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


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

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.

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

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

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

02/2017 - 12/2018
08/2008 - 12/2020

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


Beck-O’ Brien, M., Egenolf, V., Winter, S., Zahnen, J., & Griesshammer, N. (2022). Everything from wood -- The resource of the future or the next crisis? How footprints, benchmarks and targets can support a balanced bioeconomy transition (S. TBD). Berlin. Abgerufen von
Egenolf, V., Distelkamp, M., Morland, C., Beck-O’ Brien, M., & Bringezu, S. (2022). The timber footprint of German bioeconomy scenarios compared to the planetary boundaries for sustainable roundwood supply. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 33, 686–699.


Beck-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.


Wilts, H., & O’Brien, M. (2019). A Policy Mix for Resource Efficiency in the EU: Key Instruments, Challenges and Research Needs. Ecological Economics, 155, 59–69.


O’Brien, M., Kong, M. A., Doranova, A., Kably, N., Kern, O., Giljum, S., & Gözet, B. (2018). ECO-INNOVATION OF PRODUCTS: Case studies and policy lessons from EU Member States for a product policy framework that contributes ti a circular economy. Biannual report 2018. Abgerufen von
O’Brien, M., & Bringezu, S. (2018). European Timber Consumption: Developing a Method to Account for Timber Flows and the EU’s Global Forest Footprint. Ecological Economics, 147, 322–332.


O’Brien, M., & Bringezu, S. (2017). Assessing the Sustainability of EU Timber Consumption Trends:Comparing Consumption Scenarios with a Safe Operating Space Scenario for Global and EU Timber Supply. Land, Environment, and Policy, 6(4), 84.
O’Brien, M., & Bringezu, S. (2017). What Is a Sustainable Level of Timber Consumption in the EU: Toward Global and EU Benchmarks for Sustainable Forest Use. Sustainability, 9, 812.
Bringezu, S., Ramaswami, A., Schandl, H., O’Brien, M., Pelton, R., Acquatella, J., Ayuk, E., Chiu, A., Flanegin, R., Fry, J., Giljum, S., Hashimoto, S., Hellweg, S., Hosking, K., Hu, Y., Lenzen, M., Lieber, M., Lutter, S., Miatto, A., Singh Nagpure, A., Obersteiner, M., van Oers, L., Pfister, S., Pichler, P., Russell, A., Spini, L., Tanikawa, H., Weisz, H., West, J., Wiijkman, A., Zhu, B., Zivy, R., & van der Voet, E. (2017). Assessing global resource use: A systems approach to resource efficiency and pollution reduction. Nairobi, Kenya. Abgerufen von
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.


O’Brien, M. (2016). Timber consumption and sustainable forest use. Assessing the EU’s current and expected consumption of global timber in relation to the global capacity for sustainable supply. kassel universty press, Kassel.


O’Brien, M., Wechsler, D., Bringezu, S., & Arnold, K. (2015). Sachstandsbericht über vorhandene Grundlagen und Beiträge für ein Monitoring der Bioökonomie : systemische Betrachtung und Modellierung der Bioökonomie. Wuppertal. Abgerufen von
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.
O’Brien, M., Schütz, H., & Bringezu, S. (2015). The land footprint of the EU bioeconomy: Monitoring tools, gaps and needs. Land Use Policy, 47, 235–246.
O’Brien, M., Fischer, S., Wilts, H., Steger, S., Schepelmann, P., Jordan, N. D., & Rademacher, B. (2015). Waste Prevention in a „Leasing Society“. International Journal of Waste Resources, 05, TBD.


O’Brien, M., Hartwig, F., Schanes, K., Kammerlander, M., Omann, I., Wilts, H., Bleischwitz, R., & Jäger, J. (2014). Living within the safe operating space: a vision for a resource efficient Europe. European Journal of Futures Research, 2, TBD.
O’Brien, M., Miedzinski, M., Giljum, S., & Doranova, A. (2014). Eco-innovation and competitiveness: enabling the transition to a resource efficient circular economy: annual report 2013. Luxemburg: Publications Office of the European Union.
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. Nairobi. Abgerufen von


Miedzinski, M., Charter, M., & O’Brien, M. (2013). Eco-Innovate! A Guide to Eco-innovation for SMEs and Business Coaches. Brussels: Eco-Innovation  Observatory.
O’Brien, M., Miedzinski, M., Bleischwitz, R., Steger, S., Fischer, S., Doranova, A., Giljum, S., Campregher, C., Bruckner, M., Aparcana, S., & Karjalainen, A. (2013). Europe in transition: Paving the way to a green economy through eco-innovation.
O’Brien, M. (2013). A chance to change the ending we know. Human dimensions, (3), 28 – 32.


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.
O’Brien, M., Fischer, S., Schepelmann, P., & Bringezu, S. (2012). Resource efficiency in European industry : study. Brussels.
O’Brien, M., Fischer, S., Steger, S., Ritsche, D., Geibler, J. von, Jordan, N. D., Miedzinski, M., Doranova, A., Reid, A., Giljum, S., Lutter, S., Lugschitz, B., Polzin, C., Vehmas, J., Karjalainen, A., & Saarinen, L. A. (2012). Closing the eco-innovation gap : an economic opportunity for business ; annual report 2011. Brussels.


O’Brien, M., Bleischwitz, R., Bringezu, S., Fischer, S., Ritsche, D., Steger, S., Samus, T., Geibler, J. von, Giljum, S., Polzin, C., Pirgmaier, E., Lutter, S., Miedzinski, M., Doranova, A., Vehmas, J., Karjalainen, A., Jaakkola, M., & Saarinen, L. A. (2011). The eco-innovation challenge : pathways to a resource-efficient Europe ; annual report 2010. Brussels.
O’Brien, M., Bleischwitz, R., Lucas, R., Bringezu, S., Samus, T., Ritthoff, M., Steger, S., Geibler, J. von, Wallbaum, H., Miedzinski, M., Giljum, S., Patz, T., Karjalainen, A., & Saarinen, L. A. (2011). Resource-efficient construction : the role of eco-innovation for the construction sector in Europe. Brussels.


O’Brien, M., Bringezu, S., & Schütz, H. (2010). Global biomass use and the environmental impacts of biofuels. Geographische Rundschau / International edition, 6(4), 4 – 10.


Bringezu, S., Schütz, H., O’Brien, M., Kauppi, L., Howarth, R. W., & McNeely, J. (2009). Assessing biofuels : towards sustainable production and use of resources. Nairobi.