Reiner Wassmann


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IRRI's Coordinator of Climate Change Research Reiner Wassmann

Reiner is climate change expert at IRRI in charge of coordinating IRRI’s research program on rice and climate change, heading the Climate Unit and acting as IRRI contact person for CCAFS (Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security). In these functions, his tasks consist of

  • Streamlining ongoing work at IRRI that is directly and indirectly related to climate change and ensuring sound integration of this work within the CGIAR-programs GRiSP and CCAFS,
  • Initiating new research activities and developing project proposals, and
  • Contributing directly to bilaterally funded projects through coordinating functions or addressing specific research tasks.

Reiner is closely interacting with a range of actors involved in mitigation and adaptation in Southeast Asia, namely international organizations such as the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, policy makers at different levels, development agencies etc.

Reiner’s research portfolio at IRRI encompasses mitigation, adaptation and impact assessment, namely

  • Developing the water-saving technique ‘Alternate-Wetting-and-Drying’ into a practical option for mitigating Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions,
  • Defining guidelines on ‘Measurement, Reporting, Verification’ for mitigation projects,
  • Integrating socio-economic aspects into planning of Climate Change adaptation/ mitigation,
  • Assessing temperature effects on GHG emissions and quantifying emission factors from straw burning,
  • Employing GIS mapping of climate variability for prioritizing regional dissemination of mitigation and adaptation,
  • Developing Decision Support Systems on mitigation/ adaptation through mobile phone apps
  • Leading the CLUES project (Climate change affecting land use in the Mekong Delta: Adaptation of rice-based cropping systems; funded by ACIAR)
  • Contributing to process-based research on element cycles and GHG emissions, e.g. by using Eddy Covariance techniques and facilitating field work of ICON (Introducing Non-Flooded Crops in Rice-Dominated Landscapes: Impact on Carbon, Nitrogen and Water Cycles)
  • Reiner was a technical consultant in the developing a Baseline Methodology for Clean Development Mechanism that has been approved by UNFCCC as AMS-III.AU: “Methane emission reduction by adjusted water management practice in rice cultivation --- Version 3.0”


  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Carbon and nitrogen cycling
  • Climate change impact assessment
  • Adaptation to climate-induced stresses
  • Soil and water management


  • Habilitation (professorial) thesis and 'venia legendi' for agro-ecology at University of Bonn, Faculty of Agriculture (2002)
  • Dr. rer. nat. in Biology (corresponding to PhD), graduated magna cum laude, University of Goettingen, Germany (1987)
  • Teacher exam in Biology, Chemistry and Political Science; scientific examination panel of the state of Lower Saxony, Germany
  • Diplom-Biologe (corresponding to MSc. in Biology), Univ. of Goettingen, Germany (1982)


  • Integrated Expert at IRRI (funded by GTZ, Center for International Migration and Development) (2010)
  • Extended secondments as Internationally Recruited Scientist to IRRI (ca. 12 years in total) (1991-2009)
  • Scientific staff member at Fraunhofer Institute for Atmospheric Environmental Research, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Institute for Metoerology and Climate Research of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (at outpost Garmisch-Partenkirchen) (1987-2009)


  • Member of the Editorial Board of Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems (since 2005)
  • One of the co-authors of the revised IPCC Guidelines (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), "National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Guidelines: Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use" (2004-2006) published in 2007; recognition after IPCC Nobel Prize awarding


  1. R. Wassmann, R.S. Lantin, H.U. Neue (editors) (2000) Methane Emissions from Major Rice Ecosystems, Special issue of 'Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems' (Vol. 58) and as re-print of 'Developments in Plant and Soil Sciences' (Vol. 90)
  2. Wassmann R, Jagadish SVK, Heuer S, G, Ismail, Redoña E, Serraj R, Singh RK, Howell A, Pathak H, Sumfleth K (2009) Climate Change Affecting Rice Production: The Physiological and Agronomic Basis for Possible Adaptation Strategies. Advances in Agronomy 101: 59-122
  3. Wassmann R, Jagadish SVK, Sumfleth K, Pathak H, Howell G, Ismail A, Serraj R, Redoña E, Singh RK and Heuer S 2009. Regional vulnerability of climate change impacts on Asian rice production and scope for adaptation. Advances in Agronomy 102: 91-133.
  4. Zhang, T. Zhu, J., Wassmann R. (2010) Responses of rice yields to recent climate change in China: An empirical assessment based on long-term observations at different spatial scales (1981–2005). Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 150: 1128–1137
  5. Gadde, B., Menke, C. Wassmann, R. (2009) Rice straw as a renewable energy source in India, Thailand, and the Philippines: Overall potential and limitations for energy contribution and greenhouse gas mitigation. Biomass and Bioenergy 33: 1532 – 1546
  6. Alberto MCR, Wassmann R, Hirano T., Miyata A., Kumar A. Padre A., Amante M. (2009) CO2/heat fluxes in rice fields: Comparative assessment of flooded and non-flooded fields in the Philippines. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 149: 1737–1750
  7. Brümmer, C., H. Papen, R. Wassmann, and N. Brüggemann (2009), Fluxes of CH4 and CO2 from soil and termite mounds in south Sudanian savanna of Burkina Faso (West Africa), Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 23, GB1001, doi:10.1029/2008GB003237.
  8. Scheer C., Wassmann R., Lamers J., Martius C., Butterbach-Bahl K. (2008) The Relationship between N2O, NO, and N2 fluxes from Fertilized and Irrigated Dryland Soils of the Aral Sea Basin, Uzbekistan. Plant and Soil 314: 273-283
  9. Brümmer, C., U. Falk, H. Papen, J. Szarzynski, R. Wassmann, and N. Brüggemann (2008), Diurnal, seasonal, and interannual variation in carbon dioxide and energy exchange in shrub savanna in Burkina Faso (West Africa), J. Geophys. Res., 113, G02030, doi:10.1029/2007JG000583
  10. Wassmann R., Pathak H. (2007) Introducing greenhouse gas mitigation as a development objective in rice-based agriculture: II. Cost-benefit assessment for different technologies, regions and scales, Agricultural Systems 94: 826-840

Reiner Wassmann
Dr. Reiner Wassmann

Coordinator, Climate Change Research

International Rice Research Institute
Los Baños, Laguna

+63 2 580 5600 
ext. 2737