Meghan Beck-O'Brien (Dr.-Ing.)

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin


My research focuses on the transition to a resource-efficient, circular bioeconomy and the development of sustainability targets and indicators. I am especially interested in how the smart bioeconomy can bridge human-nature systems to meet Sustainable Development Goals over the short and long term. I am convinced that halting biodiversity loss is a key and urgent challenge of our time and to this end my research aims to better understand how land system change can be kept within a globally safe and just operating space and how regenerative agriculture and forestry can be better incentivized in and across borders. In particular, tackling root causes of land use change and avoiding burden shifting are high priorities and I am interested in advancing research on models of business, governance and community that promote system innovation, resilience and well-being across both value chains and multiple scales of analysis.

Akademischer Werdegang

2012 – 2015     Promotion (Dr.-Ing.), Universität Kassel
2005 – 2007     M.Sc.Nachhaltiges Ressourcenmanagement, Technische Universität München
2000 – 2004     BA "Environmental Studies", Elmira College, USA 

Beruflicher Werdegang

02/2017 - 12/2018 Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin, CESR, Universität Kassel
08/2008 - 12/2020 Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin, Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt und Energie



O’ Brien, M., & Bringezu, S. (2021). Biodiversity Monitoring in Long-Distance Food Supply Chains: Tools, Gaps and Needs to Meet Business Requirements and Sustainability Goals. Sustainability, 13(15), 8536.


O’Brien, M., Wechsler, D., Bringezu, S., & Schaldach, R. (2017). Toward a systemic monitoring of the European bioeconomy: Gaps, needs and the integration of sustainability indicators and targets for global land use. Land Use Policy, 66, 162–171.


Bringezu, S., Schütz, H., & O’Brien, M. (2015). Measuring and managing the global agricultural footprint of countries’ consumption. In G. M. Robinson & D. A. Carson (Hrsg.), Handbook on the Globalisation of Agriculture (S. 106–124). Cheltenham, UK: Elgar Publishing.


Bringezu, S., Schütz, H., Pengue, W., O’Brien, M., Garcia, F., Sims, R., Howarth, R., Kauppi, L., Swilling, M., & Herrick, J. (2014). Assessing global land use: balancing consumption with sustainable supply (S. 131). Nairobi. Abgerufen von


Bringezu, S., O’Brien, M., & Schütz, H. (2012). Beyond biofuels: Assessing global land use for domestic consumption of biomass A conceptual and empirical contribution to sustainable management of global resources. Land Use Policy, 29(1), 224–232.