Hadi Dowlatabadi

Professor, IRES
Canada Research Chair (t1, Applied Mathematics of Global Change)

Contact Details

AERL Room 422
2202 Main Mall
The University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4

Research Interests


Hadi Dowlatabadi’s research is focused at the interface of nature, humans, technology and policy. He uses a systems approach to capture the dynamics of such systems as well as what is known and unknown about it. This permits the use of a value of information approach to focusing on research that matters most. Once the bare bones of a problem are combined with the psychology and sociology of public perception and problem definition the research will identify the paths that have led to the problem and barriers to finding solutions that avoid repeating similar challenges. Hadi has served as Lead Author for the IPCC, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and reviewer for WHO’s Global Burden of Disease. He has worked with 42 PhD students to complete their degrees and published over 150 peer reviewed papers. He has co-founded half a dozen non-profit and for profit initiatives to bring better solutions for meeting human needs.

Hadi is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Engineering & Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is also a University Fellow at Resources for the Future in Washington DC.

Website: http://ires2015.sites.olt.ubc.ca/person/hadi-dowlatabadi/
Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.ca/citations?user=9pMu_28AAAAJ&hl=en


Energy poverty (with Maryam Rezaei)

This is a topic demanding our attention as more and more jurisdictions choose to use market based mechanisms as a means of addressing their energy and climate policy objectives. Market based systems are based on the assumption that consumers will modify their behaviour in response to price signals.

Greening the Energy Infrastructure (with Thor Jensen)

Municipal governments enjoy an enviable advantage as an energy utility. They have access to land and enjoy endless waste streams all of which can be used for low GHG energy systems via heat pumps and production of energy from waste.

Lessons from BC’s Climate Neutral Government

BC is the leading jurisdiction in GHG mitigation policies with broad-based carbon taxes and mandated climate neutrality of government departments. Taxes and their impacts have been widely studied. Unfunded mandates on the public sector however are relatively understudied.

Cumulative Impact Assessment (with Jackie van der Eerden)

Cumulative Effects Assessment, or CEA, is the assessment of the environmental changes resulting from the interactions of multiple human activities. The concept of CEA acknowledges that while a single activity or development may not be the sole cause of a serious environmental impact, its effects may combine with those of other developments to produce a significant collective impact.

What is dematerialization? Would divestment lead to decarbonization? (with Justin Ritchie)

Evolution of the economy towards dematerialization and decarbonization has, for some time, been regarded as a measure of progress towards greater sustainability. There are a number of challenges in knowing if we have characterized and measured dematerialization correctly. This is a project to better understand what we have been measuring and whether it can be used as a reliable indicator towards a more sustainable economy.

Low Carbon Transportation & transportation services (with Michiko Namazu)

Electric mobility has been the darling of the sustainability community for the past decade. However, much like the challenges revealed by a full life-cycle analysis of biofuels, electric power mobility has significant externalities which need to be considered before it is broadly adopted. The research under this theme identifies and addresses key questions in this area.

Information flows within and between health services and research organizations (with Krista English)

Public health organizations depend on research organizations for innovations in health interventions. These fall into two main categories: a) on-going research to improve understanding of how best to improve quality and longevity of life; and, b) short-term research to find appropriate responses to an emerging disease. The networks of knowledge creation and flow within and between organizations are key to more effective research. This project, co-supervised with Prof Babak Pourbohloul is focused on developing methods to map and understand how these networks operate.

The footprint of beef (with Michael Luba)

Not everyone chooses to be a vegetarian. What options to we have to reduce the ecological impacts of beef production? This project, co-supervised with Prof Kai Chan is focused on developing methods to characterize the different impacts from beef productions and options and costs for their amelioration.


RMES 542 Integrated Assessment
RMES 550 Policy Analysis and Decision Making