Barbara Reck

Research Scientist



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 am interested in metals from an industrial ecology perspective. Metals play an important role in modern lifestyles, from transportation and construction, to communication and low-carbon technologies. A recent discussion on the criticality of metals is based on concerns that future supply restrictions may arise for individual metals, posing a potentially limiting factor for future key technologies. These concerns are addressed within Yale’s criticality project, which determines the criticality of 62 metals and develops scenarios for their future demand. My extensive research on metal life cycles is at the core of such criticality assessments, requiring a detailed understanding of mining, metal end uses, and recycling efficiencies. Using case studies of nickel and stainless steel, I have developed detailed metal life cycles at various spatial and temporal scales, encompassing more than 50 countries and the globe, from 1960 to 2010. These results provide powerful insights into shifts in regional metal use, the material intensity of use in different world regions, and recycling efficiencies.