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Birgit Müller is a Senior Scientist and head of the Young Investigators Group POLISES (“Global food security policies and their social-ecological side effects in regions prone to global change”) at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research – UFZ in Leipzig, Germany. With her group she uses social-ecological modeling to analyze how policy instruments targeted at mitigating climate risks in agriculture may affect pastoral livelihoods and ecosystems. Case studies include Morocco and Ethiopia. In her group, different approaches such as agent-based models, network models and system-dynamic models are used to explore issues like poverty traps or unintended effects of weather insurance on land use and informal social networks.
Birgit has a special methodological interest in (a) the theory and modeling of human decision making related to sustainable resource use and (b) appropriate techniques to upscale human land use decisions in models to higher spatial scales.
She has been strongly engaged in interdisciplinary team work. Birgit co-leads a cross-departmental working group on Behavioral Environmental Science at the UFZ. In addition, she is part of a team that develops educational board and digital games with respect to sustainable pastoral land use (NomadSed) and interregional effects of global food security.
She holds a diploma in Mathematical Economics from the University of Leipzig and a PhD in Applied Systems Science from the University of Osnabrück, Germany.