International Scientific Advisory Committee

The International Scientific Advisory Committee provides scientific and substantive guidance to the Organizers of DNC2017.

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János Bogárdi (Co-Chair)

János Bogárdi is senior fellow of the Center for Development Research of the University Bonn and senior advisor of the Global Water System Project (GWSP). Since 2004 he is professor for water resources management at the University of Bonn, Faculty of Agriculture. He was executive officer of the GWSP (2009-2012). He served till his retirement from the UN as director of the United Nations University (UNU) Institute for Environment and Human Security 2003-2009 and parallel as Vice Rector a. i. in Europe. He was Chief of Section in the Division of Water Science in UNESCO, Paris (1995-2003). He was professor of hydrology, hydraulics and quantitative water resources management at the Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands 1989-1995. He was associate professor for water resources management at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand 1985-1988. Between 1969 and 1985 he had several research and consulting appointments in several countries in Europe and in Africa. He graduated as Dipl.-Ing. (Civil engineering) at the University of Technology Budapest in 1969 He holds a doctorate in water resources engineering (Dr.-Ing.) from Karlsruhe University 1979 and three Dr. honoris causa distinctions from universities in Poland, Hungary and Russia.

Birguy Lamizana-Diallo (Co-Chair)

Birguy Lamizana-Diallo is a Programme Officer for the Global Programme of Action for the protection of the marine environment from land-based Activities (GPA) within DEPI/UNEP. She also coordinated UNEP’s Flagship project on the restoration of Lake Faguibine ecosystems in Mali. Prior to joining UNEP she served as the coordinator of the IUCN West Africa regional wetlands and water resources programme. Dr. Lamizana has worked with the Global Water Partnership (GWP) as the regional coordinator for Africa Water Development and with the African Development Bank (AfDB) as Technical Advisor for their Water Partnership Programme Trust fund. Dr Lamizana is a broad based development professional with more than 20 years working experience, including extensive knowledge in ecosystem and water resource management and a capacity building skills as a Training of Trainers (ToT) for decision makers on Integrated Water Resource Management. She holds an Engineer degree in water resources management and a Doctorate in Freshwater Ecology in relation to environmental flows requirement.

Graham Alabaster

Graham Alabaster is a public health engineer, originally for the UK, who has worked for UNHABITAT since 1992. Prior to that he was an international consultant. He was responsible for the development of some of UNHABITAT’s flagship programs on water, sanitation and solid waste management and provides advice to governments. His areas of specialty are sanitation, wastewater management and solid waste recycling and disposal. He is currently on loan to World Health Organization where he is developing joint initiatives on urban health and environment. He holds a first degree in chemical engineering and a doctorate in Civil Engineering.

Joseph Alcamo

Joseph Alcamo is Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Systems Research and Professor of Environmental Systems Science and Engineering at the University of Kassel, Germany. He is active in the climate negotiations as Special Science Advisor to the Executive Secretary of the Climate Convention. He is also Chair of the Steering Committee of the UN’s World Water Quality Assessment.

From 2009 to 2013 he served as the Chief Scientist of the United Nations Environment Programme and was the first Chief Scientist appointed within the UN system. At UNEP he worked to strengthen the interface between global science and policy by convening groups of scientists to produce several “rapid response reports” for policymaking. These included the series of “Emission Gap Reports” addressing key issues in the international climate negotiations. He also led the production of the report “Embedding the environment in the sustainable development goals”, one of UNEP’s main contributions to the SDG debate.

While at UNEP he helped found the “Climate and Clean Air Coalition”, an alliance of governments and NGOs dedicated to fast action on pollutants that cause both air pollution and climate change. At UNEP he also co-founded a new umbrella organization for climate impact science (PROVIA); initiated an international “Foresight” process for identifying emerging issues; co-organized the World Water Quality Assessment; and helped found “Future Earth” – a new international umbrella for global change research.

His main scientific contributions have been in the areas of global modelling of the environment, climate impact research, integrated assessment modelling, and environmental scenario analysis. Alcamo led the development of the WaterGAP model used in early studies of global water scarcity, and the IMAGE 2 model, one of the first integrated models of climate change. He has published widely on the subject of climate change impacts on water resources and land use, and produced six books on global environmental themes including the 1998 book “Global Change Scenarios of the 21st Century” (Pergamon Press), and the 2012 Wiley-Blackwell book on “Life in Europe under Climate Change”. Alcamo has received the international Max Planck Research Prize and other awards for achievements in global change research. He is an American citizen.

Elias T. Ayuk

Elias T. Ayuk is the Director of the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) based in Accra, Ghana since October 2010. On completion of his PhD in 1989 from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, USA, he served for two years (1990–91) at the International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC)-Africa office based in Lomé, Togo as a Visiting Scientist under the Rockefeller Foundation Social Science Fellowship program. In 1992, he joined the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), now known as the World Agroforestry Centre, and was posted successively to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (1992-1994), Bamako, Mali (1994–98) and Harare, Zimbabwe (1998–2002). He left ICRAF to join the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC) at its West and Central Africa Regional Office in Dakar, Senegal in 2002 where he served until October 2010. His research interests focus on poverty analysis, institutional capacity building and the social, economic and policy dimensions of natural resource management.

Winfried E. H. Blum

Winfried E. H. Blum is Professor emeritus of Soil Science at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, Austria. Before which, he was professor at the University of Freiburg, Germany (1972–75) and the State University of Paranà in Curitiba/Brazil (1975–79) with research and teaching activities in Europe, Africa, Latin and North America, Asia and Australasia. He has held many prominent positions on various boards, such as member of the Executive Board of the International Council for Science (ICSU), Paris; Secretary General of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS), Founding President of the European Confederation of Soil Science Societies (ECSSS), Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Environment Agency (EEA), Copenhagen. He has also served on the editorial boards of 27 scientific journals, with more than 750 publications in 15 languages in the fields of soil science, agricultural and forest land use and environmental protection. Member and Honorary Member of numerous Academies and national and international learned societies with numerous distinctions and awards.

Johan Bouma

Johan Bouma is Professor emeritus of Soil Science, Wageningen University, the Netherlands. He obtained a PhD in soil management in 1969 at Wageningen University and was a postdoc and tenured associate professor at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, USA. After 1975 he acted as Deputy Director of the Netherlands Soil Survey Institute (Stiboka) and in 1986 he was appointed professor of soil science at Wageningen University. From 1998 through 2003 he was a member of the Scientific Council for Government Policy ( the WRR) ( a think-tank in the prime minister’s office), where he chaired working groups and presented reports on development cooperation, environmental policy, sustainable development and future studies.

Ariane Greubel

Ariane Greubel works as desk officer in the Unit Universities and Art Colleges in the Department of Higher Education. After taking on different posts in the State Chancellery and the State Ministry of Interior, she moved to the SMWK in February 2010. The State Ministry is responsible for promoting research and training in Saxon universities, art colleges, universities of applied sciences and vocational academies. The ministry also takes care of the Arts in Saxony (museums, theatres, orchestras and libraries) and promotes research institutes outside the universities, such as Max-Planck, Helmholtz, Leibnitz or Fraunhofer institutes. Additionally, the State Ministry is responsible for technology policy and the promotion of technology.

Fritz Holzwarth

Fritz Holzwarth is Rector a.i. of UNESCO Institute for Water Education. He was appointed Deputy Director General for Water-Management in the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in 1991. His professional responsibilities, are inter alia Head of the German Delegation, Baltic Marine Environment Commission (HELCOM), Head of the German Delegation for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR), Head of the German Delegation for International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), President in 2003 and President of the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR) (2004-2007), President of the International Commission for the Protection of the River Elbe (2008-2010). He is a Member of the Board of Advice of the European Water Partnership, of the External Advisory Group of WATCH (Water and Global Change), of the Board of Advice of the Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics, Cologne University of Applied Sciences, of the Supervisory Board of the Helmholtz-Center Geesthacht, (Member of the Helmholtz Association), Member of the Kuratorium of the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology. Member of the International Steering Committee of Great Rivers Partnership (GRP).

Mr. Holzwarth has been actively involved in transboundary cooperation in international river basins. In his position as German Water Director he has been actively involved in developing EU-Directives such as the Water Framework Directives, the Marine Strategy Directive and other water related regulations. Furthermore he jointly initiated with EU-Commission and the Joint Research Centre the discussion process on Climate Change and the European Water Dimension. Fritz Holzwarth studied Economics, Law and Political Science at the University of Freiburg/Breisgau and holds a Diploma (1977) and Ph. D. (1984) in Economics and a Diploma in Business Administration (1973) from the College of Economics, Pforzheim.

Blanca Jiménez Cisneros

Blanca Jiménez Cisneros, Co-chair of the Steering Committee, is an environmental engineer with Masters and PhD degrees in wastewater treatment and reuse obtained in France. She has authored more than 414 papers, published and presented in international scientific journals, books and conferences. She received the Mexican National Prize for Science and Technology (2009); was president of the Environmental Engineers’ Association (1999-2000), and of the Mexican Federation of Sanitary Engineers and Environmental Science Association (2001-2002). She was a member of the board of directors of the International Water Association (2004-2008) and chair of the IWA Water Reuse Specialist Group (2006-2009), as also holds membership of the Nominating Committee for the Stockholm Water Prize (2007-2012). Currently, she is the Director of the Division of Water Sciences, Secretary of the International Hydrological Programme at UNESCO. She sits on the editorial committees of several international journals such as Water Science and Technology; Water Reuse and Desalination; and Residuals Science and Technology. She is co-coordinator of leading authors for the freshwater resources chapter under the adaptation group of the IPCC. In 2010 she received the Global Water Award from the International Water Association.

Simon Joss

Simon Joss is Professor of Science & Technology Studies at the University of Westminster (London), and co-director of the International Eco-Cities Initiative. Simon’s research addresses the governance of innovation for environmental, economic and social sustainability, with special focus on urban development. He is a member of the international research consortium SMART ECO investigating smart city policies across Europe and China. He is the author of numerous research articles and books, including Sustainable Cities: Governing for Urban Innovation published by Palgrave Macmillan (2015). Simon is a board member of Ecocity Builders (USA), and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Cezary Kabala

Cezary Kabala is a (full) professor of soil science at the Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Science (Wroclaw, Poland). After MSc degree in agriculture, he specialized in environmental issues (PhD topic: “ecological disaster” in the mountain forests of SW Poland). Currently, he serves as vice-president of Soil Science Society of Poland, member of scientific advisory boards of two national parks in Poland, member of IUSS Working Group for international classification of soils (WRB), and departmental coordinator of Erasmus+ and CEEPUS programs (at WUELS). His research interests focus on soil resources evaluation and protection, remediation of contaminated sites, monitoring of soil quality, and element fluxes in the soil-plant-water system.

Rat­tan Lal

Rat­tan Lal is a Dis­tin­guished Uni­ver­sity Pro­fes­sor of Soil Sci­ence and Di­rec­tor of the Car­bon Management and Se­ques­tra­tion Cen­ter at Ohio State Uni­ver­sity, Colum­bus. He held po­si­tions at the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion, New Delhi, India; the Uni­ver­sity of Syd­ney, Aus­tralia; the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan, Nige­ria and Adjunct Pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­sity of Ice­land, Reyk­javik. Lal is also a sci­en­tific ad­vi­sor to Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Pots­dam, Ger­man;, mem­ber of the Fed­eral Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee on Cli­mate As­sess­ment; and of the Sci­en­tific Ad­vi­sory Board of DOD. He served in var­i­ous in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions such as the In­ter­na­tional Com­mit­tee on Trop­i­cal De­for­esta­tion and Land Man­age­ment, Nige­ria (Chair); the World As­so­ci­a­tion of Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion (Pres­i­dent); In­ter­na­tional Soil Tillage Re­search Or­ga­ni­za­tion (Pres­i­dent); and the Soil Sci­ence So­ci­ety of Amer­ica (Pres­i­dent). Lal was lead au­thor of the UN Mil­len­nium Ecosys­tem As­sess­ment and Lead Au­thor in IPCC re­ports.

Morag McDonald

Morag McDonald is Chair of Ecology and CatchmentManagement at Bangor University. She is Head of the School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography which has 400 undergraduate students, 162 masters students, 60 PhD students and 28 members of faculty. She has been an active researcher in international environmental issues for over 20 years, with broad research expertise in soil conservation and fertility; impacts of anthropogenic and natural disturbance on forest ecosystems; tropical forest regeneration; agroforestry systems, water regulating ecosystem services and forest restoration. She has field experience in 14 countries. She is a founder and consortium member of the joint European MSc programme in Sustainable Tropical Forestry (SUTROFOR), and the global PhD programme in Forest and Nature for Society (FONASO). She is an Associate of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment; a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society; and a Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.

Rabi Mohtar

Rabi Mohtar is TEES Endowed Professor at Texas A&M University, College Station, USA. Mohtar pioneered the development of a conceptual and modeling framework linking the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus with science and policy. He designed and evaluated international sustainable water management programs addressing population growth and water shortage conditions in arid climates. The 2015 Ven Te Chow Memorial Lecturer, distinguished alumnus of American University of Beirut (2013), recipient of the Kishida International Award (2010), Mohtar is a member of the International Steering Committee of the World Water Forum and on the advisory council to the World Water Council. Mohtar was founding Executive Director, Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) and Founding Executive Director of Strategic Projects at Qatar Foundation R&D (2011–13). Mohtar inaugurated Global Engineering Program and co-founded the Environmental and Ecological Engineering Division at Purdue (1996–2014). He served the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on water security (2009-11) and climate change (2011–15), Board of Governors of World Water Council (2012–15), the advisory board of the UNFCC momentum of change initiative (2012–present), advisory board of the President of the University of Alberta Water Initiative (2012–14).

Saeed Nairizi

Saeed Nairizi, CEO of Toossab Consulting Engineers Company, was Born in 1946 in Tehran, and graduated from Ahwaz University in 1968. After few years working in soil and water engineering activities he pursued his further education in UK from where he was grunted PhD degree in Civil Engineering majoring water resources in 1977, Southampton University, U.K. Once back in Iran, he started his career as a member of scientific board at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad and also as a consultant in water works until 1988. Nairizi was then appointed by the Iranian Ministry of Energy as the Managing Director and later CEO of Toossab Consulting Engineers Company, one of the major Iranian consultants in water works. He is currently holding the same position while the company has changes his statues to a private joint stock company. Nairizi was elected as the president of international Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) at the 65th congress of this fraternity held in South Korea in Sep. 2014. He began his collaboration with ICID form 1994, since then he has managed to assist this commission through different capacity including the Vice President, Chairman of Finance Committee and chairing technical Working Group. Nairizi has been involved as the project manager of several urban water supply and regional integrated water resource management projects in his career at Toossab Company. He has also published and presented many papers internationally and a number of books related to the water and irrigation in Farsi, his mother language.

Josiane Nikiema

Josiane Nikiema is the sub-theme leader for Water quality and safe water reuse at the International Water Management Institute ( She is leading several research activities on: 1) domestic wastewater treatment and reuse in agriculture, 2) recovery of nutrients and organic matter from fecal sludge and/or organic solid waste, and 3) testing of business models for safe resource recovery and reuse in developing countries. Before joining IWMI in 2011, Dr. Nikiema worked as a university professor in Canada. During that time, she addressed issues related to biological treatment of wastewater and contaminated air, using technologies such as biofiltration for removal of e.g. emerging contaminants in wastewater, as well as reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through bio-elimination of methane from landfills and piggeries. She holds a PhD in chemical engineering.

Manzoor Qadir

Manzoor Qadir serves as Assistant Director, Water and Human Development Programme at UNU-INWEH. He works on biophysical and policy aspects of water recycling and safe and productive reuse, water quality and environmental health, and salt-induced land degradation. He has implemented multidisciplinary projects and directed research teams in Central Asia, and Middle East and North Africa regions. He previously held professional positions as Senior Scientist jointly appointed by the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI); Visiting Professor at the Justus-Liebig University, Giessen, Germany; and Associate Professor at the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan. He is a fellow of the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation and serves on the Editorial Boards of four international journals.

Fabrice Renaud

Fabrice Renaud is Head of the Environmental Vulnerability and Ecosystem Services section (EVES) at the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS). He has been with UNU-EHS since 2004 and developed research programmes in South, South East and Central Asia, West Africa, and Europe. His main research foci are on the role of ecosystems in disaster risk reduction and on water pollution. Fabrice Renaud holds a PhD in Agronomy.

Ralf Seppelt

Ralf Seppelt is Head of the Department of Computational Landscape Ecology at the UFZ Leipzig. He holds a professorship for Applied Landscape Ecology at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and is spokesperson for the UFZ Research Topic “Land use, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services”“ in the Helmholtz Research Program “Terrestrial Ecosystems”. A mathematician and landscape ecologist, his expertise lies in the field of land resource management utilizing integrated simulation models. He is coordinating the scientific and synthesis project “Global Assessment of Land Use Dynamics on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Ecosystem Services” (GLUES, part of the BMBF Program “Sustainable Land Management”). He is spokesperson for the Helmholtz Research School ESCALATE (Ecosystem Services Under Changing Land-Use and Climate) and a member of the DFG Agroecosystems Senate Commission.

Richard Taylor

Richard M. Taylor, a Fellow of the Energy Institute (UK), is the chief executive of the International Hydropower Association (IHA). He has been involved in the hydropower sector since 1985. He became a founding Board member of IHA in 1995, and has served as the association’s executive director since 2001. Richard has written and edited numerous technical papers and periodicals on water and energy, and has been engaged in United Nations initiatives on water (WWDR and UNEP), energy (UNIDO and UNDESA) and climate change (UNESCO and IPCC). He has also participated in the work of the International Renewable Energy Alliance, World Bank, International Energy Agency, World Energy Council and World Water Council.

Danka Thalmeinerova

Danka Thalmeinerova is Senior Knowledge Management Officer at the Global Water Partnership (GWP), promoting and facilitating a culture of knowledge sharing and technical support across the GWP Network. She is a water expert who worked with the Slovak Ministry of Environment. She was involved in projects related to EU approximation, water policy and legislative development, IPPC implementation, international treaty implementation and water pricing. She also led a team for several EU and UNDP/GEF-funded projects in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) on implementing the EU Water Framework Directive. She is a member of the Association of Waste Water Experts in Slovakia. She was also the Head of international Environmental Policy Program of Academia Istropolitana Nova and was invited as a guest lecturer in water related education courses in Brandenburg Technical University, Cottbus, Germany, the Economic University Bratislava, and Trencin University in Slovakia. For five years she was project manager for a Harvard University USAID project on environmental economics and policy in CEE.

Stefan Uhlenbrook

Stefan Uhlenbrook is Director of the United Nations World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) hosted by UNESCO. Before joining WWAP, he was professor for hydrology at IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, where he held the position of vice-rector from 2013 on. Uhlenbrook was with the university of Freiburg Germany from 1996 to 2004 as assistant and associate professor. His main interests are the impacts of global changes on water as well as issues related to capacity building, with particular emphasis on developing countries and countries in transition.

Olcay Ünver

Olcay Ünver is the Deputy-Director of the Land and Water Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) since September 2013. His responsibilities at FAO include the water, land and soil related activities and programs, mainstreaming water across the various sectors and disciplines, and cooperating with partners and stakeholders within and outside the United Nations system. Between 2007 and 2013 he served as the Coordinator of the United Nations World Water Assessment Programme and the Director of the UNESCO Programme Office on Global Water Assessment. Prior to that, he was a distinguished professor of water resources at Kent State University, Ohio, where he founded the Euphrates-Tigris Initiative for Cooperation (ETIC). He served for 13 years as the president of the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) Regional Development Administration in Turkey and transformed a large infrastructure project into a sustainable socioeconomic development program. Mr. Ünver holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees, also in Civil Engineering, from Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey.

Joanne Vinke-de Kruijf

Joanne Vinke-de Kruijf is postdoc researcher at the Institute of Environmental Systems Research, University of Osnabrück and the honorary secretary of The Integrated Assessment Society. Her research focuses on international cooperation, (social) learning, policy transfer and governance in the domains of water management and climate change adaptation. At DNC 2015 she organized two highly successful sessions on the governance of climate change adaptation. Before joining the University of Osnabrück, Joanne worked for one year as international project manager at a Dutch regional water authority. She obtained her PhD degree from the University of Twente, the Netherlands in 2013.

Joachim von Braun

Joachim von Braun is Director of the Center for Development Research (ZEF), Bonn University, and Professor for economic and technological change. von Braun’s main research interests are in economic development, poverty reduction, food and nutrition security, resource economics, trade, science and technology policy. He is chair of the Bioeconomy Council of the Federal German Government; member of German Academies, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences of the Vatican; His awards include the Justus von Liebig Prize for World Nutrition 2011, the Bertebos Prize by the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry 2009.

Oliver Weigel

Oliver Weigel is Head of the Urban Development Division of the Federal Ministry for the Environment and Building (BMUB). Following his studies in Economic Geography, he started work at a Leipzig-based Research Institute (1993). In 1995 he became responsible for setting up a strategic urban development department within the Leipzig City Council. Parallel to that he finished work on his PhD at Leipzig University in 1997. After having been responsible for several major projects (i.e. Leipzig´s bid for the new BMW plant, the elaboration of the first urban strategy for urban rightsizing in Germany in 1998 and the cities national bid for hosting the 2012 Olympic Games), Dr. Weigel became Head of the Olympic Planning unit in 2003. Since 2006 he is working for the Federal Government. He is member of the board of trustees of several research institutes and has, since 1999, a teaching assignment at Leipzig University. He also is a member of the German Academy for Urban and Spatial Planning and is actively participating in several international projects.

Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden)

Christina Dornack
Karl-Heinz Feger

Christina Dornack is Director of the Institute and Head of the Chair of Waste Management and Circular Economy at Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden). Before joining TU Dresden, she held the following positions: Head of the Competence Centre Recycling and Raw Materials at PTS with responsibilities for scientific and industrial research and projects; associated professor for waste and bio-energy management at TU Cottbus (2010–13) with the special focus on biogas production from waste and renewables, material flow analysis; head of the Biowaste-working group at the Institute of Waste Management and Contaminated Site Treatment at TU Dresden (2004–10), Scientist at Fraunhofer Company with responsibility for anaerobic sludge treatment and bio-waste digestion (2001–04); PhD-Student at the Institute for urban water management at TU Dresden (1997-2001).

Karl-Heinz Feger, Co-chair of the Steering Committee, serves as Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences of the TU Dresden. He is director of the Institute of Soil Science and Site Ecology. He studied hydrology in Freiburg/Br. (Germany) and Zurich (ETH, Switzerland). After his PhD and habilitation in forest soils and hydrology/biogeochemistry in Freiburg he worked at Hohenheim University (Faculty of Agricultural Sciences) before in 2000 he became full professor at TUD. Research topics are soil-water-plant relations at various spatial scales. Karl-Heinz Feger is Editor-in-Chief of “Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science” (German Soil Science Society DBG, Wiley-Blackwell) since 2003.

Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER)

Bernhard Müller
Wolfgang Wende

Bernhard Müller is the Director of the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER), and holds the Chair for Spatial Development at the Technische Universität Dresden. He is also currently the Speaker of the Management Board of the Dresden Leibniz Graduate School. He holds a honoris causa doctoral degree from the Slovak University of Technology. Professor Müller’s research interests and expertise are in sustainable urban and regional development and integrated planning. He is a member of the Academy for Spatial Research and Planning (ARL), of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech), a Member of the Saxonian Academy of Sciences, and an International Member of the Serbian Academy for Engineering Sciences. He is also a member of Habitat III Policy Unit No. 6.

Wolfgang Wende is Professor for Urban Development at the Technische Universität Dresden and head of Research Area Landscape Change and Management at the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development, Dresden. He is a landscape planner, who studied at the Technische Universität Berlin (TUB) Germany. In between the years 1999–2006 he worked as a scientific assistant at the Department for Landscape Planning and Environmental Impact Assessment TUB. 2006–08 he was announced as a visiting professor at TU Berlin. 2008–09 he changed his position to the Federal Environment Agency Germany working for the German government. He also has broad European wide and international experience, e.g. since 2009 being visiting professor at the NUS (National University of Singapore) for landscape policies. For several years now, Prof. Wende has served as President of the German Environmental Impact Assessment Association.


Reza Ardakanian
Tamara Avellán
Hiroshan Hettiarachchi
Stephan Hülsmann
Mathew Kurian
Kai Schwärzel

Reza Ardakanian of Iran, Co-chair of the Steering Committee, was appointed as the Founding Director of UNU-FLORES. He has served as Director of the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development hosted by UNU since 2007 and as Vice-Rector of UNU in Europe, ad interim (2009–2011). He sat on the Boards of various international programs/organizations such as UNESCO-IHP, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, the International Hydropower Association and UNU-EHS. Prof. Dr. Ardakanian holds a PhD in Water Resources Management from McMaster University (Canada) and is a faculty member of Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran. He formerly held a number of national offices in Iran, including Deputy Minister for Water Affairs (2001–2005), Senior Vice-Minister (1998–2001) and Deputy Minister for Planning & Economic Affairs (1989–1991) with the Ministry of Energy, and Deputy Minister for Urban Development and Municipalities with the Ministry of Interior (1987–1989).

Tamara Avellán is a Research Fellow in the Water Resource Management Unit at UNU-FLORES. Dr. Avellán obtained her PhD in 2014 from the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, under the supervision of Prof. Wolfram Mauser. Her dissertation looked into the optimal spatial distribution of crops based on topography, soil conditions and climate. From 2011 to 2015 she also worked at the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, at first as a German Junior Professional Officer and later as regular staff. She supported the early phases of the Global Framework for Climate Services and led various projects on climate services in Small Island Developing States.

Hiroshan Hettiarachchi is a civil engineer specialized in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering. He joined UNU-FLORES as Academic Officer and leads the Waste Management unit since January 2014. He previously served as Associate Professor at Lawrence Technological University, USA. Dr. Hettiarachchi’s past research is mainly focused on geotechnical aspects of landfills and properties and behavior of geomaterials. Dr. Hettiarachchi is currently also serving as the PhD Programme Coordinator for the joint Doctoral Programme in Integrated Management of Water, Soil and Waste with TU Dresden.

Stephan Hülsmann is Academic Officer and leads the Systems and Flux Analysis considering Global Change Assessment unit at UNU-FLORES. He studied Biology in Göttingen, Kiel and Lund (Sweden) and graduated (Diplom) in Göttingen, Germany. He obtained his PhD degree at Technische Universität Dresden (integrated water quality management in reservoirs), followed by a research project at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (NIOO-KNAW). After returning to TU Dresden he worked as senior research scientist within the interdisciplinary Hydro Sciences Department, Institute of Hydrobiology, prior to assuming his function as Project Officer at UNU-ViE and UNU-FLORES, mainly managing and establishing partnerships and projects in Africa.

Mathew Kurian is Academic Officer and leads the Capacity Development and Governance unit. Prior to joining UNU, he served as Senior Water and Sanitation Specialist at Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP) of The World Bank where he led policy advocacy efforts related to rural water supply, wastewater re-use and climate adaptation options in secondary towns. He began his career as a Robert McNamara Fellow at the World Bank where his work on land tenure reform was hosted by the Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI), New Delhi. Upon completing his PhD in Development Studies from the Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University, The Hague, Netherlands, Dr. Kurian was employed as Associate Expert (Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs) at International Water Management Institute (IWMI-CGIAR) where he undertook assessments of soil and water conservation interventions in the Mekong and Nile river basins. In 2009 as member of faculty at IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Delft, Dr. Kurian led the development of a policy note on urban sanitation and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for the Directorate General of International Cooperation (DGIS) in the Netherlands.

Kai Schwärzel is currently serving as Academic Officer and leads the Soil and Land-use Management unit at UNU-FLORES. The overall goal of his work is to understand, quantify, and predict processes that control water and matter fluxes in variable saturated soils ranging from the plot to catchment scale. He is using lab and field experiments, as well as numerical modeling to deal with these problems. Dr. Schwärzel started his carrier as a PhD student – funded by the German Research Foundation -at the Technische Universität Berlin (TUB), Germany. After completing his PhD, Dr. Schwärzel worked as a PostDoc at the Chair of Site Ecology and Soil Protection, TU Berlin. In 2004, Dr. Schwärzel became a Senior Researcher at the Institute of Soil Science and Site Ecology of the TU Dresden, Germany.