• Room 8A-61, NU-building

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

    1081 HV Amsterdam

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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, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Peter is named a Highly Cited Researcher, his publications being amongst the top 1% most cited in the 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 300 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.

Currently he is a member of the Earth Commission (www.earthcommission.org), a member of the Science-Policy Interface of UNCCD, and co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal Landscape and Urban Planning.


Land change analysis, spatial analysis and modelling, 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

  • Elsevier publisher | Amsterdam | co-editor-in-chief | 2019-01-01 - 2023-12-31
  • Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL | Birmensdorf | Medewerker | 2020-03-01 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


  • Q Science


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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