• Room 8A-69, NU-building

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

    1081 HV Amsterdam

Personal profile

Personal information

Currently, I serve as Director of the Amsterdam Sustainability Institute (ASI), a platform for interdisciplinary research collaboration among all faculties at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. As full professor of transnational environmental governance and policy, I specialize in the study of global environmental politics, with a focus on climate change , biodiversity, forest and oceans. My current research analyzes options for institutional innovation to help accelerate the sustainability transition in times of increased institutional complexity, functional overlaps and fragmentation across environmental domains (http://fragmentation.eu/).

I act as department head, Department of Environmental Policy Analysis, Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), where I lead a team of more than 30 researchers involved with sustainability governance ranging from water governance to energy transitions and food governance.

I have authored, co-authored or edited 8 books, and published 52 articles in peer-reviewed journals and 53 chapters in academic books, along with more than 90 papers, reports, and contributions to policy-oriented journals. My most recent book is The Anthropocene Debate in Political Science (co-edited with Thomas Hickmann, Sabine Weiland and Lena Parztsch, Routledge 2018). My research has been cited over 10.000 times (h-index 46), with several of my papers belonging to the top-10 most cited papers in their respective journal. Together with Dr Agni Kalfagianni, I’m editor of the Routledge Research Series in Global Environmental Governance. My work has appeared, among others, in Ambio; Annual Review of Environment and Resources; European Journal of International Relations; Global Environmental Politics; Global Governance; Global Policy; Governance; and Science, and I continuously review for more than 20 academic journals. I also have the honor to regularly serve as reviewer for research foundations and universities in Europe, North America and Australia. As keynote, I have spoken to many distinguished audiences at universities, companies and public agencies, from Paris to St. Petersburg.

Since 2016, I serve as General Director of the Netherlands Research School for Socio-Economic and Natural Sciences of the Environment (SENSE). I’m also representing the Netherlands as Management Committee member in the EU COST Action 'Ocean Governance' and have been selected as senior research fellow of the international Earth System Governance Project.

In the past, I have served as Chair of the Board of the Global Environmental Change Section of the German Political Science Association (http://www.ak-umwelt.de/) between 2006 and 2018 and as deputy-director of the Global Governance Project, a joint research program of 12 European institutes with about 40 affiliated researchers (www.glogov.org), between 2006-2011.

Earlier professional or visiting affiliations have brought me to American University (Washington DC), the Freie Universität Berlin, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), SciencesPo Bordeaux, SciencesPo Lille, TU Darmstadt and the Diplomatische Akademie Wien. I have 19 years of teaching experience in Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. At present, I pursue my teaching ambitions at VU Amsterdam in the MSc Environment and Resource Management, the MSc Earth Sciences (specialization Global Environmental Change and Policy), the MSc Political Science (specialization Global Environmental Governance), along with various minors, honors and bachelor programs. I currently supervise 8 PhD students.

I received several scholarships, grants and awards, including the 2009 Science Prize of the German Political Science Association (DVPW), an Innovational Research Incentives Scheme Grant (VIDI) from the Netherlands Scientific Organization (NWO), and a PhD research grant from the German Federal Environment Foundation. I hold a PhD summa cum laude from Freie Universität Berlin (2006), a master’s degrees in political science with the highest distinction (University of Bonn, 2000) and a post-graduate diploma in International Relations from the John Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS, 2001).

In my free time, I hang out with my family, engage in some revolutionary arm-chairism, and very rarely indulge in the art of freeriding.

Ancillary activities

  • Diplomatische Akademie Wien | Vienna | Teacher | 2024-04-15 - 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 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Academic qualification

Political Science, PhD, Private Institutions and Global Governance, Freie Universität Berlin

Award Date: 16 Feb 2006


  • J Political Science
  • JZ International relations
  • sustainability
  • governance
  • institutional fields


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