Dr Žiga Malek

Assistant Professor, 


PhDs supervised to completion
Slovenian, English, German, Dutch, Croatian/Serbian
Netherlands, Slovenia

Research Focus

Žiga Malek is an Assistant Professor in Land Use and Ecosystem Dynamics. His main research interests are the changes to land systems and the associated consequences to sustainable use of land and ecosystems. Specifically, his interests are analysing changes in future land use, land cover and land management due to growing food demand, evaluating sustainable adaptation options (such as irrigation efficiency improvements), identifying the tradeoffs between future cropland expansion, intensification and biodiversity protection, and improving the simulation of responses to climate change in land system modeling.

He is interested in regions in socio-economic transition and areas particularly vulnerable to future global change. Žiga has experience in working on various sustainability issues from all around the world: wetland protection in the Pacific, woodland degradation in East Africa, lagoon management in the Caribbean, land use and water interactions in Northern Africa and Middle East, agricultural expansion in the Amazon basin, forest management in Central Asia, multifunctional landscapes in the Mediterranean, and smallholder adaptation to future climate change in tropical regions, to name a few.

Žiga is a lecturer on spatial analysis, land based mitigation, and sustainability and environmental change in general. Besides research, teaching and supervision, Žiga is also involved in numerous consultancy activities, with consultancy projects commissioned among others by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United Nations Development Programme, European Commission, Inter-American Development Bank, European Environment Agency and Fairtrade International.

Research Groups

  • Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM)
  • Environmental Geography


  • Amazon Tipping Points, Livestock Grazing in the European Union, Climate Change Impacts on Fairtrade Producers


  • Assistant Professor

Global goals

Target 15.2
Target 15.3
Target 15.4
Target 15.5

Professional Organisations

  • Global Land Programme
  • Mountain Research Initiative
  • Amsterdam Centre for World Food Studies


  • Netherlands
  • Slovenia

Find me online