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Personal profile

Personal information

Peter Verburg is professor Environmental Spatial Analysis and leads the Environmental Geography group that is part of the Institute for Environmental Studies, VU University Amsterdam.

Peter is named a Highly Cited Researcher for 2018 that ranks in the top 1% by citations in Web of Science. Peter has established a leading position in the field of land use analysis and modelling. He has developed and applied a wide range of methods to analyze spatial patterns of land use at scales from local to global. Methods used in his research originate from different disciplines, including social sciences (interviews, participatory workshops, multi-level statistics, foresight and scenario studies), econometrics (efficiency analysis, spatial econometrics), geography (accessibility analysis, spatial modelling, remote sensing) and earth sciences (biogeochemical modelling).

Having worked with collaborators from this wide variety of fields Peter has established insight in the different disciplinary traditions and vocabularies which facilitates interdisciplinary collaboration. His work on regional and global scale land use modeling has resulted in one of the most frequently used land use models worldwide (CLUE). Peter is the former chair of the Global Land Programme of Future Earth and is actively involved in several EU-level research projects in the field of land use, sustainable city planning, climate change adaptation, rural development and ecosystem services. He has published over 250 peer-reviewed articles and several book chapters. He has organized workshops and post-graduate courses on the topic of land use modelling and ecosystem services.

Expertise: Land change analysis, spatial analysis and modeling, landscape ecology, ecosystem services, interdisciplinary analysis of human-environment interactions, environmental decision making, scenarios, multi-functional land use, sustainable intensification, landscape aestetics.


  • 2000: PhD. Land Use Modelling, Wageningen University
  • 1996: MSc. Physical Geography, Wageningen University

Professional employment history

  • 2010-present: Professor Environmental Spatial Analysis, Institute for Environmental Studies, VU University Amsterdam
  • 2009-2010: Senior Researcher at Alterra, WUR
  • 2003-2010: Assistant professor, Land dynamics group, Wageningen University
  • 2001-2003: Post-doc, Faculty of Geographical Sciences, Utrecht University
  • 2000-2003:  Post-doc, Laboratory of Soil Science and Geology, Wageningen University
  • 1996-2000: Junior researcher, Department of Agronomy, Wageningen University


For an overview of my publications please visit my ResearchGate profile.

Ancillary activities

  • Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL | Birmensdorf | Medewerker | 2016-03-01

Ancillary activities are updated daily


  • Q Science

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Research Output 2006 2019

Beyond the urban-rural dichotomy: Towards a more nuanced analysis of changes in built-up land

van Vliet, J., Verburg, P. H., Grădinaru, S. & Hersperger, A. M., 2019, In : Computers, Environment and Urban Systems. 74

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

land use
urban population
population density
land use change

Towards better mapping of forest management patterns: A global allocation approach

Schulze, K., Malek, Z. & Verburg, P. H., 15 Jan 2019, In : Forest Ecology and Management. 432, p. 776-785

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

forest management
climate change
conservation planning

Abandonment landscapes: user attitudes, alternative futures and land management in Castro Laboreiro, Portugal

van der Zanden, E. H., Carvalho-Ribeiro, S. M. & Verburg, P. H., 2018, In : Regional Environmental Change. 18, 5, p. 1509-1520

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
land management
European Union
environmental impact

Aesthetic appreciation of the cultural landscape through social media: An analysis of revealed preference in the Dutch river landscape

Tieskens, K. F., Van Zanten, B. T., Schulp, C. J. E. & Verburg, P. H., 1 Sep 2018, In : Landscape and Urban Planning. 177, p. 128-137 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

cultural landscape
social media

A global assessment of gross and net land change dynamics for current conditions and future scenarios

Fuchs, R., Prestele, R. & Verburg, P. H., 3 May 2018, In : Earth System Dynamics. 9, 2, p. 441-458 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
shifting cultivation
land use

Activities 2010 2015

  • 9 Editorial work
  • 7 Membership
  • 5 Lecture / Presentation
  • 1 Conference