Senior scientist and group leader of Water, Food and Environmental Studies
Titular Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Switzerland
Research Fields and Interests
- Water and environmental policies
- Integrated analysis and modeling for decision support
- Water and food relations
- Water scarcity, food security and enviormental impacts
- Virtual water and water footprint
- Sustainable development and poverty alleviation
- Adaptation to climate change in water management
1991-1994 Doctor of Philosophy, Centre for Asian Studies and China Economic Research Centre, the
University of Adelaide, Australia.
1989-1991 Master of Arts, Department of Geography, the University of Melbourne, Australia.
1983-1986 Master of Science, Department of Geography, East China Normal University, China.
1979-1983 Bachelor of Science, Department of Geography, Beijing Normal University, China.
Record of Employment
2004-present Senior scientist, group leader of Water, Food and Environmental Studies.
Department of Systems Analysis, Integrated Assessment and Modeling, Eawag.
2012-present Titular professor, Department of Enviornmental Sciences, University of Basel,
2002-present Visiting professor, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research,
the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.
1999-2004 Research scientist, group leader of Water, Food and Environmental Studies.
Department of Systems Analysis, Integrated Assessment and Modeling, Eawag.
1998-1999 Assistant professor, Department of Geography and Geology, the University of Hong Kong,
1997-1998 Assistant professor, Department of Geography, Hong Kong Baptist University. Hong Kong.
1994-1997 Research associate, China Economic Research Center and Center for Asian Studies,
the University of Adelaide, Australia.
Teaching Experience (semester courses offerred)
- Enviornmental management: policies and practicies (Graduate University of Chinese Academy of
- Globalization of water resources (Basel University)
- Introduction to multi-disciplinary models in enviornmental managment (Basel University)
- Global environmental change: science, impact and policy. (Hong Kong University, Hong Kong)
- Environmental management (Hong Kong University, Hong Kong)
- Geography of Southeast Asia (Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong)
- Quantitative methods in geographical analysis ((Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong)
- World economic geography (Beijing Normal University, China)
Selected Publications in Major Research Fields
5 key contributions in the field of water-food relations
Folberth, C., Yang, H., Gaiser, T., Liu, J.G., Wang, X.Y., Williams, J, Schulin, R. 2014. Effects of ecological and conventional agricultural intensification practices on maize yields in Sub-Sharan Africa under potential climate change. Enviornmental Research Letter. 9(4): Article Number: 044004. doi: 10.1088/148-9326/9/4/044004.
Folberth, C., Yang, H., Gaiser, T., Abbaspour, K.C., Schulin, R. 2013. Modeling maize yield responses to improvement in nutrient, water and cultivar inputs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Agricultural Systems. 119: 22-34.
Andersson, J., Zehnder, A.J.B., Röckström, J., Yang, H., 2011. Potential impacts of water harvesting and ecological sanitation on crop yield, evaporation and river flow regimes in the Thukela River Basin, South Africa. Agricultural Water Management. 98(7): 1113-1124.
Faramarazi, M., Yang, H., Schulin, R., Abbaspour, C.A., 2010. Modeling wheat yield and crop water productivity in Iran: Implications of agricultural water management for wheat production. Agricultural Water Management. 97(11): 1861-1875.
Liu, J.G., Yang, H., 2010. Spatially explicit assessment of global consumptive water uses in cropland: green and blue water. Journal of Hydrology. 384: 187-197.
5 key publications in the field of virtual water trade and water footprint
Zhao, X., Tillotson, M., Yang, Z.F., Yang, H., Liu, J.G., 2016. Reduction and reallocation of water use of products in Beijing. Ecological Indicators, In press.
Yang, H., Pfister, S., Bhaduri, A., 2013. Accounting for a scarce resource: virtual water and water footprint in the global water system. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. 5(6): 599-606.
Zhang, Z.Y., Shi, M.J., Yang, H., 2012. Understanding Beijing's water challenge: a decompostion analysis of changes in Beijing's water footprint between 1997 and 2007. Environmental Sciences & Technology. 46(22): 12373-12380.
Zhao, X., Yang, H., Yang, Z.F., Chen, B., Qin, Y., 2010. Applying the input-output method to account for water footprint and virtual water trade in the Haihe River Basin in China. Environmental Science & Technology. 44(23): 9150-9156.
Faramarzi, M., Yang, H., Mousavi, J., Schulin, R., Binder, C., Abbaspour, K., 2010. Analysis of intra-country virtual water trade strategy to alleviate water scarcity in Iran. Hydrology and Earth Systems Sciences. 14: 1417-1433.
5 key publications in the field of water and environmental policies
Liu, J.G., Liu, Q.Y., Yang, H., 2015. Assessing water scarcity by simultaneously considering environmental flow requirements, water quantity, and water quality. Ecological Indicators. 60: 434-441.
Shi, M.J., Wang, X.J., Yang, H., Wang, T., 2014. Pricing or quota? Solution to water scarcity in oasis regions in China - A case study in the Heihe River Basin. Sustainability. 6: 7601-7620.
Khan, N.I., Brouwer, R., Yang, H., 2014. Household's willingness to pay for arsenic safe drinking water in Bangladesh. Journal of Environmental Management. 143: 151-161.
Osterwakder, L., Johnsona, A., Yang, H., Johnston, R., 2014. Multi-criteria assessment of community-based fluoride-removal technologies for rural Ethiopia. Science of the Total Environment. 488: 536-542.
Liu, J.G., Liu, J.G., Yang, H., You, L.Z., 2013. Water conservancy projects in China: Achievements, challenges and way forward. Global Environmental Change. 23(3): 633-643.
5 key publications in the field of climate change impact and adaptations
Rosenzweig, C., ... Folberth, C. ... Yang, H., ..., 2014. Assessing agriculutural risks of climate change in the 21st century in a global gridded crop model intercomparison. PNAS. 111(9): 3268-3273.
Vaghefi, S., Mousavi, S.J., Abbaspour, K.C., Srinivasan, R., Yang, H., 2014. Analysis of the impact of climate change on water resources components, drough and wheat yield in semi-arid regions: Karkheh River Basin in Iran. Hydrological Processes. 28: 2018-2032.
Liu, J.G., Folberth, C., Yang, H., Röckström, J., Abbaspour, C.K., Zehnder, A.J.B., 2013. A global and spatially explicit assessment of climate change impacts on crop production and consumptive water use. Plos One. 8(2): Artical Number: e57750. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057750.
Faramarzi, M., Abbaspour, C.K, Vaghefi, S.A., Farzaneh, M.R., Zehnder, A.J.B., Yang, H., 2013. Modeling impacts of climate change on freshwater availability in Africa. Journal of Hydrology. 480: 85-101.
Abbaspour, C.K, Faramarzi, M., Ghasemi, S.S., Yang, H., 2009. Assessing the impacts of climate change on water resources of Iran. Water Resources Reaserch, doi: 10.1029/2008WR006051.
Recent Major Projects
2013- Application of a spatially explicit bio-physical crop model to assess drought impact on crop
yield and crop-drought vulnerability in Sub-Saharan Africa. Funded by SNF. Principal
2013- Modeling the water-food-environment-trade nexus in the context of agricultural
intensification. Funded by Eawag. Princial investigator.
2012- Inter-sectoral Impact Model Inter-comparison Project (ISI-MIP). Funded by German Federal
Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Team member.
2009-2014 Modeling impacts of adapative agronomic measures on crop water productivity and yields in
the context of water scarcity and climate change in Sub-Saharan Africa. Funded by SNF.
2009-2014 Groundwater and Dependent Ecosystems: New Scientific and Technical Basis for Assessing
Climate Change and Land-use Impacts on Groundwater Systems (GENESIS). EU FP-7
project. Team member.
2006-2014 Water Resources Quality (WRQ). Funded by Eawag and various external fundings.
Phase I: A global assessment of geogenic pollution of arsenic and fluoride in groundwater.
Phase II: An integrated assessment of mitigation options for arsenic and fluoride in
groundwater. Case studies in Ethiopia and Bangladesh.
Recent Major International Activities
2015 Represent the University of Basel in Milano EXPO. Exhibition topic: how much water is
available and how much water is needed for people?
2015- Associate editor of Frontiers in Freshwater Science.
2012- Member of Scientifiic Advisory Board of Stockholm Enviornmental Institute (SEI), Sweden.
2012-2014 Expert reviewer of the Working Group II Report: Climate Change 2013: Impacts, Adaptation,
and Vulnerability. IPCC Assessment Report 5.
2006-2014 Scientific Streering Committee Member of the Global Water Systems Project (GWSP).
2012- Member of management committee of the COST Action ES1106 (Assessment of European
Agricultural Water Use and Trade under Climate Change).
2011 Guest editor of the Special Issue of Economic Systems Research on Input-Output model
application in water use assessment and water management.