Prof. Dr. Sander van der Leeuw

Professor of Anthropology and Sustainability,
Arizona State University, United States

tel +1 480-965-6214
mail vanderle(at)

School of Sustainability
Arizona State University
PO Box 875502
Tempe, AZ 85287, United States

Short Profile:

Sander van der Leeuw is the 2012 United Nations Champion of the Earth for Science and Innovation. His expertise lies in the role of invention, sustainability, and innovation in societies around the world. He and his research team investigate how invention occurs, what the preconditions are, how the context influences it, and its role in society. An archaeologist and historian by training, Dr. Van der Leeuw has studied ancient technologies, ancient and modern man-land relationships, and Complex Systems Theory. He has done archaeological fieldwork in Syria, Holland, and France, and conducted ethno-archaeological studies in the Near East, the Philippines and Mexico. Since 1992 he has coordinated a series of interdisciplinary research projects on socio-natural interactions and modern environmental problems. The work spans all the countries along the northern Mediterranean rim. Dr. Van der Leeuw is an External Professor of the Santa Fe Institute and a Corresponding Member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. He teaches courses on the ethnography of innovation.

Selected Publications:

van der Leeuw, S. E., and T. Kohler, eds. 2007. The Model-Based Archaeology of Socio-Natural Systems. School of Advanced Research, Santa Fe, NM.

van der Leeuw, S. E., F. Favory, and J.-L. Fiches, eds. 2003. Archéologie et systèmes socio-environnementaux: Etudes mutliscalaires sur la vallée du Rhône dans le programme ARCHAEOMEDES. Èditions CNRS, Paris. 403 pp.

van der Leeuw, S. E. 1998. The Archaeomedes Project – Understanding the natural and anthropogenic causes of land degradation and desertification in the Mediterranean. Office for Official Publications of the European Union, Luxemburg, 440 pp.

van der Leeuw, S. E., and J. McGlade, eds. 1997. Archaeology: Time, Process and Structural Transformations. Routledge, London. 484 pp.