Dr. Asaf Tzachor

School of Sustainability Founded by Israel Corp. ICL

Areas of expertise

  • Dr Asaf Tzachor joined the School of Sustainability in 2020, as an Associate Professor. He arrives from the University of Cambridge, where he continues to conduct research at CSER, CSaP, and at the Cambridge Global Food Security Research Center.

    Asaf's research interests span a variety of topics within science and technology policy, sustainability sciences, global risks, and emerging technologies. His current interest is in food systems' dependencies, distortions and asymmetries. His work aims to better understand what shocks might threaten food security, what the consequences of such disruptions may be, and how we can work to mitigate these risks; with a focus on the design, development and (safe) deployment of emerging technologies, including future foods systems, intelligent agents (AI), big data, digital twins, and autonomous machines.

    His research has been covered by leading international newspapers and magazines, including The Times, The Washington Post, Financial Times (FT), Forbes, The Telegraph, TED, Popular Science, WIRED, MIT Technology Review, Inverse, The BBC, BBC Science Focus Magazine, The Council on Foreign Relations, The Daily Mail, Agence France-Presse, Deutsche Welle, ABC, and in Israel, by Ha'aretz, TheMarker, Ma'ariv, Globes, N12, The Times of Israel, Yedioth Ahronoth, and Ynet.

    He completed his post-doctoral work on Extreme Risks and the Global Environment at the University of Cambridge. He wrote his doctoral research in UCL Faculty of Engineering Sciences, STEaPP, and studied Environmental Sciences in the University of Oxford. He was a Research Scholar at Columbia University in the City of New York, and a Lord Weidenfeld Scholar in Balliol College, Oxford.

    His policy-related work includes collaborations with the Governments of Germany, Finland, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, the World Economic Forum, UN Environment, UNDP, UNFSS, the OECD, the World Bank, and CGIAR. He conducted field-work in Japan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, Spain, Iceland, Canada, Texas, Costa Rica, and Jamaica.

    Outside academia, Asaf served as Head of Strategy and Sustainability at the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) of Israel. In this position, he led the strategic arm of the principal environmental organization in the country, and contributed to several nationwide initiatives spanning several domains. These include the development of national wellbeing, sustainability and resilience indicators, in collaboration with the OECD, the Prime Minister's Office, CBS, and Bank of Israel; the design of Israel's environmental justice strategy, a multi-billion core initiative of the Ministry; and, leading the Ministry's strategy for GHG emission reduction and energy efficiency.

    In addition, he initiated the application of behavioral sciences in national policy design, and represented the government in Harvard University's Behavioral Insights Group, and the OECD, oversaw the Ministry's sustainable urbanism strategy to develop some 300 policy instruments, and introduced the capital approach for sustainability in national policy making.
  • Tzachor, A., Richards, C., Jeen, S. (2022). Transforming agrifood production systems and supply chains with digital twins. Nature Portfolio Journal Science of Food. 


    Tzachor, A., Sabri, S., Richards, C., Rajabifard, A., Acuto, M. (2022). Potential and limitations of digital twins to achieve the sustainable development goals. Nature Sustainability.


    Tzachor, A. (2022). Novel foods for personal and planetary health. Nature Food


    Tzachor, A., Devare, M., King, B., Avin, S., hÉigeartaigh, S.O. (2022). Responsible Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture Requires Systemic Understanding of Risks and Externalities. Nature Machine Intelligence


    Tzachor, A., Smidt-Jensen, A., Ramel, A., & Geirsdóttir, M.. Environmental impacts of large-scale Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) production in Hellisheidi geothermal park Iceland: life cycle assessment. Marine Biotechnology.


    Tzachor, A., Richards, C.E., Holt, L. (2021). Future foods for risk resilient diets. Nature Food


    Mani, L., Tzachor, A., Cole, P. (2021). Global risks from low magnitude volcanic eruptions. Nature Communications


    Tzachor, A., Richards, C.E. (2021). Future foods for urban food production. Palgrave Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Futures. Palgrave Macmillan, Springer Nature.


    Jobin, A., Man, K., Damasio, A., Kaissis, G., Braren, R., Stoyanovich, J. Van Bavel, J., West, T., Mittelstadt, B., Eshraghian, J., Costa-jussà, M., Tzachor, A., et al. (2021). AI reflections in 2020. Nature Machine Intelligence


    Tzachor, A. (2021). Selected topics in the capital approach to sustainability. Monograph of 94 pages. Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities (IASH).


    Tzachor, A. (2021). Natural capital and critical natural capital in Israel. Monograph of 63 pages. Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities (IASH).


    Tzachor, A. (2021). Barriers to AI adoption in Indian agriculture: an initial inquiry. International Journal of Innovation in the Digital Economy.


    Tzachor, A., Rozen, O., Soliman, K., Jensen, S., Avni, D. (2021). Photosynthetically controlled Spirulina, but not Solar Spirulina, inhibits TNF-a secretion: potential implications for COVID-19 related cytokine storm therapy. Marine Biotechnology


    Beard, S., Holt, L., Tzachor, A., et al. (2021). Assessing Climate Change’s Contribution to Global Catastrophic Risk. Futures


    Adler, D., Tepper, S., Tzachor, A. (2021). Nutritional security in a changing climate. INSS and Tel Aviv University Press


    Tzachor, A., Whittlestone, J., Sundaram, L., hÉigeartaigh, S.Ó. (2020). Artificial intelligence in a crisis needs ethics with urgency. Nature Machine Intelligence.


    Tzachor, A. (2020). Artificial intelligence in agricultural supply chains. Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), International Center for Tropical Agriculture.


    Tzachor, A. (2020). Famine dynamics: the self-undermining structures of the global food system. Global Relations Forum, and the Council on Foreign Relations.


    Tzachor, A. (2020). A capital theory approach should guide national sustainability policies. Cambridge Journal of Science and Policy.


    Tzachor, A. (2019). The future of feed: integrating technologies to decouple feed production from environmental impacts. Industrial Biotechnology.


    Tzachor, A. (2019). Down the hunger spiral: pathways to the disintegration of the global food system. Council on Foreign Relations.


    Carrero, R., Acuto, M., Tzachor, A., Campbell, B., Subedi, N., Long-Seng, T. (2018). Tacit networks, crucial care: informal networks and disaster response in Nepal's 2015 Gorkha earthquake. Urban Studies.


    Moomaw, W., Berzin, I., Tzachor, A. (2017). Cutting out the middle fish: marine microalgae as the next sustainable Omega-3 fatty acids and protein source. Industrial Biotechnology.


    Tzachor, A., Carrero, R., Acuto, M. (2017). Social capital and disaster risk reduction: a research agenda. City Leadership Lab, Research Paper Series. University College London.


    Tzachor, A., Carmon, O., Ahraham, R., Proactor, G. (2017). Assessment of greenhouse gas emission reduction potential at the buildings sector and suggested policy instruments. Ministry of Environmental Protection (Hebrew).


    Tzachor, A. (2016). Measuring resilience. Ministry of Environmental Protection (Hebrew).


    Tzachor, A. (ed.) (2016). Statistical book on national indicators for well-being, sustainability and national resilience. Government of Israel (Hebrew). A conceptual and statistical national book of 243 pages. 


    Tzachor, A. (2016) Finnish wellbeing: is it sustainable? In: For the Next Generations, Parliament of Finland. Publication of the Committee for the Future 5/2016.


    Tzachor, A. (2016). The city works: sustainable urban development and smart cities. Ministry of  Protection (Hebrew).


    Tzachor, A. (2016). Sustaining the quality of life in Israel: a question of capital management. Ecology and Environment (Hebrew).


    Tzachor, A. (2015). On the measurement of sustainability: indicators for wellbeing and sustainability. United Nations Environment Program.


    Belman-Inbal A., Tzachor, A. (2013). National policy and SMEs in technology transfer: the case of Israel. Climate Policy.


    Tzachor, A. (ed.) (2013). Indicators for well-being, sustainability and resilience. The Prime Minister's Office, the National Economic Council and the Ministry of Environmental Protection (Hebrew).