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Head of Environmental Vulnerability and Ecosystem Services, Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), United Nations University

Dr. Sebesvari heads the Environmental Vulnerability and Ecosystem Services (EVES) Section. She is an ecologist and environmental scientist with a focus on original research and decision support in the context of ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR) and adaptation (EbA) guided by social-ecological vulnerability and risk assessments. Additionally, she focuses on soil and water degradation particularly in the context of disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and the impacts of certain adaptation practices on the quality and long term sustainability of soil and water resources.

Dr. Sebesvari lectures in the UNU-EHS – University Bonn Joint MSc Programme “Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security” in Bonn with a course on “Ecosystem based approaches for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation”. She supervises PhD and MSc students in topics related to environmental degradation and ecosystem-based approaches to disaster risk reduction and adaptation.

She is involved in various networks such as the Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR), and the Friends of Ecosystem-based Adaptation (FEBA). She is member of the Steering Committee of the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP) and serves as a technical expert to develop “Voluntary guidelines on ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction” in response to decision XIII/4 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Currently Dr. Sebesvari serves as a Lead Author in the IPCC Special Report on Ocean and the Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCCC, Chapter 4).

Prior to joining UNU-EHS, Dr. Zita Sebesvari worked on environmental monitoring and remediation projects in the Institute for Chemistry and Dynamics of the Geosphere at the Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany as well as on chemical and microbial signalling processes for the settlement of polychates in the Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM) in Oldenburg. She also holds an MSc in History and has great interest in inter- and transdisciplinary research design and project implementation.


  • –present
    Head of Section - Environmental Vulnerability and Ecosystem Services (EVES), United Nations University