Barbara Reck

Research Scientist

Photo of Barbara Reck



Tel: 203 432-5694

Faculty Support
Timothy De Cerbo, 203 436-4421

Mailing Address
Yale School of Forestry &
Environmental Studies
195 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511



Ph.D. (Dr.-Ing.), Environmental Engineering, TU Berlin, Germany
M.Sc. (Dipl.-Ing. FH), Univ. of Applied Sciences, Bingen, Germany


I study the role of metals in society; where they are sourced from, how they are used, disposed of, and recycled, and the implications thereof on their future availability. By offering comprehensive quantitative and transparent information on metal use I seek to inform strategic decision-making on resource utilization. Based on my early work on nickel and stainless steel, I developed a set of indicators measuring the recycling efficiency of metals at various life stages that has since been applied widely. Detailed life cycle characterizations of metals at various spatial and temporal scales form the basis for supply and demand scenarios until 2050 as well as for criticality assessments. Our group has developed a comprehensive methodology to assess the criticality of metals, and demonstrated its applicability by quantifying the criticality of 62 metals and metalloids at the global level and for the US. One of the findings was that none of the investigated elements has a good substitute for all its major end uses, highlighting the importance of a responsible management of these non-renewable resources.