Volker Mauerhofer is a Senior Research Fellow in the Sustainable Development Governance initiative at the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS). He has also been a Lecturer at the Faculty Centre for Biodiversity of the University of Vienna, Austria from 2007 till 2012.
His research focuses on biodiversity conservation through science, law, economics and policies, on environmental governance including public participation in environmental matters and on Strong Sustainability practice. Besides memberships in several international associations he is also a member of International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) joint Commission on Environmental Law/World Commission on Protected Areas Taskforce on Protected Areas Law and Policy.
Before joining UNU-IAS, Mauerhofer gave numerous presentations in international settings and worked for over 10 years as a consultant and researcher for projects and programmes implemented by the European Union (EU), World Bank-GEF/UNDP, World Wide Fund for Nature, BirdLife and civil society in more than 30 countries on all five continents. Mauerhofer also practiced law for almost four years at courts and law firms prior to passing the bar exam of the Austrian Chamber of Attorneys in 2003. He has published 6 monographs as well as more than 50 book chapters and peer-reviewed articles (for a full list download CV).
He holds a Master of Laws and a Doctoral degree in Laws from the University of Graz (Austria), a Master’s degree in natural science with a focus on zoology and ecology from the University of Vienna (Austria) as well as a Master of Arts in ecological economics from the University of Leeds (United Kingdom).
For his Master of Laws he worked on agricultural land heritage contracts. In obtaining his doctoral degree, Mauerhofer conducted extensive research on national parks, EU and international environmental law in close collaboration with public protected area authorities and non-governmental organizations. His thesis in natural sciences concentrated on the phenomenological dynamics of a bird community in a cultural landscape over five years. In Leeds, Mauerhofer’s master’s thesis in ecological economics dealt with sustainable development and socially responsible investments.
At UNU-IAS, Mauerhofer lectures in several compulsory and voluntary courses within the new Master of Science in Environmental Governance — Specialization in Biodiversity programme, and supervises master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral students. He also contributes to international presentations and peer-reviewed publications as well as to developing and implementing research proposals concentrating on biodiversity governance.