Dr. Prajal Pradhan

Senior Scientist

Prajal Pradhan studied agricultural engineering and environmental management. He was a lead author of the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land and a contributing author of the AR6 IPCC WG III Report and the AR6 IPCC WG II Report. Prajal has experience in developing relevant research on climate change and sustainable food systems. He is an expert in food system emissions, food security, climate change, and sustainable development goals (SDGs). Currenlty, Prajal is a PI of the BIO-CLIMAPATHS project. His current research focuses on understanding urban transformations, investigating impacts of climate change on bioeconomy, and identifying interlinkages between bioeconomy and SDGs.


Working Group

Curriculum Vitae

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Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
T +49 (0)331 288 2046
P.O. Box 60 12 03
14412 Potsdam


Academic Employment


Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Germany

Postdoctoral Researcher

Urban Transformations (former: Climate Change & Development) Group


Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Germany

Junior Researcher

Climate Change & Development Group



University of Potsdam, Germany

Doctor of Natural Sciences, Geoecology


University of Kiel, Germany

Master of Science, Environmental Management


Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Bachelor of Engineering, Agricultural Engineering

My research focuses on sustainable transformation, sustainable food systems, food security, climate change impact, adaptation, mitigation, sustainable cities, ecosystem services, bioeconomy, and sustainable development goals.

ISI Publications

  1. Anderson, C.C., Denich, M., Warchold, A., Kropp, J. P., & Pradhan, P. (2021). A systems model of SDG target influence on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Sustain Sci.
  2. Neupane, D., Kafle, S., Karki, K. R., Kim, D. H., & Pradhan, P. (2022). Solar and wind energy potential assessment at provincial level in Nepal: Geospatial and economic analysis. Renewable Energy, 181, 278-291.
  3. Abhilash, P., Bastianoni, S., Chen, W., DeFries, R., Fraceto, L., Fuckar, N., ... Pradhan, P., .. & Turner, B. (2021). Introducing ‘Anthropocene Science’: A New International Journal for Addressing Human Impact on the Resilience of Planet Earth. Anthropocene Science, 1-4.
  4. Rybski, D., Pradhan, P., Shutters, S. T., Butsic, V., & Kropp, J. P. (2021). Characterizing the sectoral development of cities. Plos one, 16(7), e0254601.
  5. Pradhan, P., Subedi, D. R., Khatiwada, D., Joshi, K. K., Kafle, S., Chhetri, R. P., et al. (2021). The COVID-19 pandemic not only poses challenges, but also opens opportunities for sustainable transformation. Earth's Future, 9, e2021EF001996. 
  6. Rabbi, S. E., Ali, M., Costa, L. C., Pradhan, P., Rahman, A., Yunus, F. M., & Kropp, J. P. (2021). Identifying climatic and non-climatic determinants of malnutrition prevalence in Bangladesh: A country-wide cross-sectional spatial analysis. Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology, 37, 100422.
  7. Mehling, M., Pirlot, A., Pradhan, P., Aisbett, E., Böhringer, C., Asane-Otoo, E., ... & Ward, H. (2021). Close the carbon loophole. One Earth, 4(5), 587-590.
  8. Khalil, T., Asad, S. A., Khubaib, N., Baig, A., Atif, S., Umar, M., Kropp, J. P. , Pradhan, P. & Baig, S. (2021). Climate change and potential distribution of potato (Solanum tuberosum) crop cultivation in Pakistan using Maxent. AIMS Agriculture and Food, 6(2), 663-676.
  9. Khubaib, N., Asad, S. A., Khalil, T., Baig, A., Atif, S., Umar, M., Kropp, J. P. , Pradhan, P. & Baig, S. (2021). Predicting areas suitable for wheat and maize cultivation under future climate change scenarios in Pakistan. Climate Research, 83, 15-25.
  10. Muench, S., Bavorova, M., & Pradhan, P. (2021). Climate change adaptation by smallholder tea farmers: a case study of Nepal. Environmental Science & Policy, 116, 136-146.
  11. Herrero, M., Thornton, P. K., Mason-D'Croz, D., Palmer, J., Bodirsky, B. L., Pradhan, P., ... & Rockström, J. (2020). Articulating the effect of food systems innovation on the Sustainable Development Goals. The Lancet Planetary Health.
  12. Warchold, A., Pradhan, P., & Kropp, J. P. (2020). Variations in sustainable development goal interactions: Population, regional, and income disaggregation. Sustainable Development.
  13. Bodirsky, B. L., Dietrich, J. P., Martinelli, E., Stenstad, A., Pradhan, P., Gabrysch, S., ... & Baumstark, L. (2020). The ongoing nutrition transition thwarts long-term targets for food security, public health and environmental protection. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 1-14. (Press Release)
  14. Pradhan, P., Kriewald, S., Costa, L., Rybski, D., Benton, T. G., Fischer, G., & Kropp, J. P. (2020). Urban food systems: how regionalization can contribute to climate change mitigation. Environmental Science & Technology, 54(17), 10551-10560. (Research Highlight, Nature Food)
  15. Beltrán-Tolosa, L. M., Navarro-Racines, C., Pradhan, P., Cruz-Garcia, G. S., Solis, R., & Quintero, M. (2020). Action needed for staple crops in the Andean-Amazon foothills because of climate change. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 1-25.
  16. Ladha, J. K., Jat, M. L., Stirling, C. M., Chakraborty, D., Pradhan, P., Krupnik, T. J., ... & Gerard, B. (2020). Achieving the sustainable development goals in agriculture: The crucial role of nitrogen in cereal-based systems. Advances in Agronomy, 163, 1-78.
  17. Athare, T., Pradhan, P., & Kroop, J. P. (2020). Environmental implications and socioeconomic characterisation of Indian diets. Science of The Total Environment, 139881.
  18. Herrero, M., Thornton, P. K., Mason-D’Croz, D., Palmer, J., Benton, T. G., Bodirsky, B. L., ... Pradhan, P., ... & West, P. C. (2020). Innovation can accelerate the transition towards a sustainable food system. Nature Food, 1(5), 266-272. (Press Release)
  19. Putra, M. P. I. F., Pradhan, P., & Kropp, J. P. (2020). A systematic analysis of Water-Energy-Food security nexus: A South Asian case study. Science of The Total Environment, 138451.
  20. Rosenzweig, C., Mbow, C., Barioni, L. G., Benton, T. G., Herrero, M., ..., Pradhan, P., ... & Tubiello, F. N. (2020). Climate change responses benefit from a global food system approach. Nature Food, 1(2), 94-97. (Press Release)
  21. Pradhan, P., & Kropp, J. P. (2020). Interplay between Diets, Health, and Climate Change. Sustainability, 12(9), 3878.
  22. Akuraju, V., Pradhan, P., Haase, D., Kropp, J.P. and Rybski, D. (2020). Relating SDG11 indicators and urban scaling–An exploratory study. Sustainable Cities and Society, 52, p.101853.
  23. Bodirsky, B.L.; Pradhan, P.; Springmann, M. (2019) Reducing ruminant numbers and consumption of animal source foods are aligned with environ-mental and public health demands. J Sustainable Organic Agric Syst 69, pp. 25–30.
  24. Kroll, C., Warchold, A. and Pradhan, P. (2019). Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Are we successful in turning trade-offs into synergies?. Palgrave Communications, 5(1), pp.1-11.
  25. Kriewald, S., Pradhan, P., Costa, L., Ros, A.G.C. and Kropp, J.P. (2019). Hungry cities: how local food self-sufficiency relates to climate change, diets, and urbanisation. Environmental Research Letters, 14(9), p.094007. (Press Release)
  26. Landholm, D.M., Pradhan, P., Wegmann, P., Sánchez, M.A.R., Salazar, J.C.S. and Kropp, J.P. (2019). Reducing deforestation and improving livestock productivity: greenhouse gas mitigation potential of silvopastoral systems in Caquetá. Environmental Research Letters, 14(11), p.114007.
  27. Landholm-Haight, D.M., Pradhan, P., and Kropp, J.P. (2019). Diverging forest land use dynamics induced by armed conflict across the tropics, Global Environmental Change, 86–94.
  28. P. Pradhan (2019). Antagonists to meeting the 2030 Agenda, Nature Sustainability, 2, 171172.
  29. Ganzenmüllera, R., Pradhan, P., and Kropp, J.P. (2019). Sectoral performance analysis of national greenhouse gas emission inventories by means of neural networks, Science of the Total Environment, 656, 80–89.
  30. Pradhan, P., Costa, L., Rybski, D., Lucht, W., and Kropp, J.P. (2017). A systematic study of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) interactions, Earth’s Future, 5, 1169–1179. (Press Release) (EOS Research Spotlight)
  31. Hiç, C., Pradhan, P., Rybski, D., and Kropp, J.P. (2016). Food Surplus and its Climate Burdens. Environment Science and Technology, 50(8), 4269–4277. (Scientific American) (Press Release)
  32. Pradhan, P., Fischer, G., van Velthuizen, H., Reusser, D.E. and Kropp, J.P. (2015). Closing the yield gaps: how sustainable can we be? PLoS ONE, 10(6): e0129487.
  33. Pradhan, P., Lüdeke, M.K.B., Reusser, D.E. and Kropp, J.P. (2014). Food self-sufficiency across scales: how local can we go? Environment Science and Technology, 48(16), 9463-9470. (Selected to be featured in ACS Editors’ Choice) (News in short)
  34. Reusser, D., Lissner, T., Pradhan, P., Holsten, A., Rybski, D. and Kropp, J.P. (2013). Relating climate compatible development and human livelihood. Energy Procedia, 40, 192–201.
  35. Pradhan, P., Lüdeke, M.K.B., Reusser, D.E. and Kropp, J.P. (2013). Embodied crop calories in animal products. Environmental Research Letters, 8(4), 044044.
  36. Pradhan, P., Reusser, D.E. and Kropp, J.P. (2013). Embodied greenhouse gas emissions in diets. PLoS ONE, 8(5), e62228.

Other Publications:

  1. Pradhan, P., Sapkota, T. B., and Kropp, J. (2021). Why food systems transformation is crucial for achieving the SDGs. Rural 21, 55(3):10–12, 2021.
  2. Mirzabaev, A., Olsson, L., Kerr, R. B., Pradhan, P., Guadalupe, M., Ferre, R., & Lotze‐Campen, H (2021). Climate Change and Food Systems. Food Systems Summit Brief, Prepared by Research Partners of the Scientific Group for the United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021.
  3. Pradhan, P., et al. (2021). The COVID-19 Pandemic not onlyPuts Challenges but also Opens Opportunities for Sustainable Transformation. Earth and Space Science Open Archive, page 19, (Preprint)
  4. Pradhan, P. and Kropp, J. (2019). Climate Change and Food Security: Highlighting Urban Food System and Regional Specificities.
  5. Pradhan, P. (2015). Food demand and supply under global change. PhD Dissertation, University of Potsdam, 141 pp.
  6. Pradhan, P. (2013). Closing the yield gaps: how sustainable can we be? Interim Report – Young Scientists Summer Program, IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria. (PLoS ONE)
  7. Pradhan, P., Bork, H.–R., Schweikhard, Y., Joshi, U., Parkwan, I.N. and Pradhananga, M.P. (2009). Soil erosion and soil conservation on Changunarayan Hill, Nepal. GEO–ÖKO 30(1–2), 19–42.
  8. Bork, H.–R., Beyer, A., Dreibrodt, S., Kranz, A., Lubos, C., Meith, A., Pfletschiger, H. and Pradhan, P. (2008). Bodendegradation – Ausmaß, Ursachen und Folgen. Geographie und Schule HEFT 175, 4–7.

BIOCLIMAPATHS - Assessing climate-led social-ecological impacts and opportunities for resilient pathways in the EU bioeconomy (2019-2021)

SusFood - Sustainable Food Systems under Climate Change in South Asia,  Klimawandel und nachhaltige Nahrungsmittelproduktion in Südasien (2017-2019)

SUSA - Sustainable land use-based alternatives in the Colombian and Peruvian Amazon (2014-2018)


Contributing Author: The Working Group II contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report

Chapter 16: “Key risks across sectors and regions”


Contributing Author: The Working Group III contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report

Chapter 12 “Cross sectoral perspectives”


Lead Author: IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land

Chapter 5 “Food Security”


Contributing Author: IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land

Chapter 2 “Land-Climate Interactions”

Please contact me when you are interested in writing a thesis in the context food systems, bioeconomy, sustainable development, and urban transformation.