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Matthias Ruth

310 Renaissance Park
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115


Dr. Matthias Ruth is a full professor with appointments in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Professor Ruth holds a Masters degree in Economics from the University of Heidelberg, Germany and a PhD in Geography from the University of Illinois, where he also received training in engineering and biology. His research focuses on dynamic modeling of natural resource use, industrial and infrastructure systems analysis, and environmental economics and policy. His theoretical work heavily draws on concepts from engineering, economics and ecology, while his applied research utilizes methods of non-linear dynamic modeling as well as adaptive and anticipatory management.

Applications of his work cover the full spectrum from local to regional, to national and global environmental challenges, as well as the investment and policy opportunities these challenges present. Professor Ruth has published 12 books and over 120 papers and book chapters in the scientific literature.

He is a founder of Ecological Economics, serves on the boards of numerous journals and scientific organizations, is a founding Co-editor in-Chief of the journal Urban Climate, and collaborates extensively with scientists and policy makers worldwide.


  • Ph.D., Geography, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1992
  • M.A., Economics, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Federal Republic of Germany, 1989

Research & Scholarship Interests

Dynamic modeling of social, economic and environmental systems, and their interactions; urban infrastructure systems analysis and modeling; urban climate impacts and adaptation; energy and resources economics and policy
Affiliated With

Department Research Areas

College Research Initiatives

Professional Affiliations

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • International Society for Ecological Economics
  • International Society for Industrial Ecology
  • Western Regional Science Association

Selected Publications

  • S. Dhakal, M. Ruth, Creating Low-Carbon Cities, Soringer International Publishing, 2017, 208
  • B. KC, M. Ruth, Estimation and Projection of the Institutional Building Electricity Consumption, Energy and Buildings, 143, 2017, 43-52
  • V.B.K. Olsen, B. Momen, S.M. Langsdale, G.E. Galloway, L. Link, K.L. Brubaker, M. Ruth, R.L. Hill, An Approach for Improving Flood Risk Communication Using Realistic Interactive Visualization, Journal of Flood Risk Management, 2016
  • S. Motesharrei, J. Rivas, E. Kalnay, G. Asrar, A. Busalacchi, R. Cahalan, M. Cane, R. Colwell, K. Feng, R. Franklin, K. Hubacek, F. Miralles-Wilhelm, T Miyoshi, M. Ruth, R. Sagdeev, A. Shirmohammadi, J. Shukla, J. Srebric, V. Yakovenko, N. Zeng, The Essential Need for Bidirectional Coupling of Earth System and Human System Models, National Science Review, 3, 2016, 470-494
  • S. Königstein, M. Ruth, S. Gössling-Reisemann, Stakeholder-informed Ecosystem Modeling of Ocean Warming and Acidification Impacts in the Barents Sea Region, Frontiers in Marine Science, June 2016, 3(93), 2016, 1-13
  • R. Fazeli, M. Ruth, B. Davidsdottir, Temperature Response Functions for Residential Energy Demand - A Review of Models, Urban Climate, 2016, 45-59
  • T. Yuanhong, M. Ruth, D. Zhu, Using the IPAT Identity and Decoupling Analysis to Estimate Water Footprint Variations for Five Major Food Crops in China from 1978 to 2010, Environment, Development and Sustainability, 16(5), 2016, 1-21
See Google Scholar Profile for all publications »

Related News

September 29, 2017

CSSH/CEE Professor Matthias Ruth and MIE Professor Ozlem Ergun suggest how Puerto Rico can rebuild their electricity infrastructure to better handle future hurricane and storm seasons.

January 31, 2017

Northeastern University is one of 18 “forward thinking and influential institutions” selected by the USDOT to focus on exploring the challenges facing land and transit systems in America’s Northeast.

June 21, 2016

The report from the Boston Research Advisory Group on Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Projections for Boston was recently released where CEE Associate Professor Auroop Ganguly lead the Extreme Temperatures team, which included Professor Matthias Ruth and alumni Evan Kodra (E'14, CEO of Northeastern spinout risQ).