts, while helping identify, plan, and create new opportunities and research directions. This work will include, but is not limited to:
- Extension of the FeliX system dynamics model to capture the individual, social, and structural factors behind behavior change for low-carbon consumption at a global level.
- Complementary qualitative and quantitative analysis of the feedback mechanisms leading to widespread behavioral changes and their cascading effects.
- Computational, model-based analysis of the impacts of large-scale behavioral changes on food and energy demand, and the key drivers or barriers of those.
- Design and execution of linkages between human and earth systems through collaborations with climate and economic system modelers.
The successful candidate will represent IIASA and ECE in the international WorldTrans Project funded by Horizon Europe. If the successful candidate does not already have a PhD, there will be opportunity for them to work towards one at Radboud University, Netherlands as an external PhD candidate.