Dr. Isabelle Weindl

Senior Scientist

Isabelle Weindl contributes to the development of the global land use modelling framework MAgPIE (‘Model of Agricultural Production and its Impacts on the Environment’), which is applied for a wide range of research questions related to future challenges for land use and agriculture, such as climate change impacts and mitigation, nutrient cycles, bioenergy, and water scarcity. Amongst Isabelle’s research interests are the role of livestock production for sustainable food systems and the extent to which animal husbandry determines resource use and nutrients flows in agriculture.

The current focus of her work is to explore options how to reconcile the goals of supplying healthy diets with protecting healthy ecosystems. As agriculture affects earth system functioning through various impact channels and significantly contributes to the transgression of planetary boundaries (e.g. biosphere integrity and biogeochemical flows), studying the mitigation potentials of supply-side related measures such as better agricultural management as well as a demand-side related levers such as diets and food waste are vital to guide the development of sustainable food systems.


Working Group


Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
T +49 (0)331 288 2696
P.O. Box 60 12 03
14412 Potsdam



2017-present Postdoctoral Researcher at PIK
Research Domain: Climate Resilience
2015-2017 Scientist at the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB)
Department: Technology Assessment and Substance Cycles
2011-2012 Parental leave
2009-2015 Doctoral researcher at PIK
Research Domain: Climate Impacts and Vulnerabilities


2017 PhD in Geography from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU Berlin)
PhD Thesis: Livestock futures in a changing world: Modelling interactions between animal agriculture and the environment
2008 Diploma in mathematics (Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen)
Diploma thesis: Convergence of an implicit finite element discretization for parabolic equations involving the p(x)-Laplacian
2002-2008 Diploma studies (Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen)
Mathematics with minor in philosophy

  • Scenarios of sustainable food futures
  • The role of food production for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Environmental impacts of livestock production
  • Biomass and nutrient flows in the global food system
  • Greenhouse gas emissions (N20, CH4, CO2) from agriculture and land use
  • Climate mitigation and adaptation in agriculture
  • Development of quantitative tools and models (MAgPIE, PIAM)

  • Soergel, B., Kriegler, E., Weindl, I., et al. A sustainable development pathway for climate action within the UN 2030 Agenda. Nature Climate Change, 11, 656–664 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-75213-3.

  • Bodirsky, B. L., Dietrich, J.P., Martinelli, E., Stenstad, A., Pradhan, P., Gabrysch, S., Mishra, A., Weindl, I., Le Mouël, C., Susanne Rolinski, Baumstark, L., Wang, X., Waid, J.L., Lotze-Campen, H., Popp, A. (2020): The Ongoing Nutrition Transition Thwarts Long-Term Targets for Food Security, Public Health and Environmental Protection. Scientific Reports 10 (1), 19778. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-021-01098-3.

  • Weindl, I., M. Ost, P. Wiedmer, M. Schreiner, S. Neugart, R. Klopsch, H. Kühnhold, W. Kloas, I. Henkel, O. Schlüter, S. Bußler, S. Bellingrath-Kimura, H. Ma, T. Grune, S. Rolinski and S. Klaus (2020): Sustainable food protein supply reconciling human and ecosystem health: A Leibniz Position. Global Food Security, 25, 100367, doi:10.1016/j.gfs.2020.100367.

  • Kipling, R.P., Topp, C.F.E., Bannink, A., Bartley, D.J., Blanco-Penedo, I., Cortignani, R., del Prado, A., Dono, G., Faverdin, P., Graux, A.-I., Hutchings, N.J., Lauwers, L., Özkan Gülzari, Ş., Reidsma, P., Rolinski, S., Ruiz-Ramos, M., Sandars, D.L., Sándor, R., Schönhart, M., Seddaiu, G., van Middelkoop, J., Shrestha, S., Weindl, I., Eory, V. (2019): To what extent is climate change adaptation a novel challenge for agricultural modellers? Environmental Modelling and Software, doi. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2019.104492

  • Dietrich, J.P., Bodirsky, B., Humpenöder, F., Weindl, I., Stevanović, M., Karstens, K., Kreidenweis, K., et al. (2019): MAgPIE 4 – a Modular Open-Source Framework for Modeling Global Land Systems. Geoscientific Model Development 12 (4): 1299–1317. https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-12-1299-2019.

  • Pikaar, I., Matassa, S., Bodirsky, B., Weindl, I., Bruschi, M., Humpenöder, F., Rabaey, K., Boon, N., Yuan, Z., van Zanten, H., Herrero, M., Verstraete, W., Popp, A. (2018): Decoupling livestock from land use through industrial feed production pathways. Environmental Science & Technology 52 (13) 7351-7359

  • Humpenöder, F., Popp, A., Bodirsky, B., Weindl, I., Biewald, A., Lotze-Campen, H., Dietrich, J.P., et al. (2018): Large-Scale Bioenergy Production: How to Resolve Sustainability Trade-Offs? Environmental Research Letters 13 (2): 024011. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aa9e3b.

  • Rolinski, S., Müller, C., Heinke, J., Weindl, I., Biewald, A., Bodirsky, B., Bondeau, A., et al. (2018): Modeling Vegetation and Carbon Dynamics of Managed Grasslands at the Global Scale with LPJmL 3.6. Geoscientific Model Development 11 (1): 429–51. https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-11-429-2018.

  • Weindl, I., Bodirsky, B., Rolinski, S., Biewald, A., Lotze-Campen, H., Müller, C., Dietrich, J., Humpenöder, F., Stevanović, M., Schaphoff, S., Popp, A. (2017): Livestock production and the water challenge of future food supply: Implications of agricultural management and dietary choices. Global Environmental Change 47, 121–132. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2017.09.010. Online available.

  • Weindl, I., Popp, A., Lotze-Campen, H., Humpenöder, F., Dietrich, J.P., Stevanović, M. (2017): Livestock and human use of land: Productivity trends and dietary choices as drivers of future land and carbon dynamics. Global and Planetary Change 159, 1–10. doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2017.10.002. Online available.

  • Stevanović, M., Popp, A., Bodirsky, B., Humpenöder, F., Müller, C., Weindl, I., Dietrich, J.P., Lotze-Campen, H., Kreidenweis, U., Rolinski, S., Biewald, A., Wang, X. (2017): Mitigation strategies for greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and land-use change: Consequences for food prices. Environmental Science & Technology 51 (1), 365–374.

  • Popp, A., Calvin, K., Fujimori, S., Havlik, P., Humpenöder, F., Stefest, E., Bodirsky, B., Dietrich, J.P., Doelmann, J., Gusti, M., Hasegawa, T., Kyle, P., Obersteiner, M., Tabeau, A., Takashi, K., Valin, H., Waldhoff, S., Weindl, I., Wise, M., Kriegler, E., Lotze-Campen, H., Fricko, O., Ryahi, K., van Vurren, D. (2017): Land use futures in the Shared Socio-Economic Pathways. Global Environmental Change 42, 331–345.

  • Stevanovic, M., Popp, A., Lotze-Campen, H., Dietrich, J.P., Müller, C., Bonsch, M., Schmitz, C., Bodirsky, B., Humpenöder, F., Weindl, I. (2016): High-End Climate Change Impacts on Agricultural Welfare. Science Advances 8(2).

  • Özkan, S.; Vitali, A.; Lacetera, N.; Amon, B.; Bannink, A.; Bartley, D. J.; Blanco-Penedo, I.; de Haas, Y.; Dufrasne, I.; Elliott, J.; Eory, V.; Fox, N. J.; Garnsworthy, P. C.; Gengler, N.; Hammami, H.; Kyriazakis, I.; Leclère, D.; Lessire, F.; Macleod, M.; Robinson, T. P.; Ruete, A.; Sandars, D. L.; Shrestha, S.; Stott, A. W.; Twardy, S.; Vanrobays, M.-L.; Vosough Ahmadii, B.; Weindl, I.; Wheelhouse, N.; Williams, A. G.; Wilson, A. J.; Østergaard, S.; Kipling, R. P. (2016): Challenges and priorities for modelling livestock health and pathogens in the context of climate change. Environmental Research, 151, 130-144 p.

  • Kriegler E., Bauer N., Popp A., Humpenöder F., Leimbach M., Strefler J.; Baumstark L., Lavinia; Bodirsky B., Hilaire J., Klein D., Mouratiadou I., Weindl I., Bertram C., Dietrich J.-P., Luderer G., Pehl M., Pietzcker R., Piontek F., Lotze-Campen H., Biewald A., Bonsch M., Giannousakis A., Kreidenweis U, Rolinski S., Schultes A., Schwanitz J., Stevanovic M., Calvin K., Emmerling J., Fujimori S., Edenhofer O. (2017) Fossil-fueled development (SSP5): an energy and resource intensive scenario for the 21st century. Global Environmental Change 42, 297–315.

  • Bodirsky, B.L., Rolinski, S., Biewald, A., Weindl, I., Popp, A., Lotze-Campen, H. (2015): Global food demand scenarios for the 21st century. Plos One, 10, e0139201, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0139201.

  • Weindl, I., Lotze-Campen, H., Popp, A., Müller, C., Havlík, P.,Herrero, M., Schmitz, C., Rolinski, S. (2015): Livestock in a changing climate: production system transitions as an adaptation strategy for agriculture. Environmental Research Letters 10 (9), 094021. Online available: doi:10.1088/1748-9326/10/9/094021.

  • Bonsch, M., Popp, A., Biewald A., Rolinski, S., Schmitz, C., Hoegner, K., Heinke, J. Ostberg, S., Dietrich, J.P., Bodirsky, B., Lotze-Campen, H., Stevanovic, M., Humpenöder, F., Weindl, I. (2015): Environmental flow provision: implications for agricultural water and land-use at the global scale. Global Environmental Change 30, 113–132.

  • Humpenöder, F., Popp, A., Stevanovic, M., Müller, C., Bodirsky, B.L., Bonsch, M., Dietrich, J.P., Lotze-Campen, H., Weindl, I., Biewald, A., Rolinski, S., 2015. Land-Use and Carbon Cycle Responses to Moderate Climate Change: Implications for Land-Based Mitigation? Environmental Science & Technology 49(11). Online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es506201r

  • Popp, A., Humpenöder, F., Weindl, I., Bodirsky, B., Bonsch, M., Lotze-Campen, H., Müller, C., Biewald, A., Rolinski, S., Stevanovic, M., Dietrich, J.P. (2014): Land use protection for climate change mitigation. Nature Climate Change 4,1095–1098 doi:10.1038/nclimate2444.

  • Bonsch, M., Humpenöder, F., Popp, A., Bodirsky, B., Dietrich, J.P., Rolinski, S., Biewald, A., Lotze-Campen, H., Weindl, I., Gerten, D., Stevanovic, M. (2014): Trade-offs between land and water requirements for large-scale bioenergy production. Global Change Biology – Bioenergy. Online available: doi:10.1111/gcbb.12226.

  • Humpenöder, F., Popp, A., Dietrich, J.P., Klein, D., Lotze-Campen, H., Bonsch, M., Bodirsky, B., Weindl, I., Stevanovic, M., Müller, C. (2014): Investigating afforestation and bioenergy CCS as climate change mitigation strategies. Environmental Research Letters 9 (6): 064029. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/9/6/064029. PDF

  • Bodirsky, B.L., Popp, A., Lotze-Campen, H., Dietrich, J.P., Rolinski, S., Weindl, I., Schmitz, C., Müller, C., Bonsch, M., Humpenöder, F., Biewald, A., Stevanovic, M. (2014): Reactive nitrogen requirements to feed the world in 2050 and potential to mitigate nitrogen pollution, Nature Communications, 5, 3858, Online available: doi: 10.1038/ncomms4858 (PDF).

  • Bodirsky, B., Popp, A., Weindl, I., Dietrich, J.P., Rolinski, S., Scheiffele, L., Schmitz, C., Lotze-Campen, H. (2014). N2O emissions of the global agricultural nitrogen cycle - current state and future scenarios. Biogeosciences 9 (10) (October 31): 4169–4197. doi:10.5194/bg-9-4169-2012 (under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License).

  • Schmitz, C., Biewald, A., Lotze-Campen, H., Popp, A., Dietrich, J.P., Bodirsky, B., Krause, M., Weindl, I. (2012): Trading more Food - Implications for Land Use, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and the Food System. Global Environmental Change, 22(1): 189-209.

SHAPE will develop and analyse Sustainable Development Pathways (SDPs) that achieve the SDGs in 2030 and maintain sustainable development to reach the Paris climate goals until 2100. To this end, the project sets out to analyse three key questions: a) What are the crucial interactions between climate action and other SDGs? b) Which system transformations can overcome trade-offs and enhance synergies to achieve a broad range of sustainable development objectives simultaneously? c) What are effective means of governance facilitating the deep transformations required to climate action and other SDGs while mitigating trade-offs and exploiting synergies between them?

Many food production systems on land and in the oceans are under pressure from intensive human use and global environmental change. FOCUS contributes to tackling this challenge by quantifying how climate change will affect food production, food security and rural livelihoods around the world and especially in coastal areas, where the largest part of population growth and economic growth is expected. FOCUS aims to assess the economic effects of climate change on marine ecosystem services (fisheries, and aquaculture) and agriculture. Particular challenges are distributive and welfare effects as well as the market “teleconnections” of the coastal rural economies, i.e. the interconnectedness of different world regions due to global food markets.

PIK will develop together with Indian stakeholders a structured training module on the Model of Agricultural Production and its Impact on the Environment model (MAgPIE) for India. In collaboration with the Indian institutes, PIK will further develop the MAgPIE model, in order to reflect the specificities of the food and land system of India. PIK will, together with the Indian institutes, implement scenarios towards sustainable land use and food systems for India.