• Room 8A-65, NU-building

  • Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), De Boelelaan 1111

    1081 HV Amsterdam

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Personal profile

Personal information

Žiga Malek is an Assistant Professor in Land Use and Ecosystem Dynamics. His main research interests are the changes to land systems and the associated consequences to sustainable use of land and ecosystems. Specifically, his interests are analysing changes in future land use, land cover and land management due to growing food demand, evaluating sustainable adaptation options (such as irrigation efficiency improvements), identifying the tradeoffs between future cropland expansion, intensification and biodiversity protection, and improving the simulation of responses to climate change in land system modeling.

He is interested in regions in socio-economic transition and areas particularly vulnerable to future global change. Žiga has experience in working on various sustainability issues from all around the world: wetland protection in the Pacific, woodland degradation in East Africa, lagoon management in the Caribbean, land use and water interactions in Northern Africa and Middle East, agricultural expansion in the Amazon basin, forest management in Central Asia, multifunctional landscapes in the Mediterranean, and smallholder adaptation to future climate change in tropical regions, to name a few.

Žiga is a lecturer on spatial analysis, land based mitigation, and sustainability and environmental change in general. Besides research, teaching and supervision, Žiga is also involved in numerous consultancy activities, with consultancy projects commissioned among others by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United Nations Development Programme, European Commission, Inter-American Development Bank, European Environment Agency and Fairtrade International.

Before joining the IVM, Žiga worked as a researcher in Austria at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the University of Vienna. There, he worked on the potential effects of land systems changes on future hydro-meteorological risks.


Land systems, spatial analysis and modeling, scenarios, GIS


​2015: PhD in Natural Sciences, Dr. rer. nat. (Doctor of Natural Science)​ ​University of Vienna, Austria. Thesis: Combining participatory and geospatial modelling to generate spatially explicit land change scenarios.   ​

2010: University degree in Landscape Architecture (MSc equivalent) ​University of Ljubljana, Slovenia​.

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  • GE Environmental Sciences
  • land systems
  • land use change
  • global change
  • environmental modelling
  • Spatial Analysis
  • GIS


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