Brian Fath


Brian Fath

Contact Info

Science Complex 5109


B.S. Physics & B.S. Aeronautics, Miami University
M.S. Environmental Science, Ohio State University
Ph.D. Ecology, University of Georgia

Areas of Expertise

Systems ecology, network analysis, sustainability, environmental assessment


The goal of my research is to understand better Sustainability Science, which I address using three different approaches: network analysis, integrated environmental assessment, and complex systems science. Sustainability Science is a critically important area that encompasses a broad range of research interests including ecosystem services, biodiversity, natural resources, human cultures, and specific environments. I use network analysis to investigate thermodynamic sustainability indicators. These indicators are often referred to as ecological goal functions, which are used to describe the direction of development that ecosystem properties such as energy or exergy flow, biomass production, or respiration undergo during succession. These metrics help understand the overall behavior and health of that system and its response due to perturbations. A main advantage to using network analysis is the ability to view the ecosystem as a connected web of interactions. I like to think that it is a more holistic approach because it considers the behavior of individual compartments as embedded in a larger network of interactions. I am also interested in how ecosystems interact with human systems and vice versa. Integrated environmental assessment is an interdisciplinary and social process linking knowledge and action in public policy aimed at identifying and analyzing interactions of natural and human processes which determine both the current and future states of environmental quality.

Recent Publications


Fath BD, Jørgensen SE. 2020. (Editors) Handbook of Environmental Management. 6 Volumes. 2nd edition. Taylor and Francis.

Nielsen, SN, Fath BD, Bastianoni S, Marques JC, Müller F, Patten BC, Ulanowicz RE, Tiezzi E, Jørgensen SE. 2020. A New Ecology: Systems perspective 2nd edition. Elsevier.

Fiscus DA, Fath BD. 2019. Foundations for Sustainability: A Coherent Framework of Life–Environment Relations. Academic Press. London.

Fath BD (Editor in Chief). 2018. Encyclopedia of Ecology 2nd edition. Elsevier, London. 4 Vol.

Journal Articles

Rosales FO, Fath BD, Llerena GY. 2023. Quantifying a virtual water metabolic network of the Metropolitan District of Quito, Ecuador using ecological network methods. Journal of Industrial Ecology  
Fath BD, Strelkovskii N, Wang S, Chen B. 2023. Assessing urban carbon metabolism using network analysis across Chinese and European cities. Cleaner Production Letters 4, 100042. 
Liu L, Lei Y, Fath BD, Hubacek K, Yao H, Liu W. 2022. The spatio-temporal dynamics of urban resilience in China's capital cities. Journal of Cleaner Production 379 (Part 1), 134400, 
Oliveira BM, Boumans R, Fath BD, Harari J. 2022. Coastal ecosystem services and climate change – case study for integrated modeling and valuation. Global Ecology and Conservation. 
Abduragimova P, Fath BD, Gulas C, Katzmair H. 2022. Participatory approach for assessing institutional resilience: A case study of crises in Austria. Environment, Development and Sustainability. 
Auad G, Fath BD. 2022. Towards a flourishing blue economy: Identifying obstacles and pathways for its sustainable development. Current Research in Environmental Sustainability, 4, 100193, 

Courses Taught

  • BIOL 105 Environmental Biology 
  • BIOL 306 Human Ecology and Sustainability 
  • ENVS 604 Ecosystem Ecology