Dr. Xiao-Shan Yap is Scientist at the Environmental Social Sciences Department at Eawag and (guest) Assistant Professor at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University in the Netherlands. She has ample research experience on how developing nations may combat water-related crises including mitigating freshwater scarcity and tackling the problem of unsafe drinking water and water pollution using innovative wastewater treatments and household integrated water solutions.
Beyond water, Yap is pioneering a scientific research agenda on Earth-Space Sustainability to specify opportunities and challenges for a sustainable planetary future as anthropogenic activities expand to outer space. In 2020, Yap founded the Earth-Space Sustainability research initiative aiming at ensuring a sustainable and functional Earth-Space system in the future. Yap is also a senior member of the Steering Group for Sustainability Transitions Research Network (STRN), a Research Fellow of the global research alliance Earth System Governance Project, a member of the Ostrom Workshop Space Governance Working Group, and Co-Chair of Commons in Space 2022 under the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC).
Yap was trained as a Development Economist during her Ph.D. and is now an interdisciplinary environmental social scientist. In 2015, Yap won a Swiss Government Excellence postdoctoral scholarship, followed by a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship in 2017. She is an innovation and sustainability expert in sectors such as semiconductors, integrated circuits, water recycling, solar photovoltaics, and in recent years in the field of space-based infrastructures.