Dr. Md. Sarwar Hossain Sohel

PostDoc Forscher (Marie Curie Fellow)

Unit Landsysteme und Nachhaltige Ressourcennutzung

+41 31 684 32 93
Universität Bern
Geographisches Institut
Hallerstrasse 12
CH-3012 Bern

Sarwar ist ein interdisziplinärer Forscher mit MSc in Umweltwissenschaften (Universität Wageningen, Niederlande) und PhD in Geographie und Umwelt von der University of Southampton UK. Sein Schwerpunkt ist, die Grenzen der Nachhaltigkeit durch das Verständnis der komplexen Dynamik (Interaktionen, Feedbacks, Schwellen) zwischen sozialen und ökologischen Systemen zu definieren. Derzeit arbeitet Dr Sarwar als PostDoc (Marie Curie Fellow) am Geographischen Institut der Universtät Bern.

Forschungsinteressen mit Fokus auf Nachhaltige Ressourcennutzung

  • Sozial-ökologisches System
  • Systemdynamische Modellierung
  • Ökosystemleistungen und Lebensqualität
  • Grenzen für nachhaltige Entwicklung
  • Herausforderung von interdisziplinärer Forschungs- und Nachhaltigkeitsstudien in Kenia, Bangladesch, der Schweiz, Australien und Polen


Weitere Forschungsinteressen

  • Klimawandel (Auswirkungen und Anpassung)
  • Komplexitätsforschung
  • Umwelt und Entwicklung
  • Wasserressourcenmanagement und Armut

Master’s program:

System dynamics modelling of social-ecological systems

This course aims to improve understanding about system thinking and system dynamic modelling, applied to social-ecological systems, through hands-on training on modelling using a system dynamics software and interactive group activities.

System thinking and system dynamic modelling will be applied to selected themes related to sustainable management of land and land systems, including natural resources. Students will read about, elaborate, and present results from exercises using system dynamics.

Geodata analysis and modelling (Guest Lecture, System dynamics modelling)

The analysis of data and modelling of natural processes are gaining importance in research and practice. Models that simulate can help to identify study and describe connections and interrelations of factors influencing natural and human systems in an increasingly complex environment.

Challenges in geography

Inter- and transdisciplinary analysis of complex social-ecological problems is central in research for sustainable development. The course deals with current challenges in theories, research and discourses of geography. It covers two semesters and involves all Units of the Institute of Geography. Presentations and discussions on the challenges in geography depart from and evolve around the four research clusters of the Institute e.g. in the context of the sustainaility debate.


Ph.D. Co-supervision:

  1. Soil carbon management and Social-ecological systems

  2. River restoration in ecosystem services perspective

  3. System dynamics modelling for agro-ecosystem functioning and services (Visiting Ph.D. student from Stellenbosch University, South Africa) 


Previous courses

Geography and Environment, University of Southampton 2013-2016.

  • GEOG2032 Global Climate Change: Science, Impacts and Policy (Guest lecture)
  • GEOG1010 Geographical, Quantitative and Field Skills (Teaching Assistant)
  • GEOG1011 Dangerous world (Guest lecture)


Sohel, Sarwar; Ifejika Speranza, Chinwe (2020). Challenges and opportunities for operationalizing the safe and just operating space concept at regional scale. International journal of sustainable development & world ecology, 27(1), pp. 40-54. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/13504509.2019.1683645

Sohel, Sarwar; Ramirez, Jorge Alberto; Szabo, Sylvia; Eigenbrod, Felix; Johnson, Fiifi Amoako; Ifejika Speranza, Chinwe; Dearing, John A (2020). Participatory modelling for conceptualizing social-ecological system dynamics in the Bangladesh delta. Regional environmental change, 20(1) Springer 10.1007/s10113-020-01599-5

Jendoubi, Donia; Hossain, Md Sarwar; Giger, Markus; Tomićević-Dubljević, Jelena; Ouessar, Mohamed; Liniger, Hanspeter; Ifejika Speranza, Chinwe (2020). Local livelihoods and land users’ perceptions of land degradation in northwest Tunisia. Environmental development, 33, p. 100507. Elsevier 10.1016/j.envdev.2020.100507


Amin, M.N., Hossain, M.S., Lobry de Bruyn, L., Wilson, B. (2019). Systematic review of soil carbon management and the need for social-ecological systems framework in Australian agriculture. Science of The Total environment. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135182


Sohel, Sarwar; Pogue, Sarah J.; Trenchard, Liz; Van Oudenhoven, Alexander P.E.; Washbourne, Carla-Leanne; Muirui, Evalyne W.; Tomczyk, Aleksandra M.; Garcia-Llorente, Marina; Hale, Rachel; Hevia, Violeta; Adams, Tom; Tavallali, Leila; de Bell, Sian; Pye, Marian; Resende, Fernando (2018). Identifying future research directions for biodiversity, ecosystem services and sustainability: perspectives from early-career researchers. International journal of sustainable development & world ecology, 25(3), pp. 249-261. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/13504509.2017.1361480

Szabo, Sylvia; Sohel, Sarwar; Renaud, Fabrice; Traore, Djaffra; Hussain, Abid; , ; Ahmad, Sate; Singh, Devendra Raj; Neumann, Barbara; Matthews, Zoë (2018). Accelerating Progress Toward the Zero Hunger Goal in Cross-Boundary Climate Change Hotspots. Environment : science and policy for sustainable development, 60(3), pp. 18-27. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/00139157.2018.1449530

Whitehead, Paul; Bussi, Gianbattista; Hossain, Mohammed Abed; Dolk, Michaela; Das, Partho; Comber, Sean; Peters, Rebecca; Charles, Katrina J; Hope, Rob; Hossain, Sarwar (2018). Restoring water quality in the polluted Turag-Tongi-Balu river system, Dhaka: Modelling nutrient and total coliform intervention strategies. Science of the total environment, 631-632, pp. 223-232. Elsevier 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.03.038

Zhang, W., Gowdy, J., Bassi, A.M., Santamaria, M., DeClerck, F., Adegboyega, A., Andersson, G.K.S., Augustyn, A.M., Bawden, R., Bell, A., Darknhofer, I., Dearing, J., Dyke, J., Failler, P., Galetto, L., Hernández, C.C., Johnson, P., Jones, S.K., Kleppel, G., Komarek, A.M., Latawiec, A., Mateus, R., McVittie, A., Ortega, E., Phelps, D., Ringler, C., Sanga, K.K., Schaafsma, M., Scherr, S., Sohel, Md S.H., Thorn, J.P.R., Tyack, N., Vaessen, T., Viglizzo, E., Walker, D., Willemen, L. and Wood, S.L.R. (2018) Systems thinking: an approach for understanding ‘eco-agri-food systems’. In, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB): TEEB for Agriculture & Food: Scientific and Economic Foundations. Geneva.

Dearing, John A.; Hossain, Md. Sarwar (2018). Recent Trends in Ecosystem Services in Coastal Bangladesh. In: Ecosystem Services for Well-Being in Deltas (pp. 93-114). Cham: Springer Nature 10.1007/978-3-319-71093-8_5


Hossain MS, Dearing JA, Eigenbrod F, Johnson FA (2017) Operationalizing safe operating space for regional social-ecological systems. Science of The Total Environment http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.01.095

Hossain MS, Dearing JA, Johnson FA, Eigenbrod F (In press) Participatory modelling as the basis for conceptual system dynamic modelling of social-ecological system in Bangladesh delta. South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/312646149_Operationalizing_safe_operating_space_for_regional_social-ecological_systems

Hossain MS and Sazbo S (2017) Understanding the socio-ecological system of wetlands. In: Prusty BA, Chandra R, Azeez PA (ed.) Wetlands Science: Perspective from South Asia. Springer nature. DOI 10.1007/978-81-322-3715-0_15

Hossain MS, Kabir A, Nargis P (2017) Climate Change impacts and adaptation in wetlands. In: Prusty BA, Chandra R, Azeez PA (ed.) Wetlands Science: Perspective from South Asia. Springer nature. DOI 10.1007/978-81-322-3715-0_15


Hossain MS, Eigenbrod F, Johnson FA, Dearing JA (2016) Unravelling the interrelationships between ecosystem services and human wellbeing in the Bangladesh delta. Int. J. Sustain. Dev. World Ecol. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504509.2016.1182087

Barbosa CCA, Dearing J, Szabo S, Hossain MS, Binh NT, Nhan DK, Matthews Z (2016) Evolutionary social and bio geophysical changes in the Amazon, Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Mekong deltas. 2016. Journal on Sustainability Science. DOI 10.1007/s11625-016-0371-7 

Hossain MS, Dearing JA, Eigenbrod F, Johnson FA (2016) Recent trends of human wellbeing in the Bangladesh delta. Environ. Dev. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envdev.2015.09.008   

Speera JH, Bräuningb A, Pourtahmasid QZKP, Gairee NP, Dawadig B, Ranae P, Dhakalj YR, Acharyag RH, Adhikarig DL, Adhikarih S, Aryali PC, Bagaleg D, Baniyaj B, Bhandarif S, Dahale N, Dahali S, Ganbaatark N, Girie A, Gurungl DB, Khandul Y, Maharjang B, Maharjang R, Malikm RA, Nathn CD, Nepalg B, Ngomao J, Pantf R, Pathakp ML, Paudelg H, Sharmai B, Hossain MS, Soronzonbold BS, Swer T, Thapaf I, Tiwaris A (2016) Pinus roxburghii stand dynamics at a heavily impacted site in Nepal: Research through an educational fieldweek. Dendrochronologia. DOI:10.1016/j.dendro.2016.01.005

Willcock S, Hossain MS, Poppy G (2016) Managing complex systems to enhance sustainability. In: Solan M and Whiteley N (ed.) Stressors in the marine environment: physiological and ecological responses and societal implications. Oxford University Press. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303049060_Evolutionary_social_and_biogeophysical_changes_in_the_Amazon_Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna_and_Mekong_deltas


Szabo A, Hossain MS, Matthews Z, Ahmed S, Lazar AN, Adger WN, Ahmad S (2015) Soil salinity, household wealth and food insecurity in tropical deltas: evidence from south-west coast of Bangladesh. Sustainability Science DOI: 10.1007/s11625-015-0337-1 

Szabo SM, Renaud FG, Hossain MS, Sebesvári Z, Matthews Z, Foufoula-Georgiou E, Nicholls RJ (2015) Sustainable Development Goals Offer New Opportunities for Tropical Delta Regions. Environment Science and Policy for Sustainable Development. 57(4):16-23. DOI:10.1080/00139157.2015.1048142

Hossain MS, Dearing JA, Rahman MM, Salehin M (2015) Recent changes in ecosystem services and human wellbeing in the coastal zone. Reg. Environ. Chang. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10113-014-0748-z


Dearing JA, Wang R, Zhang K, Dyke JG, Haberl H, Hossain MS, Langdon PG, Lenton TM, Raworth K, Brown S, Carstensen J, Cole MJ, Cornell SE, Dawson TP, Doncaster CP, Eigenbrod F, Flörken M, Jeffers E, Mackay AS, Nykvist B, Poppy GM (2014) Safe and just operating spaces for regional social-ecological system. Glob Environ Change 28:227–238. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.06.012

Hossain MS, Roy K, Datta D (2014) Spatial and temporal rainfall variability of rainfall over the south west coast of Bangladesh. Climate 2(2):28–46. doi:10.3390/cli2020028


Hossain MS, Hein L, Rip F, Dearing J (2013) Integrating ecosystem services and climate change responses in coastal wetlands developments plans for Bangladesh. Mitig Adapt Strat Glob Change. doi:10.1007/s11027-013-9489-4

Hossain MS, Dearing JA (2013) Recent trends of ecosystem services and human well-being in the Bangladesh coastal zone. Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) Deltas Fast Track Report 3. ESPA delta.


Hossain MS and Roy K (2011) Community Based Risk Assessment and Adaptation to Climate Change in the Coastal Wetlands of Bangladesh. International Journal on Bangladesh Environment 2(2): 96-105. http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/349553


Hossain MS (2010) Climate Error: Misconceiving the Development Issue (A Hardline View of the Water Resource Management Project of ADB in Bangladesh). NGO Forum on ADB, Manila, Philippine

Hossain MS, Roy K, Hauqe M and Khan M (2010) Climate Change and Development: A Research on Mainstreaming of Climate Change in National Policy Development using Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in Water Resource Management at Narail, Bangladesh. Ulashi Sreejony Sangha (USS) and NGO Forum On ADB.

Hossain MS, Roy K (2010) Wetland and Climate Change Adaptation. 2010. Ulashi Sreejony Sangha (USS), Jessore, Bangladesh and Action Aid Bangladesh. ISBN 978-984-33-1676-9.

Risk & Resilience Cluster, Institute of Geography, University of Bern

Website: http://www.geography.unibe.ch/research/risk_amp_resilience_cluster/index_eng.html

NRG BESS (Next Research Generation BESS: Early career network for the NERC Biodiversity & Ecosystem Service Sustainability) – Prime movers

  • Organized First NRG BESS conference  `Early Career Researcher Conference 2014 – Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Sustainability
  • Conference organizer, fund raiser, moderator of one session
  • https://nrgbess.wordpress.com/



Seven Marie Curie Fellowships for the University of Bern, University of Bern




The Bangladesh coastal zone: Improvements in human well-being have come at an unsustainable environmental cost at one of the world's most climate vulnerable regions, ESPA (Ecosystem services for poverty alleviation)  


Research gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Md_Sarwar_Hossain

Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=GSE4O4YAAAAJ&hl=en  

Twitter https://twitter.com/Sarwar_991

CV_Dr Sarwar Hossain Sohel (PDF, 566KB)



2016  PhD in Geography and Environment
          Geography and Environment, University of Southampton United Kingdom

April-May 2014 Visiting researcher, System dynamic modelling, University of Bergen Norway

2012  MSc in Environmental Sciences
          Wageningen University, The Netherlands.

Work experience

Oct 2016 - Jan 2017 Postdoc; Poverty and Ecosystem, Belmont Forum DELTAS. Geography and Environment, and Social Sciences: Social Statistics & Demography, University of Southampton United Kingdom

March 2015 - Jan 2016 Research Fellow-PhD dissertation support fund- SANDEE (South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics). Participatory modelling as the basis for modelling social-ecological systems.

May - Sept 2012 Research Assistant. ESPA delta (Assessing health, livelihoods, ecosystem services and poverty alleviation in populous deltas), CO-PI Professor John Dearing, Geography and Environment, University of Southampton