Helga Weisz's research focus is on transdisciplinary concepts & methods

Helga Weisz is co-chair of the research domain ‘Transdisciplinary Concepts & Methods’ at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Potsdam, Germany and full professor of Industrial Ecology and Climate Change at Humboldt-University Berlin. Previous positions include assistant and associate professor at the Institute of Social Ecology, Vienna, and guest professorships at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, University St. Gallen, and Yale University.

Helga graduated in Microbiology (Mag.rer.nat., University Vienna, 1995), received a doctoral degree in Cultural Studies (Dr. phil., Humboldt-University Berlin, 2002) and habilitated in Social Ecology (venia docendi, Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt, 2006).

Helga’s interdisciplinary research focuses on societal metabolism, i.e. the organized exchange of energy and materials between human societies and their natural environments. Her research combines quantitative empirical analyses of historical socio-metabolic transitions at global, national and urban scales in its implications for wellbeing, inequality and power relations with sociological systems theory.

Areas of specialization are: industrial and urban metabolism, material and energy flow analysis, environmental indicators, complex network analysis, environmentally extended input-output analysis, society nature co-evolution, environmental history, and sociological systems theory.

Among many other science community services, Helga is a member of the governing board of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), located in Laxenburg, Austria, and of the steering committee of NRP 73 "Sustainable Economy", commissioned by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Key publications

"Reducing energy and material flows in cities” in Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (2010)

“The probability of the improbable: Society-nature coevolution” in. Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography (2011),

“Urban Energy Systems” in the Global Energy Assessment (Cambridge University Press, 2012),

“Industrial Ecology “in PNAS (2015),

“Energy Revolutions in Earth and Human History” in Earth System Dynamics (2016),