Distinguished Professor Xuemei Bai

B. Sci (Peking University), M. Engineering (The University of Tokyo), PhD (The University of Tokyo), FASSA
Distinguished Professor, Urban Environment and Human Ecology, Fenner School of Environment and Society
ANU College of Science
T: +61 2 61257825

Research interests

Professor Bai's research focuses on several frontiers of urban sustainability science and policy, including:

  • Understanding the structure, function and processes of urban social ecological system
  • Drivers and impacts of urbanization, including impact of landscape urbanization on food   production
  • Urban environmental evolution
  • Urban metabolism-  urban energy, water, food, and material flows and social economic     determinants
  • Cities and climate change
  • Urban policy and governance
  • Urban resilience and cities as complex system
  • Low carbon, eco-city development
  • Sustainability experiments, system innovation, transition and transformation
  • Concept and method development for cross-case analysis 
  • Regional development and environmental policy in China
  • Urban futures in the Anthropocene


Distinguished Professor Bai joined ANU in 2011, as a professor of Urban Environment and Human Ecology at the Fenner School of Environment and Society. Prio to ANU, she was a Senior Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO, visiting professor at Yale University, and senior researcher at environmental research institutes in Japan.  She is a Visiting Professor at The University of Tokyo.

Professor Bai's research focuses on several frontiers of urban sustainability science and policy, including drivers and consequence of urbanization, structure, function, processes, and evolution of urban socio-ecological systems, urban metabolism, urban sustainability experiments and transition, cities and climate change, and urban environmental policy and governance, and cross scale translations between planetary level boundaries and targets into cities.  

Professor Bai authored/co-authored over 100 publications, including several in Nature and Science. She served as a Lead Author for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the Global Energy Assessment, and is a Lead Author for IPBES Global Assessment and IPCC AR6. She delivered invited lectures/seminars at top academic institutions as well as many international conferences and science/policy forums. She supervised award-winning PhD and Honours students. 

Professor Bai is a member of Earth Commission, where she co-leads its Working Group 5 on cross scale  translation of integrated planetary level targets into cities and businesses. She was an inaugural member of the Science Committee of Future Earth where she has been leading the development of the Urban Knowledge-Action Network. She served as the Vice Chair of the Science Committee of the International Human Dimensional Program for Global Environmental Change (IHDP); Science Steering Committee of IHDP Industrial Transformation Core Project; and Steering Committee of US National Academies Sustainable Cities Initiative. She served on the European Research Council assessment panels for Consolidator and Advanced grants, and was a member of Global LafargeHolcim Award Jury for 2018.  She is a Deputy Editor of Global Sustainability, and serves on the Editorial Board of Current Opinion of Environmental Sustainability; Environment; Computer, Environment and Urban Systems; Ecosystem Health and Sustainability; Urbanization; International Journal of Sustainable Cities and Society. 

She is a Fellow of Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia since 2017, and was named one of the World's 100 Most Influential People in Cliamte Change Policy in 2019. She is the 2018 Laureate of the Volvo Environment Prize, and the 2021 Global Economy Prize. 


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  17 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers