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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

  • M. Ruth, O. Özgün, J. Wachsmuth, S. Gößling-Reisemann "Dynamics of Energy Transitions Under Changing
    Socioeconomic", Technological and Climate Conditions in Northwest Germany, Ecological Economics, 111, 2015, 29-47 
  • S. Qiu, M. Ruth, S. Ghosh "Evacuated Tube Collectors: A Notable Driver Behind the Solar Water Heater Industry in China", Renewable and Sustainable
    Energy Reviews, 47, 2015, 580-588 
  • M. Ruth, R.S. Franklin "Livability for all? Conceptual Limits and Practical Implications", Applied Geography, 49, 2014, 18-23
  • J. Wachsmuth, A. Blohm, S. Gössling-Reisemann, T. Eickemeier, M. Ruth, R. Gasper, S. Stürmann. "How Will Renewable Power Generation be Affected by Climate Change?, The Case of a Metropolitan Region in Northwest Germany", Energy, 58, 2013, 192–201
  • J. Zhu, M. Ruth. "Exploring the Resilience of Industrial Ecosystems", Journal of Environmental Management, 122, 2013, 65-75
  • J. Zhu, M. Ruth. "The Development of Regional Collaboration for Resource Efficiency: a Network Perspective on Industrial Symbiosis", Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 44, 2014, 37–46
  • E. Douglas, P. Kirshen, M. Paolisso, C. Watson, J.Wiggin, M. Ruth "Coastal Flooding, Climate Change, and Environmental Justice: Identifying Obstacles and Incentives for Adaptation in Two Metropolitan Boston Massachusetts Communities", Mitigation & Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 17(5), 2012, 537-562
See Google Scholar Profile for all publications »

Related News

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).

November 12, 2015

CEE Associate Professor Auroop Ganguly, Professor Matthias Ruth, and alumni Evan Kodra (E'14, CEO of Northeastern spinout risQ) have joined the Boston Research Advisory Group (BRAG) for Climate Ready Boston.