Marina Fischer-Kowalski is Professor and former Director of the Institute for Social Ecology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna.

Dr Marina Fischer-Kowalski is Professor and former Director of the Institute for Social Ecology in Vienna. She and her team developed a model of society-nature interactions which incorporates analysis of resource use and environmental impacts from population and economic growth. Her social metabolism approach has guided the development of a consistent system for material flow accounting which is now incorporated in EU statistical accounting. It has also been adopted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and many Asian countries.

She was a co-founder of the International Society for Industrial Ecology and served as its President, as well as President to the Society for Ecological Economics. She is an editorial board member of the journal Anthropocene Review, and an editorial advisory board member to the International Journal for Industrial Ecology as well as INSEE, the Indian Journal for Ecological Economics. In addition to her extensive published work in books and academic journals, Dr Fischer-Kowalski is a frequent public speaker on sustainable resource management at major global conferences and academic societies. Dr Fisher-Kowalski earned a PhD in sociology from the University of Vienna, in Austria.

Dr Fischer-Kowalski serves on the IRP’s Decoupling Working Group, and co-authored the report, Decoupling Natural Resource Use and Environmental Impacts from Economic Growth. She also coordinated review of the biofuels report. She presented at the 18th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development in 2010, at Rio+20 in 2010, and made a keynote address at the World Resources Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2009.

Selected Publications

Fischer-Kowalski, M., Rovenskaya, E., Krausmann, F., Pallua, I., McNeill, J.R. (2019) Energy transitions and social revolutions. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 138, pp 69-77. doi: 10.1016/j.techfore.2018.08.010

Haberl, H., Wiedenhofer, D., Pauliuk, ST., Krausmann, F., Müller, D., Fischer-Kowalski, M. (2019) Contributions of sociometabolic research to sustainability science. Nature Sustainability.

Schandl, H., Fischer-Kowalski, M., West, J., Giljum, S., Dittrich, M., Eisenmenger, N., Geschke, A., Lieber, M., Wieland, H.P., Schaffartzik, A., Krausmann, F., Gierlinger, S., Hosking, K., Lenzen, M., Tanikawa, H., Miatto, A., Fishman, T. (2018). Global Material Flows and Resource Productivity. Forty Years of Evidence. Journal of Industrial Ecology vol.22 no 4, pp. 827-838, DOI: 10.1111/jiec.12626

Fischer-Kowalski, M. and A. Schaffartzik (2015) Energy availability and energy sources as determinants of societal development in a long-term perspective. MRS Energy & Sustainability: A Review Journal vol.2, pp. 1-14 Doi: 10.1557/mre.2015.2

Fischer-Kowalski,M. (2015) Social Ecology. In: Wright,J., (Ed.) International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, second edition, pp. 254-262. Amsterdam: Elsevier

Fischer-Kowalski, M., Krausmann, F. and Pallua, I. (2014) A sociometabolic reading of the Anthropocene: Modes of subsistence, population size and human impact on Earth. The Anthropocene Review 1, 8-33.

Wiedenhofer, Dominik, Rovenskaya, Elena, Haas, Willi, Krausmann, Fridolin, Pallua, Irene, and Fischer-Kowalski, Marina (2013): Is there a 1970s Syndrome? Analyzing Structural Breaks in the Metabolism of Industrial Economies. Energy Procedia, 40, 182-191, [online]

Hashimoto, S., Fischer-Kowalski, M., Suh, S., Bai, X. (eds.), 2012. Greening Growing Giants. A Major Challenge of Our Planet. Special Issue of the Journal of Industrial Ecology 16(4), [online],

Krausmann F, Fischer-Kowalski M, Schandl H, Eisenmenger N. 2009. The global socio-metabolic transition: past and present metabolic profiles and their future trajectories. Journal of Industrial Ecology 12(5-6), 637-656 [download preprint version], http:/ / /socec/ downloads/2009 _ KrausmannFischer-Kowalski Schandl_metabolic_ transition_JIE12_58.pdf

Krausmann F, Gingrich S, Eisenmenger N, Erb K-H, Haberl H, Fischer-Kowalski M. 2009. Growth in global materials use, GDP and population during the 20th century. Ecological Economics 68(10), 2696-2705 [download preprint version], http:// downloads/2009_ Krausmann GingrichEisenmenger _Growth _in_global _materials _use_EE68_8.pdf

Haberl, Helmut, Fischer-Kowalski, Marina, Krausmann, Fridolin, Weisz, Helga, and Winiwarter, Verena (2004): Progress Towards Sustainability? What the conceptual framework of material and energy flow accounting (MEFA) can offer. In: Land Use Policy 21(3), pp. 199-213.

Fischer-Kowalski, Marina (2002): Exploring the history of industrial metabolism. In: Ayres, Robert U. and Ayres, Leslie W. (Eds.): Handbook of Industrial Ecology. Cheltenham, UK and Lyme, US: Edward Elgar Bd. 2, pp. 16-26.

Fischer-Kowalski, Marina and Amann, Christof (2001): Beyond IPAT and Kuznets Curves: Globalization as a Vital Factor in Analysing the Environmental Impact of Socio-Economic Metabolism. In: Population and Environment 23(1), pp. 7-47.

Matthews, Emily, Amann, Christof, Fischer-Kowalski, Marina, Bringezu, Stefan, Hüttler, Walter, Kleijn, René, Moriguchi, Yuichi, Ottke, Christian, Rodenburg, Eric, Rogich, Don, Schandl, Heinz, Schütz, Helmut, van der Voet, Ester, and Weisz, Helga (2000): The Weight of Nations: Material Outflows from Industrial Economies. Washington, D.C.: World Resources Institute

Fischer-Kowalski, Marina and Hüttler, Walter (1999): Society's Metabolism. The Intellectual History of Material Flow Analysis, Part II: 1970-1998. In: Journal of Industrial Ecology 2(4), pp. 107-137.

Fischer-Kowalski, Marina and Haberl, Helmut (1998): Sustainable Development: Socio-Economic Metabolism and Colonization of Nature. In: International Social Science Journal 158(4), pp. 573-587.

Fischer-Kowalski, Marina (1998): Society's Metabolism. The Intellectual History of Material Flow Analysis, Part I, 1860 - 1970. In: Journal of Industrial Ecology 2(1), pp. 61-78. [online], doi/10.1162/ jiec.1998.2.1.61/pdf

Fischer-Kowalski, Marina and Haberl, Helmut (1997): Tons, Joules and Money: Modes of Production and their Sustainability Problems. In: Society and Natural Resources 10(1), pp. 61-85.


Industrial Ecology Seminar on Sociometabolic Regimes and Transitions between them (March 2017) 

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