Dr. Prajal Pradhan

Senior Scientist
Assistant Professor (University of Groningen), Guest

Prajal Pradhan is an Assistant Professor at the University of Groningen and a visiting scientist at the PIK. He studied agricultural engineering and environmental management. He has received the ERC Starting Grant 2022.  Prajal 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. He has experience designing relevant research on sustainable development, climate change, and food systems. Prajal is an expert in food systems, climate change, and sustainable development goals (SDGs). His current research focuses on understanding the necessary conditions for long-term sustainability, including achieving SDGs, urban transformations, and climate resilience.


Working Group

Curriculum Vitae

PDF document Full Version — PDF document, 241 KB


Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
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 current research focuses on understanding the necessary conditions for long-term sustainability, including achieving SDGs, urban transformations, and climate resilience.

ISI Publications

  1. Kandel, G. P., Bavorova, M., Ullah, A., Kaechele, H., & Pradhan, P. (2023). Building resilience to climate change: examining the impact of agro-ecological zones and social groups on sustainable development. Sustainable Development, 1–15.
  2. Pradhan, P., Callaghan, M., Hu, Y., Dahal, K., Hunecke, C., Reußwig, F.,  Lotze-Campen, H. & Kropp, J. P. (2023). A systematic review highlights that there are multiple benefits of urban agriculture besides food. Global Food Security, 38, 100700.
  3. Seydewitz, T., Pradhan, P., Landholm, D. M., & Kropp, J. P. (2023). Deforestation Drivers Across the Tropics and Their Impacts on Carbon Stocks and Ecosystem Services. Anthropocene Science, 1-12.
  4. Pradhan, P. (2023). Saving food mitigates climate change. Nat Food.
  5. Pradhan, P. (2023). A threefold approach to rescue the 2030 Agenda from failing. National Science Review.
  6. Mirzabaev, A., Bezner Kerr, R., Hasegawa, T.,  Pradhan, P., Wreford, A., von der Pahlen, M.C.T., and Gurney-Smith, H. (2023). Severe climate change risks to food security and nutrition. Climate Risk Management, 39, p.100473.
  7. De Simone, M., Pradhan, P., Kropp, J.P., and Rybski, D. (2023). A large share of Berlin’s vegetable consumption can be produced within the city. Sustainable Cities and Society, p.104362.
  8. Beltrán, L. M., Cruz-Garcia, G. S., Ocampo, J., Pradhan, P., & Quintero, M. (2022). Rural livelihood diversification is associated with lower vulnerability to climate change in the Andean-Amazon foothills. PLOS Climate 1(11): e0000051.
  9. Athare, T.R., Pradhan, P., Singh, S.R.K, Kropp, J.P. (2022) India consists of multiple food systems with socioeconomic and environmental variations. PLoS ONE 17(8): e0270342.
  10. Pradhan, P., Seydewitz, T., Zhou, B., Lüdeke, M. K., & Kropp, J. P. (2022). Climate extremes are becoming more frequent, co-occurring, and persistent in Europe. Anthropocene Science, 1-14.
  11. Pradhan, P. (2022). Food transport emissions matter. Nat Food.
  12. Biermann, F., Hickmann, T., Sénit, CA., ..., Pradhan, P., ... et al.  (2022). Scientific evidence on the political impact of the Sustainable Development Goals. Nat Sustain. (Press Release)
  13. Foong, A., Pradhan, P., Frör, O. & Kropp, J. P. (2022). Adjusting agricultural emissions for trade matters for climate change mitigation. Nat Commun 13, 3024. (Press Release)
  14. Zhang, A., Wang, S., Pradhan, P., Zhao, W., & Fu. (2022). Mapping the complexity of the food-energy-water nexus from the lens of Sustainable Development Goals in China. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 183, 106357.
  15. Warchold, A., Pradhan, P., Thapa, P., Putra, M. P. I. F., & Kropp, J. P. (2022). Building a unified Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) database: Why does SDG data selection matter? Sustainable Development.
  16. Schägg, E., Becker, S. L., & Pradhan, P. (2022). Thwarted visions of change: power and demographics in repair cafes and urban sustainability transitions. Urban Transformations.
  17. Zhang, J., Wang, S., Pradhan, P., Zhao, W., & Fu, B. (2022). Untangling the interactions between the sustainable development goals in china. Science Bulletin.
  18. Anderson, C.C., Denich, M., Warchold, A., Kropp, J. P., & Pradhan, P. (2022). A systems model of SDG target influence on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Sustain Sci.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Rybski, D., Pradhan, P., Shutters, S. T., Butsic, V., & Kropp, J. P. (2021). Characterizing the sectoral development of cities. Plos one, 16(7), e0254601.
  22. 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. 
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. Warchold, A., Pradhan, P., & Kropp, J. P. (2020). Variations in sustainable development goal interactions: Population, regional, and income disaggregation. Sustainable Development.
  30. 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)
  31. 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)
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. Athare, T., Pradhan, P., & Kroop, J. P. (2020). Environmental implications and socioeconomic characterisation of Indian diets. Science of The Total Environment, 139881.
  35. 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)
  36. 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.
  37. 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)
  38. Pradhan, P., & Kropp, J. P. (2020). Interplay between Diets, Health, and Climate Change. Sustainability, 12(9), 3878.
  39. 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.
  40. Bodirsky, B.L.; Pradhan, P.; Springmann, M. (2019) Reducing ruminant numbers and consumption of animal source foods are aligned with environmental and public health demands. J Sustainable Organic Agric Syst 69, pp. 25–30.
  41. 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.
  42. 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)
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. P. Pradhan (2019). Antagonists to meeting the 2030 Agenda, Nature Sustainability, 2, 171172.
  46. 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.
  47. 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)
  48. 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)
  49. 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.
  50. 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)
  51. 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.
  52. 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.
  53. Pradhan, P., Reusser, D.E. and Kropp, J.P. (2013). Embodied greenhouse gas emissions in diets. PLoS ONE, 8(5), e62228.

Other Publications:

  1. Mirzabaev, A., Olsson, L., Kerr, R.B., Pradhan, P., Ferre, M.G.R., Lotze-Campen, H. (2023). Climate Change and Food Systems. In: von Braun, J., Afsana, K., Fresco, L.O., Hassan, M.H.A. (eds) Science and Innovations for Food Systems Transformation. Springer, Cham.
  2. Rybski, D., Helmers, D. P., Pradhan, P., Shutters, S. T., Radeloff, V., & Butsic, V. (2022). Employment and Land Use in the United States: cross-sectional and short-term Trends reveal the Importance of the 96th Meridian. arXiv preprint arXiv:2212.01148.
  3. Pradhan, P., Van Vuuren, D., Wicke, B., Bogers, M., Hickmann, T., Kalfagianni, A., . . . Zimm, C. (2022). Methods for Analysing Steering Effects of Global Goals. In F. Biermann, T. Hickmann, & C. Sénit (Eds.), The Political Impact of the Sustainable Development Goals: Transforming Governance Through Global Goals? (pp. 172-203). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781009082945.008
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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)
  7. Pradhan, P. and Kropp, J. (2019). Climate Change and Food Security: Highlighting Urban Food System and Regional Specificities.
  8. Pradhan, P. (2015). Food demand and supply under global change. PhD Dissertation, University of Potsdam, 141 pp.
  9. Pradhan, P. (2013). Closing the yield gaps: how sustainable can we be? Interim Report – Young Scientists Summer Program, IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria. (PLoS ONE)
  10. 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.
  11. 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.

BeyondSDG- Transformation towards long-term sustainability beyond Sustainable Development Goals (2023-2028), 1.5 Million Euro funded by the European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant 2022.

ForHimSDG - Förderung der Entwicklung des Himalayas durch Stärkung von Lehre und Forschung im Bereich der Sustainable Development Goals [Promoting Himalayan Development by Strengthening Teaching and Research on Sustainable Development Goals] (2022-2025), 324,976 Euro funded by the DAAD with funds from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

BIOCLIMAPATHS - Assessing climate-led social-ecological impacts and opportunities for resilient pathways in the EU bioeconomy (2019-2021), 398,721 Euro funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under JPI Climate AXIS call.

SusFood - Sustainable Food Systems under Climate Change in South Asia,  Klimawandel und nachhaltige Nahrungsmittelproduktion in Südasien (2017-2019),  125,000 Euro funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

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.