Post-doctoral researcher at PBL (guest at UU)

My research concerns the application of data science and mathematical techniques to questions on climate change and how society is affecting it. Being part of the IMAGE team in the Horizon-2020 ECEMF project, I work on scenarios that describe how the future energy economy may evolve and identify potential routes to climate neutrality.

Climate justice and mitigation effort-sharing

Part of my work focuses on effort-sharing of climate change mitigation and setting 'fair' national emission reduction targets for 2030 and 2040. We distinguish normative considerations from climatological uncertainties and (socio-)technical uncertainties in order to understand better what determines a fair national reduction target. These normative considerations range from whether or not one should penalize countries for their historical emissions to whether the wealthiest countries should mitigate more or not - although normative, they greatly impact what reduction targets should be. We are currently working on a preprint on this, but part of this work is already shown in a publicly accessible online webtool (beta-version): the Carbon Budget Explorer, see screenshot below:

Scenario analysis

A significant part of climate change mitigation research relies on scenarios, highlighted by the IPCC Sixth Assessment report WGIII. Such scenarios, typically computed by integrated assessment models, help us understand the type of energy and land use systems that are required to meeting climate goals, and also track how current climate policy is performing. In a recent study, we aim to characterize energy models to improve interpretability of their scenario projections by creating so-called "model fingerprints". In another study of ours, we identify the sources of spread across more than a thousand of such scenarios, from modelling teams around the world:


Variance decomposition of integrated assessment results, from Dekker et al. (2023)


Past PhD work on complexity (2017-2021)

Over the past few years and in my PhD thesis, titled 'Macroscopic Dynamics in Complex Systems', I studied the interaction between microscopic and macroscopic phenomena in a variety of complex systems: climate tipping points, large disruptions in railway systems (collaboration with NS and ProRail), macroscopic pattern recognition in ecology, states in neuroscientific data, interventions in the COVID-19 pandemic first wave, and even game theory in diplomatic conflict situations.


Assessment of potential subnational intervention strategies of the COVID-19 pandemic in het Netherlands, from Dekker et al. (2022)