Prof. Dr. Ilona M. Otto

Project coordinator
Professor in Societal Impact of Climate Change at the Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change, University of Graz, Austria
Otto

Ilona M. Otto coordinates two international projects at PIK: Cascading Climate Risks: Towards Adaptive and Resilient European Societies (CASCADES) and A Boost for Rural Lignite Regions (REBOOST). Her research interests include: Human agency; Social tipping and non-linear changes in socio-economic systems; Environmental inequalities; Cascading climate risks.

Department

Curriculum Vitae

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Contact

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
T +49 (0)331 288 2667
ilona.otto[at]pik-potsdam.de
P.O. Box 60 12 03
14412 Potsdam

ORCID

Ilona M. Otto works as a Project Coordinator at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and she holds a Professorship in Societal Impacts of Climate Change at the Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change, University of Graz, Austria. She graduated a masters in sociology and obtained a PhD in resource economics. She is an Affiliated Scholar at the Resource Economics Group at the Humboldt University in Berlin and an Associated Fellow at the Berlin Workshop in Institutional Analysis of Social-Ecological Systems (WINS) hosted by IRI-THESys Institute at the Humboldt University in Berlin.

Ilona M. Otto currently analyzes social tipping dynamics for the stabilization of the Earth’s climate as well as the implications and implementation of human agency for modeling human-environmental system interactions. She also analyzes environmental inequalities and the socio-metabolic implications of resource and energy, used to support lifestyles of different social groups.

In her previous research she investigated the socio-economic impacts of climate change along with the adaption to climate extremes. She was the lead author of the Central Asia Chapter in the 2013 World Bank Report - Turn Down the Heat: Confronting the New Climate Normal, and the lead author of the Human Health Chapter in the 2012 World Bank Report - Turn Down the Heat: Why 4˚C Warmer World Should be Avoided. She also led the socio-economic research in the project on Sustainable Water and Agricultural Land Use in the Guanting Basin, Northern China. 

In her early post-doc research she was a Marie Curie Program fellow investigating the governance of water and biodiversity in the enlarged EU and in her PhD research she analyzed the factors which improve cooperation in agricultural markets. Ilona has broad experience in quantitative and qualitative research methods and empirical data collection. She has carried out social surveys and behavioral experiments, as well as expert elicitations and case study research.

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Otto, I.M., Donges, J.F., Lucht, W., Schellnhuber, H.J. (2020). Reply to: Smith et al.: Social tipping dynamics in a world contrained by conflicting interests. Proceeding Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2002648117 

Donges, J.F., Heitzig, J., Barfuss, W., Kassel J.A., Kittel, T.  Kolb, J.J., Kolster, T.  Müller-Hansen, F., Otto, I.M., Wiedermann, M., Zimmerer, K. Lucht (2020). Earth system modelling with complex dynamic human societies: the copan:CORE World-Earth modeling framework. Earth System Dynamics, 11, 395–413, https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-11-395-2020

Otto I.M., Donges J.F., Cremades R., Bhowmik A., Lucht W. ,Rockström J., Allerberger F., Doe S., Hewitt R., Lenferna A., McCaffrey M., Moran M., van Vuuren D.P. , Schellnhuber H.J. (2020) Social tipping dynamics for stabilizing Earth’s climate by 2050. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1900577117

Kundzewicz, Z.W., Matczak, O., Otto, I.M., Otto, P.E. (2020) From "atmosfear" to climate action. Environmental Science and Policy, 105: 75-83

Otto, I.M., Wiedermann, M., Cremades, R., Auer, C., Donges, J., Lucht, W. (2020) Human agency in the Anthropocene. Ecological Economics,106463

Suatmadi, A.Y, Creutzig, F., Otto, I.M., (2019) On-demand motorcycle taxis improve mobility, not sustainability. Case Studies on Transportation Policy, 7(2): 218-229

Hewitt, R.J., Bradley, N., Baggio Compagnucci, A., Barlagne, C., Ceglarz, A., Cremades, R., McKeen, M., Otto, I.M., Slee, B. (2019). Social innovation in community energy in Europe: A review of the evidence. Frontiers in Energy Research, 7(31): 1-27

Otto, I.M., Kim, K.M, Dubrovsky, N., Lucht, W. (2019). Shift the focus from the super-poor to the super-rich. Nature Climate Change, 9: 82-94

Pham, L., Otto, I.M., Zikos, D. (2019). Self-governance and the Effects of Rules in Irrigation Systems: Evidence from Laboratory and Framed Field Experiments in China, India and Vietnam. Water Economics and Policy, 5(1)

Reinhardt, J., Liersch, S., Arbi Abdeladhim, M., Diallo, M., Dickens, C., Fournet, S., Hattermann, F.F., Kabaseke, C., Muhumuza, M., Mul, M.L., Pilz, T.,  Otto, I.M., Walz, A. (2018). Systematic evaluation of scenario assessments supporting sustainable integrated natural resources management: evidence from four case studies in Africa. Ecology and Society, 23(1): 5

Kundzewicz, Z.W., Hov, O, Piniewski, M., Krysanova, V., Benestad, R.E., Otto, I.M. (2018). Uncertainty in climate change impacts on water resources. Environmental Science and Policy, 79: 1-8

Waha, K., Krummenauer, L., Adams, S., Aich, V., Baarsch, F., Coumou, D., Fader, M., Hoff, H., Jobbins, G., Marcus, R., Mengel, M., Otto, I.M., Perrette, M., Rocha, M., Robinson, A., Schleussner, C.F. (2017). Climate change impacts in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) regions and their implications for vulnerable population groups. Regional Environmental Change

Otto, I.M., Reckien, D., Reyer, C.P.O., Marcus, R., Le Masson, V., Jones, L., Norton, A., Serdeczny, O. (2017). Social vulnerability to climate change: A review of concepts and evidence. Regional Environmental Change

Reyer, C.P.O, Otto, I.M., Adams, S., Albrecht, T., Baarsch, F., Cartsburg, M., Coumou, D., Eden, A., Ludi, E., Marcus, R., Mengel, M., Mosello, B., Robinson, A., Schleussner, C.F., Serdeczny, O., Stagl, J. (2017). Climate change impacts in Central Asia and their implications for development. Regional Environmental Change

Otto, I.M., Biewald, A., Coumou, D., Feulner, G., Köhler, C., Nocke, T., Blok, A., Gröber, A., Selchow, S., Tyfield, D., Volkmer, I., Schellnhuber, H.J., Beck, U. (2015). Socio-economic data for global environmental change research. Nature Climate Change: 5: 503-506

Beckmann, V., Otto, I.M., Tan, R. (2015). Overcoming the legacy of the past? Analyzing the modes of governance used by the Polish agricultural producer groups. Agricultural Economics (AGRICECON): 61(5): 222-233

Otto, I.M., Wechsung, F. (2014). The effects of rules and communication in a behavioral irrigation experiment carried out in North China. Ecological Economics, 99: 10-20

Cornell, S., Berkhout, F., Tuinstra, W., Tabara, J.D., Jäger, J., Chabay, I., de Wit, B., Langlais, R., Mills, D., Moll, P., Otto, I.M., Petersen, A., Pohl, C., van Kerkhoff, L. (2013). Opening up knowledge systems for better responses to global environmental change. Environmental Science and Policy, 28: 60-70

Wang, X., Otto, I.M., Lu, Y. (2013). How physical and social factors affect village-level irrigation: An institutional analysis of water governance in northern China, Agricultural Water Management, 119: 10-18

Otto, I.M., Chobotova, V., (2013). Opportunities and constraints of adopting market governance in protected areas in Central and Eastern Europe, International Journal of the Commons, 7(1): 34-56

Otto, I.M., Shkaruba, A., Kireyeu, (2011). V., The Rise of Multi-Level Governance for Biodiversity Protection in Belarus, Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 29(1): 113 – 132

Otto-Banaszak, I., Matczak, P., Wesseler, J., Wechsung, F. (2011). Different Perceptions of Adaptation to Climate Change: A Mental Model Approach Applied to the Evidence from Expert Interviews, Regional Environmental Change: 11(2): 217-228

McEvoy, D., Matczak, P. Banaszak, I.,  Chorynski, A. (2010). Framing Adaptation to Climate-Related Extreme Events, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 15(7): 779-795

Aakre, S., Banaszak, I., Kalirai, H., Mechler, R., Rübbelke, D., Wreford, A. (2010) Adaptation to Disaster Risk in the EU: Improving the Role of the Public Sector, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 15(7): 721-736

Banaszak, I., Beckmann, V. (2010). Compliance with Rules and Sanctions in Producer Groups in Poland, Journal of Rural Cooperation, 38(1):55-70

Banaszak, I. (2010). Bestimmungsgrößen erfolgreicher Kooperation in agrarischen Märkten, dargestellt am   Beispiel von Erzeugergruppen in Polen. Zeitschrift für das gesamte Genossenschaftswesen, 60(1) [Determinants of Successful Cooperation in Agricultural Markets: Evidence from Producer Groups in Poland] [German Journal of Cooperative Sciences]

Kluvankova-Oravska, T., Chobotova, V., Banaszak, I., Trifunovova, S., Slavikova, L. (2009). From Government to Governance for Biodiversity: The Perspective of Central and East-European Transition Countries, Environmental Policy and Governance, Vol. 19: 187-196

Banaszak I., Beckmann V. (2008). Incentive Structure in Public Policies - Example of the Law on Producer Groups in Poland, Society and Economy, 30 (1)

Banaszak, I. (2008). Agricultural Producer Groups in Poland: Empirical Survey Results. Journal of Rural Cooperation, 36(1)

Banaszak, I. (2009). Determinanty sukcesu współpracy na rynkach rolniczych. Na przykładzie grup producentów rolnych w Polsce. Wieś i Rolnictwo, 1(142) [Determinants of Successful Cooperation in Agricultural Markets: Evidence from Producer Groups in Poland] [Polish Journal Countryside and Agriculture]

Books and book chapters

Wechsung, F., Hofmann, J., Conradt, T., Otto, I.M., et al. (2017). Future water use in the Guanting basin under climate change and socio-economic transition. In: Wechsung, F., et al. (eds). Sustainable Water and Agricultural Land Use in the Guanting Basin under Limited Water Resources. Stuttgart: Schweizerbart Science

Wechsung, F., Conradt, T., Otto, I.M., et al. (2017). The geographical setting for integrated water resource management in the Guanting basin. In: Wechsung, F., et al. (eds). Sustainable Water and Agricultural Land Use in the Guanting Basin under Limited Water Resources. Stuttgart: Schweizerbart Science

Möhring, J., Otto, I.M., Wang, X. (2017). Regionalization of socio-economic scenarios and adaptation options for the Guanting Basin. In: Wechsung, F., et al. (eds). Sustainable Water and Agricultural Land Use in the Guanting Basin under Limited Water Resources. Stuttgart: Schweizerbart Science

Möhring, J., Otto, I.M., Wang, X. (2017). Impacts and adaptation. In: Wechsung, F., et al. (eds). Sustainable Water and Agricultural Land Use in the Guanting Basin under Limited Water Resources. Stuttgart: Schweizerbart Science

Otto, I.M., Wechsung, F. (2017). Exploring alternative water distribution rules with behavioral irrigation experiments. In: Wechsung, F., et al. (eds). Sustainable Water and Agricultural Land Use in the Guanting Basin under Limited Water Resources. Stuttgart: Schweizerbart Science

Kundzewicz, Z.W., Hov, O, Piniewski, M., Krysanova, V., Benestad, R.E., Otto, I.M. (2017). Uncertainty in climate change and its impacts. In: Kundzewicz, Z.W., Hov, O., Okruszko, T. (Eds.) Climate Change and its Impact on Selected Sectors in Poland. PAN, Poznan

Schellnhuber, H. J., Serdeczny, O. M., Adams, S., Köhler, C., Otto, I. M., Schleussner, C. F. (2016). The Challenge of a 4 °C World by 2100. In Brauch, H.G., Oswald Spring, U., Grin, J., Scheffran, J. (Eds.): Handbook on Sustainability Transition and Sustainable Peace. Springer International Publishing Switzerland

Otto, I.M., Wechsung, F., Wang, X., Möhring, J. Tan, R. (2016).  Water scarcity impacts and challenges of water governance in the Guanting Basin, North China. Evidence from interviews with local stakeholders. In: Borchardt, D., Bogardi, J., Ibisch, R.B. (Eds.) Integrated Water Resource Management: Concept, Research and Implementation. Springer

Möhring, J., Otto, I.M. (2012). Tragedy of the Commons in the Haihe River Basin. Comparison of Experimental and Spatial Analysis Results. In: Steusloff. H. (Ed.). Integrated Water Resource Management, Stuttgart: Frauenhofer Verlag

Contributing author to: Mechler, R., Hochrainer, S. Aaheim, A. et al. (2010) A Risk Management Approach for Assessing Adaptation to Changing Flood and Drought Risk in Europe. In: Hulme, M., Neufeld, H. Making Climate Change Work for Us. European Perspectives on Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Matczak, P., Banaszak, I., Beim, M. (2009) Framing Climate Change Policies Compatibly with Stakeholders’ Mental Models: a General Analysis and an Application to Bicycle Transportation Development as a Climate Mitigation Policy. In: Piana,  V. (ed.) Innovative Economic Policies for Climate Change Mitigation, Rome: Economic Web Institute

Banaszak, I., Beckmann, V. (2009). The Role of Leadership in Establishing and Sustaining Cooperation. Evidence from Producer Groups in Poland. In: Kühl, R, Rößl, D., Brazda, J. (Eds.) Sozialwissenschaftliche Aspekte des Kooperations- und Genossenschaftsmanagements. Ibidem

Banaszak I. (2008). Determinants of Successful Cooperation in Agricultural Markets: Evidence from Producer Groups in Poland. In Hendrikse, G., Cliquet, G., Tuunanen, M., Windsperger, J. Strategy and Governance of Networks, Springer

Banaszak, I. (2008). Success and Failure of Cooperation in Agricultural Markets. Evidence from Producer Groups in Poland. Aachen: Shaker

Reports, professional journals and online publications

Hildén, M. Lahn, G., Carter, T.R., Klein, R.J.T, Otto, I.M. et al. (2020). Cascading climate impacts: a new factor in European policy-making. CASCADES: Cascading Climate Risks: Towards Adaptive and Resilient European Societies Project Policy Brief

Falk, J., Gaffney, O., Bhowmik, A., and 18 others including Otto, I.M. (2019) Exponential Roadmap. Scaling 36 Solutions to Halve Emissions by 2030. Exponential Roadmap.

Garcia, T., Otto, I.M., Hewitt, R., Vinke, K. (2018). M2020 - A Mission for the Planet, A Mission for Europe, Green European Journal

Schellnhuber, H.J. and 50 others including Ilona M. Otto (Lead Author of the Europe and Central Asia Chapter) (2014). Turn Down the Heat: Regional Impacts in Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and Caribbean, and Europe and Central Asia. The World Bank: Washington DC.

Schellenhuber, H.J. and 14 others including Ilona M. Otto (2012). Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided. The World Bank, Washington DC

Banaszak, I. and G.W.J. Hendrikse, Cooperaties in Polen, Cooperatie [Journal for Dutch Farmers], 2009, 600, 18-19

Co-author of the ADAM Adaptation Catalogue

Documentary movies

Becker, A., Otto, I.M. (2012). Science for Sustainable Water Use. Guanting Project

Venòt, C., Banaszak, I. (2005). Through the Group. IDARI Project and CIRAD Montpellier

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Current projects:

2020-2023 – REBOOST: A Boost for Rural Lignite Regions (Climate KIC), PI, Project Coordinator

2019-2023 - CASCADES: Cascading Climate Risks: Towards Adaptive and Resilient European Societies (Horizon 2020), PI, Project Co-coordinator 

2017-2020 - Erasmus+ Jean-Monet Module: Instruments of the EU Environmental Policy, Lecturer

Finalized projects:

2014 - WaterLab: River Basin Management Games Supporting Adaptation to Climate Change and Public Participation in Water Policy (National Natural Science Foundation, China), PI

2014 - Modelling Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty (The World Bank), Co-PI

2012-2014 - Turn Down the Heat Report Series (The World Bank), Human Health and Central Asia and Europe chapters lead author

2010-2013 - Guanting: Sustainable Water and Agricultural Land Use in the Guanting Watershed under Limited Water Availability (German Ministry of Education and Research, Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology), Post-doctoral researcher

2007-2010 - GoverNat: Multilevel Governance of Natural Resources. Tools and processes for Water and Biodiversity Governance in Europe (EU 5th Framework Program), Post-doctoral researcher

2006-2009 - ADAM: Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies Supporting European Climate Policy (EU 6th Framework Program), Junior researcher

2003-2006 - IDARI: Integrated Development of Agriculture and Rural Institutions (EU 5th Framework Program), PhD student

Examples of press coverage: 

My research on life-style carbon emissions was reported by e.g. CNN News, New York Times, The Conversation  My research on social tipping was reported by e.g. Der Spiegel, Die Welt, New York Times 

Social media:

Google Scholar Profile

Research Gate

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