Dr. Holger Hoff

Senior Scientist

Holger Hoff is a senior scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, "Earth System Analysis" Department and at the Stockholm Environment Institute, "Resources & Development" Group. His research focuses on climate adaptation & mitigation, integrated natural resource management, W-E-F nexus, Planetary Boundaries, teleconnections, sustainable production and consumption and transformations. He works at the interface of bridging science and policy and decision making and he advises German and Swedish Development Cooperation.


Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
T +49 (0)331 288 2541
P.O. Box 60 12 03
14412 Potsdam


2007 - present       Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Senior Research Fellow

2006 - present       Stockholm Environment Institute, Senior Research Fellow

2004 - 2007            Tübingen University, Project Coordinator, GLOWA Jordan River

2002 - 2003            IHE Delft, Dialogue on Water and Climate, Senior Scientist

1995 - 2002            IGBP-BAHC and ESSP-GWSP Executive Officer

1993 - 1995            German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), Research Analyst

1991 – 1992           Forest Research Institute, Christchurch, New Zealand, Project Scientist


  • Ph.D. (Dr.): 2014, University of Potsdam
  • MSc  (Diplom):1991, University of Bayreuth
  • Graduate studies: 1989 – 1991, University of Bayreuth / 1988 – 1989, Colorado State University
  • Undergraduate Studies: 1984 – 1987, University of Bayreuth

climate adaptation, integrated natural resource management, nexus, sustainable production and consumption, teleconnections, planetary boundaries

Bridging science, policy making and development cooperation, advising German and Swedish Development Cooperation

Folke C., Polasky S., Rockström J.,....Hoff H. et al (2021): Our future in the Anthropocene biosphere, Ambio, 50, 834-869 https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-021-01544-8

Zarei A., Chemura A., Gleixner S., Hoff H. (2021): Evaluating the grassland NPP dynamics response to climate change in Tanzania, Ecological Indicators, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2021.107600

Heinke J., Lannerstad M., Gerten D., Havlik P., Herrero M., Notenbaert A., Hoff H., Müller C.  (2020): Water use in global livestock production—opportunities and constraints for increasing water productivity Water Resources Research, 56, 12, https://doi.org/10.1029/2019WR026995

Zipper S., Jaramillo F., Wang-Erlandsson L., Cornell S.E., Gleeson T., Porkka M., Häyhä T., Crépin A.S., Fetzer I., Gerten D., Hoff H., Matthews N., Ricaurte-Villota C., Kummu M., Wada Y., Gordon L. (2020): Integrating the water planetary boundary with water management from local to global scales, Earth's Future, 8, e2019EF001377. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019EF001377:

Vidal. A., Hoff H., Lade S., Rockström J. (2020): COVID-19: A dashboard to rebuild with nature, World Business Council on Sustainable Development, Geneva, Switzerland

Seaby L., Gaffney O., Lamb W., Hoff H., Wood A. (2020): A safe operating space for New Zealand/Aotearoa - Translating the planetary boundaries framework, report to the NZ Ministry of Environment

Keppner B. Gerten D., Hoff H., Kahlenborn W., Lucht W. (2020): Planetary boundaries: Challenges for science, civil society and politics, Umweltbundesamt (German EPA), Texte 183/2020

Folke C., Polasky S., Rockström J.,....Hoff H. et al (2020): Our future in the Anthropocene biosphere: Global sustainability and resilient societies, Beijer Discussion Paper Series No 272

Lade S., Steffen W. de Vries W., Carpenter S., Donges J., Gerten D., Hoff H., Newbold T., Richardson K., Rockström J. (2019): Earth system interactions amplify human impacts on planetary boundaries. Nature Sustainability, doi:10.1038/s41893-019-0454-4.

Hoff H., Alrahaife S.A., El Hajj R., Lohr K., Mengoub F.E., Farajalla N., Fritzsche K., Jobbins G., Ozerol G., Schulz R., Ulrich A. (2019): A nexus approach for the MENA region - from concept to knowledge to action, Frontiers in Environmental Sciences, Vol 7, Article 48, 14pp

Hoff H., Monjeau A., Gomez-Paredes J., Frank F., Rojo S., Malik A., Adams K. (2019): International Spillovers in SDG implementation - The Case of Soy from Argentina, SEI Policy Brief

Schmidt-Traub G., Hoff H., Bernloehr M. (2019): International Spillovers and the Sustainable Development Goals - how a country's progress towards the SDGs is affected by other countries, SDSN Policy Brief

Bleischwitz R., Spataru C., van Deveer S.D., Obersteiner M., van der Voet E., Johnson C., Andrews-Speed. P., Boersma T., Hoff H., van Vuuren D. (2018): Resource nexus perspectives towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Nature Sustainability, 1, 737-743

Liu J., Hull V. Godfray H.C., Tilman D., Gleick P., Hoff H., Pahl-Wostl C., Xu Z., Chung M.G., Sun J., Li S. (2018): Nexus approaches to global sustainable development, Nature Sustainability, 1, 466-476

Heck V., Hoff H., Wirsenius S., Meyer C., Kreft H. (2018): Land use options for staying within the Planetary Boundaries - Synergies and tradeoffs between global and local sustainability goals, Global Environmental Change, 49, 73-84

Hoff H., Johnson F.X., Allen B., Biber-Freudenberger L., Förster J.J. (2018): Sustainable bioresource pathways towards a fossil-free world: the European bioeconomy in a global context, Think 2030 IEEP policy paper, 16 pp, Brussels

Hoff H. (2018): Integrated SDG implementation - how a cross-scale (vertical) and cross-regional nexus approach can complement cross-sectoral (horizontal) integration, in: Managing water, soil and waste resources to achieve sustainable development goals, ed: Hülsmann S., Ardakanian R., Springer Verlag

Bleischwitz R., Hoff H., van der Voet E., Vandeveer S.D. (2018): Routledge Handbook of the Resource Nexus, 518 pp, Oxford

Häyhä, T., Cornell, S.E., Hoff, H., Lucas, P., van Vuuren, D. (2018). Operationalizing the concept of a safe operating space at the EU level – first steps and explorations. Stockholm Resilience Centre Technical Report, Stockholm University, Sweden.

Waha K., Hoff H. et al. (2017): Climate change impacts in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region and their implications for vulnerable population groups, Regional Environmental Change, 1-16

J. Liu, H. Yang, C. Cudennec, A.K. Gain, H. Hoff, R. Lawford, J. Qi, L. de Strasser, P.T. Yillia & C. Zheng (2017): Challenges in operationalizing the water–energy–food nexus, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 62, 11, 1714-172

Hoff H.,  Keppner B., Kahlenborn W. (2017): Die planetare Stickstoff -Leitplanke als Bezugspunkt einer nationalen Stickstoffstrategie, UBA Texte 75 / 2017, Umweltbundesamt, Dessau

Mansour L., Kramer A., Abaza H., Al Ouran N, Al Zoubari W., Carius A., Ulrich A., Hoff H. (2017) National Guidelines for Mainstreaming the Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus into Policies and Institutions in the Arab Region, GIZ, Cairo, Egypt

Häyhä T., Lucas P.L., van Vuuren D.P., Cornell S.E., Hoff H. (2016): From Planetary Boundaries to national fair shares of the global safe operating space - How can the scales be bridged? Global Environmental Change, 40, 60-72

Lie X., Liu J., Han G., Hoff H. (2016): Energy for water utilization in China and policy implications for integrated planning, Int J Wat Res Dev 32, 3 477 - 494

Virgin I., Fielding M., Sundell M.F., Hoff H., Granit J. (2016): Benefit and challenges of a new knowledge based bioeconomy, in: Creating sustainable bioeconomies, Virgin I., Morris E.J. (eds), Routledge,UK

Dawkins E., Beringer T., Hoff H., Croft S., Lobos I., Müller A. (2016): Tracking German Biomass Consumption: Scientific Underpinning for Implementation of the Agenda 2030, IASS - SEI report

Hoff H., Kasparek M. (2016): Analysis of the GIZ project portfolio and assessment of opportunities for nexus mainstreaming, GIZ, Eschborn, Germany

Bonzi C., Onigkeit J., Hoff H., Joyce B., Tielboerger K. (2016): Analyzing Stakeholder Driven Scenarios with a Transboundary Water Planning Tool for IWRM in the Jordan River Basin, in: Integrated Water Resources Management: Concept, Research and Implementation, D. Borchardt, J.J. Bogardi, R.B. Ibisch (eds), Springer Verlag

Karlberg L., Hoff H., et al (2015): Tackling biomass scarcity — from vicious to virtuous cycles in sub-Saharan Africa, COSUST 15, 1-8

Karlberg L., Hoff H., et al (2015): Tackling complexity: Understanding the food-energy-environment nexus in Ethiopia’s Lake Tana sub-basin, Water Alternatives 8, 1, 710-734

 Hoff H., Döll P., Fader M., Gerten D., Hauser S., Siebert, S. (2014): Water footprints of cities – indicators for sustainable consumption and production, HESS, 18, 213–226

Hoff H. (2014): Crucial functioning of and human dependence on the global water system, in: Water resilience for human prosperity, Rockström J. et al. (ed.), Cambridge University Press, pp 95-140

Pastor A.V., Ludwig F., Biemans H., Hoff H., Kabat P. (2014):  Accounting for environmental flow requirements in global water assessments, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 5041-5059

Schellnhuber H.J., Hoff H. et al. (2014): Turn down the heat: confronting the new climate normal, World Bank, Washington D.C.

Hoff H., Nykvist B., Carson M. (2014): Living well, within the limits of our planet? Measuring Europe's growing external footprint, Stockholm Environment Institute, Working Paper

Weitz N., Huber- Lee A., Nilsson M., Davis M., Hoff H. (2014): Cross-sectoral integration in the Sustainable Development Goals: a nexus approach,  Stockholm Environment Institute, Discussion Brief

Davis M., Huber-Lee A., Hoff H., Purkey D. (2014): Managing environmental systems: the water-energy-food security nexus, Stockholm Environment Institute, Research Synthesis Brief

Karlberg L., Hoff H. (2014): Using a nexus approach to support development and environmental planning in Ethiopia, Stockholm Environment Institute, Discussion Brief

Pahl-Wostl C., Arthingon A., Bogardi J., Bunn S.E., Hoff H., et al (2013):  Environmental flows and water governance: managing sustainable water uses, COSUST, 5, 3-4, 36-47

Gerten D., Hoff H., Rockström J., Jägermeyr J., Kummu M., Pastor A (2013): Towards a revised planetary boundary for consumptive freshwater use: the role of environmental flow requirements, COSUST, 5, 6, 551-558

Hoff H., Davis M., Fielding M. (2013): A nexus approach to soil and land management, Rural 21, 47, 3, 10-12

Hoff H. (2013): Vulnerability of ecosystem services in the Mediterranean region to climate change in combination with other pressures, in: Regional assessment of climate change in the Mediterranean, Navarra A., Tubiana L. (eds.), Advances in Global Change Research, vol. 51, Springer, Dordrecht, pp 9-20

Hoff H., Gerten D., Waha K. (2013): Green and Blue Water in Africa - How foreign direct investment can support sustainable intensification, in: Handbook on land and water grabs in Africa,  Allan J.A., Keulertz M., Sojamo S., Warner J. (eds.), Routledge, London, pp 359-375

Hoff H., Dawkins E., Persson A., Weitz N., West C. (2013): EU policies for one planet, WWF report

Bossio D., Erkossa T., Dile Y., McCartney M., Killiches F., Hoff H.(2012): Water implications of foreign direct investment in Ethiopia's agricultural sector, Water Alternatives, 5, 2, 223-242

Keys P., van der Ent R., Gordon L., Hoff H., Nikoli R., Savenije H. (2012): Analyzing precipitationsheds to understand the vulnerability of rainfall dependent regions, Biogeosciences, 9, 733-746

Hoff H., Iceland C., Kuylenstierna J., te Velde D.W. (2012): Managing the water - land - energy nexus for sustainable development, UN Chronicle, XLIX, 1/2, 34-39

Hoff H. (2012): Mainstreaming climate adaptation into national policies and strategies, report for the GIZ Program: Adaptation to Climate Change in the Water Sector MENA, GIZ Cairo, Egypt, 51 pp

Hoff H., Bonzi C., Joyce B., Tielbörger K. (2011): A water resources planning tool for the Jordan river basin, Water, 3, 718-736

Gerten D., Heinke H., Hoff H., Biemans H., Fader M., Waha K. (2011): Global water availability and requirements for future food production, Journal of Hydrometeorology, 12, 5, 885-899

Hoff H. (2011): Understanding the Nexus. Background Paper for the Bonn2011 Conference: The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus, SEI, Stockholm, www.water-energy-food.org/understanding_the_nexus

Hoff H., Falkenmark M., Gerten D., Gordon L., Karlberg L., Rockström J. (2010): Greening the Global Water System, Journal of Hydrology, 384, 177-186

Hoff H. (2010): The global water challenge - modelling green and blue water, Journal of Hydrology, 384, 175 - 176

Hoff H. (2010): Gefährdet Wasserknappheit die Ernährungssicherheit?, in Strigel G. et al (ed): Wasser- Grundlage des Lebens, Schweizerbart, Stuttgart, Germany

Bonzi C., Hoff H., Stork J., Subah S., Wolf L., Tielbörger K. (2010): WEAP for IWRM in the Jordan River Region, Proceedings, IWRM Conference, 24-25 November, Karlsruhe, KIT Publishing, 397-403

Lotze-Campen H., Gerten D., Hoff H., Vohland K. (2010): Anpassung des Wassermanagements an den Klimawandel, in: Global aber gerecht, Edenhofer O., Wallacher J., Reder M., Lotze-Campen H., Beck Verlag, München

Hoff H. (2009): Global Water Resources and their Management, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 1:141–147

Rost S., Gerten D., Hoff H., Lucht W., Falkenmark M., Rockstrom J. (2009): Global potential to increase crop production through vapour shift and water harvesting, Environmental Research Letters, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/4/4/044002

Rockström, J., Falkenmark M., Karlberg L., Hoff H., Rost S., Gerten D. (2009): Future Water Availability for Global Food Production: The Potential of Green Water for Increasing Resilience to Global Change, Water Resource Research, 45, W00A12, doi:10.1029/2007WR006767

Hoff H. (2009): Challenges in upland watershed management: the green-blue water approach, in: Dinar A., Garrido A. (editors): Managing water resources in a time of global change: mountains, valleys and flood plains, Routledge, Oxford

Kijne J., Barron J., Hoff H., Rockström J., Karlberg L., Gowing J., Wani S.P., Wichelns D. (2009): Opportunities to Increase Water Productivity in Agriculture with Special Reference to Africa and South Asia, SEI report to the Commission on Sustainable Development

Hoff H. (2009): Verbessertes Wassermanagement kann Ernährungskrisen eindämmen, Hydrologie und Wasserbewirtschaftung, 53, 4, 263-265

Hoff H. (2009): Eau et agriculture - Des modèles condamnés à changer. Courrier de la Planete 89, 94-97

Bakkes J., Hoff H. et al (2009): Getting into the Right Lane for 2050, Report by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the Stockholm Resilience Centre to the European Commission, Bilthoven, The Netherlands

Hoff H. (2008): Adaptation à la pénurie d’eau croissante : le projet de recherche GLOWA Jordan River, in: L’eau face au changement climatique, French Embassy in Germany, Berlin: Science Allemagne Oct 2008, p 20-23

Hoff H., Noel S. and Droogers P. (2007): Water use and demand in the Tana Basin: analysis using the Water Evaluation and Planning tool (WEAP). Green Water Credits Report 4, ISRIC – World Soil Information, Wageningen

Hoff H. Küchmeister H., Tielbörger K. (2006): The GLOWA Jordan River Project - Integrated Research for Sustainable Water Management, IWA Water Environment Management Series No 10, 73-80

Rockström, J., Karlberg, L., Hoff, H., Gordon, L., (2006): Water, food and energy – feedbacks, trade-offs and dynamic effects. Report to the Swedish Environmental Advisory Council

Hoff H., Kundzewicz Z. (2006): Süsswasservorräte und Klimawandel, Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, 25, 19 June 2006, 14-19

Gerten D., Hoff H., Bondeau A., Lucht W., Smith P., Zähle S. (2005): Contemporary "green" water flows and plant water limitation: simulations with a dynamic global vegetation and water balance model, Physics & Chemistry of the Earth, 30, 6-7, 334-338

Hoff H., Warner K., Bouwer L. (2005): The Role of Financial Services in Climate Adaptation in Developing Countries, DIW Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung, 74 (2005), 2, 196–207

Hoff H., Tielbörger K.,   Küchmeister H.,. 2005: GLOWA Jordan River - Integrierte Forschung für Nachhaltiges Wassermanagement, Hydrologie und Wasserbewirtschaftung, 49, 1, 24-28

C.Vörösmarty, J.Alcamo, W. Cosgrove, H.Grassl, H.Hoff, D.Lettenmaier, C.Leveque, M.Meybeck, C.Pahl-Wostl, P.Kabat, F.Lansigan, R.Lawford, R.Naiman (2004): Humans Transforming the Global Water System, EOS, 85, 48, 509-514

Gerten, D., Bondeau, A., Hoff, H., Lucht, W., Schaphoff, S. & Smith, P. (2004:) Assessment of 'green' water fluxes with a Dynamic Global Vegetation Model. In: Webb, B., Arnell, N., Onof, C., MacIntyre, N., Gurney, R. & Kirby, C. (Eds.), Hydrology: Science and Practice for the 21st Century, Vol. I, pp. 29–35. British Hydrological Society.

Dirmeyer P., Hoff H., (2004): The Value of Land Surface Data Consolidation, in Vegetation, Water, Humans and the Climate, Kabat et al (ed), Springer Verlag

Arkin P., Bonell M., Grabs W., Herland E.a., Hoff H., Koike T., Lawford R., Nakamura K. (2004): The Integrated Global Water Cycle Observation Theme – For the Monitoring of our Environment from Space and from Earth, IGOS Report

Hoff H., Jaeger C., Leveque C., Vorosmarty C, (2003): TSAI and the Global Water System, ASCE J. Wat. Res. Plann. Mgmt., 129, 2, 83-85

Appleton, B., Kabat, P., Bates, B., Hellmuth, M.E., Bullock, A., Connor, R., van Schaik, H., Veraart, J.A., Hoff, H., Alcamo, J., Schulze, R.E. and Droogers, P.  (2003):  Climate Changes the Water Rules: How water managers can cope with today’s climate variability and tomorrow’s climate change.  International Dialogue on Water and Climate, Wageningen, The Netherlands

Hoff H., Bouwer L., Berz G., Kron W., Loster T. (2003): Risk Management in Water and Climate – the Role of Insurance and Other Financial Services, Dialogue on Water and Climate, Munich Reinsurance Company, Munich, Germany

Kundzewicz Z., Budhakooncharoen S., Bronstert A., Hoff H., Lettenmaier D., Menzel L., Schulze R. (2002): Coping with Variability and Change: Floods and Droughts, Natural Resources Forum, 26, 4, 263-274

Hoff H (2001).: Climate Change and Water Availability, in Climate of the 21st Century: Changes and Risks,  J. Lozan, H. Grassl, P. Hupfer (eds), pp 315-321, 2001, Wissenschaftliche Auswertungen, GEO

R. Feddes, H. Hoff, M. Bruen, T. Dawson, P. de Rosnay, P. Dirmeyer, R. B. Jackson, P. Kabat, A. Kleidon, A. Lilly, and A. J. Pitman (2001):  Modeling Root Water Uptake in Hydrological and Climate Models, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Volume 82, Number 12, 200, 2797–2810.

Hoff H.,  J.H.C.Gash, L. Oyebande, E. Odada and R Schulze (2001),  Recharge and Sustainable Use of  Groundwater in Arid and Semi-Arid Africa - A new African initiative, in: Gash, J.H.C., Odada, E.O., Oyebande L. and Schulze R. (eds.): Freshwater Resources in Africa, Potsdam, Germany