Archive - Speakers 2021

Barrêto, Samuel
is a National Water Manager in The Nature Conservancy - TNC Brazil. He has 28 years of experience in the environmental area and joined The Nature Conservancy in Brazil in March 2014, initially to lead the Water for São Paulo Movement, a TNC-led initiative to strengthen the water security in Brazil’s largest city – “The Green Blue Water Coaltion”. In less than one year he was promoted to a Water Manager to take the strategy to the next level. He is member of The Latin American Water Funds Partnerships, Brazil Section of World Water Forum, member of the Steering Committee of the Water Governance Observatory (OGA), the Water Working Group of the Global Compact Brazil – part the Union Nations Network and writer of the “ Um Só Planeta” (One Planet) platform.

Samuel is a Biology graduate from the University of the State of Sao Paulo, with a major in limnology (freshwater studies), and holds a Master´s in Sustainability from the Foundation Institute of Administration (FIA), linked to the College of Economics and Business Administration (FEA) of the University of São Paulo (USP). He also holds several certifications and technical exchanges in Brazil and abroad, covering topics such as water management, water footprint and water stewardship.
Bismuth, Christine
is scientific coordinator at the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences.
Her professional career has included leading non-governmental organizations (Solidarity Water Europe/Solidarité Eau Europe) as well as working in scientific institutions such as the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. At the Federal Environment Agency she developed criteria for the sustainable development of water management and presented them to a broad international audience.
As a generalist at the interface of political consulting, science and social actors, she dealt with concepts for the resolution of structural and institutionally conditioned path dependencies.

Selected publications:

+ Sustainable Water Management in Germany
+ RhineNet a Guidance Document for Public Participation
+ Interdisciplinary Working Group of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science
Blanchon, David
A Professor at the University Paris Nanterre, David Blanchon’s research centers around environmental geography with a focus on water issues, using not only the traditional "physical" geography, but also "human" geography, such as the management and development of water resources in urban et rural settings. He is currently in “delegation CNRS” at the IRL Iglobes in Tucson, Arizona (September 2019-August 2021).
He was a founding member of the Reseaux d’Etudes et d’Echange en Sciences Sociales sur l’eau at the University of Nanterre in 2012 ((, during his IUF project Hydrosystems and hydropolitics du Cap à Khartoum. He has published several papers and books about water policy, such as recently Géopolitique de l’eau: entre conflits et cooperation (2019, awarded as best essay at Festival de Géopolitique de Grenoble in 2020) and L’Accès à l’eau en Afrique : vulnérabilités, exclusions, résiliences et nouvelles solidarités (2019).
Bookhagen, Bodo
is a Professor for Remote Sensing in the Institute of Geoscience at the University of Potsdam. Prior to that, he has been a tenured faculty member for ten years in the Geography Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He was a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University and the University of California, Santa Barbara. He holds a PhD degree in geology and a degree in computer science. His research interests are in understanding transport processes within the Earth (vertical tectonics) and on the Earth’s Surface (geomorphology), specifically driven by hydrologic and atmospheric processes. He conducts research focused on quantifying Earth-Surface Processes using (1) remote sensing data and techniques; (2) in-situ and field measurements; (3) geochemical approaches; (4) time series and data analyses; and (5) numerical modeling approaches. He designed and build up the international MSc Remote Sensing program at the University of Potsdam aimed at educating the future generation of earth scientists. and
Diekmann, Bernhard
has been head of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) research centre in Potsdam since 2015, and is an Adjunct Professor of Quaternary Geology at Potsdam University since 2012. A passionate geologist, he focuses on historical climate and environmental change, which provides insights into the environmental changes which can be expected in the future. His interests also include the rapid climate change in the polar regions and providing information about it to the general public. He is Senior Chief Editor of the open-access journal Polarforschung (translate: polar science). Diekmann has long-term experience as a geo scientist, particularly in the field of geological evidence of global changes in the Alps, East Africa, the Antarctic Ocean, Siberia and the Tibetan Plateau. In the past few years, he has become increasingly active as a scientific communicator.
Fader, Marianela
is the deputy director of the International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change, located at the German Federal Institute of Hydrology in Koblenz, Germany. Her scientific background is in physical geography, more specifically, in modelling of climate change impacts on water and food security. She leads studies in the area of the Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystems Nexus, climate change impacts on water resources and food security, and the Sustainable Development Goals. Geographically, Dr. Fader is specialized in water-related topics of the Mediterranean region, and at global scale. She also leads various international researcher groups, teaches special classes at summer schools and universities, and supervises master theses in cooperation with various universities. More information under
Gerten, Dieter
is a trained geographer (diploma 1997) and freshwater ecologist (PhD 2001). Presently he holds a position as Coordinator for Earth Modelling and Head of the Working Group “Terrestrial Safe Operating Space” at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and is at the same time Professor for Global Change Climatology & Hydrology at the Geography Department of the Humboldt University of Berlin. He has long-standing experience in water, biosphere and climate change research with a current focus on planetary boundaries. His publications – including more than 120 peer-reviewed papers as well as several books – span a range of topics such as climate change impacts on freshwater resources, water–vegetation interactions, water and climate change in religions, as well as food and bioenergy production within planetary boundaries.
Gornott, Christoph
is an agricultural scientist, leader of the working group Adaptation in Agricultural Systems at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and chair of the department Agro-Ecosystem Analysis and Modelling at the University of Kassel. He conducts interdisciplinary research aiming to improve food security and resilience in tropical agricultural systems and investigates climate impacts on agriculture and strategies of how the agricultural sector can respond to changing climatic conditions. His research evolves around the three pillars of risk monitoring, management and transfer with a particular focus on crop yield forecasting, climate adaptation strategies and insurance solutions for sub-Saharan Africa. He has attracted and is leading more than 20 research projects and works closely with a diverse set of institutions active in international development cooperation and other relevant stakeholders.
Guse, Bjoern
works currently as postdoctoral researcher in the Section Hydrology (Lead: Prof. Bruno Merz) at the GFZ Potsdam in the DFG Research Unit SPATE.

He has studied geo-ecology at the University of Potsdam and worked from 2006-2010 at the GFZ Potsdam. In 2010, he finished his PhD in Hydrology. From 2010 to 2017, he has worked in two research projects at the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel in the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources Management (AG Prof. Nicola Fohrer). In 2021, he has finished his habilitation in Physical Geography and Hydrology at the CAU Kiel.
Dr. habil. Bjoern Guse has expertise in flood statistics and hydrological modelling at the catchment scale as well as in diagnostic model analyses, sensitivity analysis and model calibration. Moreover, he has experience in water quality modeling and eco-hydrological model cascades.
Haas, Armin
is a senior researcher in the Systemic Risk project of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam (IASS). His research foci concern financing the sustainability transition, modelling the mobility transition, using decision theatres for stakeholder dialogues, and innovative contributions to the management and governance of systemic risks. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany. Before joining IASS, he worked as senior scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and headed the research group Bayesian Risk Management.
Armin Haas is co-founder and treasurer of MCII, the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative, and co-founder of TheCompensators*. Together with colleagues from PIK and IIASA, he conceived the SuperSmart Grid.
Hovius, Niels
has degrees in Geology and Physical Geography from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands and a doctorate from the University of Oxford. After short postdoctoral stints at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and the Pennsylvania State University, he joined the University of Cambridge, where he taught Earth Sciences from 1999 to 2012. During this time he was a fellow of Churchill College. In 2012, Niels joined the German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ, to set up an interdisciplinary team working on Earth Surface Dynamics. At the GFZ, he has coordinated Earth surface and climate research from 2017 to 2020, and currently is its acting Executive Scientific Director. In addition, Niels is professor of geomorphology at the University of Potsdam. Niels is a founding member and past president of the Geomorphology Division of the EGU, a founding chief editor of the EGU open access journal Earth Surface Dynamics, and was the long-time chair of the EGU Outreach Committee. He was a visiting professor at the ETH Zürich, the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, the University of Oslo, Norway, and the University of Rennes, France, and he has long been an associate researcher at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. Many alumnae of Niels' Cambridge and Potsdam groups now hold faculty positions across Europe and in the USA.

Combining geomorphological, geophysical and geochemical techniques and approaches, Niels pursues research interests in erosion and its role in geodynamics and global biogeochemical cycles, with a focus on active mountain systems. Amongst his fundamental contributions are demonstrations of the role of landsliding in mountain belt erosion, chemical weathering and organic carbon mobilization, quantifications of erosion and organic carbon fluxes on orogenic scales, constraints on bedload abrasion and tool and cover effects in bedrock rivers, and seismological explanations of patterns and trends in earthquake-induced mass wasting. Niels was among the first to use cosmogenic radionuclide approaches to obtain catchment erosion rates and to reconstruct paleo-erosion histories. He is leading the development of environmental seismology. For his work, Niels has received the Bagnold Medal of the European Geosciences Union and several other awards.
Lenz, Josefine
is a polar scientist (PhD in Geology) with a background in permafrost research and the study of lakes. Multiple summer and winter expeditions to Arctic Alaska and Canada have shown her the beauty and vulnerability of these remote regions. Recently, Josefine had the great pleasure to lead the MOSAiC School, a 6-week “summer” training program on a Russian icebreaking vessel in the Central Arctic sea ice supporting the MOSAiC Expedition. Fostering the next generation of polar scientists and communicating the importance of polar research to a wider audience has been a key element on Josefine’s professional path.
Currently, Josefine is the Executive Director of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and leads the outreach project “Permafrost Change” at AWI Potsdam.
Lobanova, Anastasia
is a scientist at Hydroclimatic Risks Group, working on issues of water availability under climate change, capacity building and stakeholder engagement. She holds a diploma in Water Systems Engineering from Russia, a Master of Hydroinformatics from Germany/UK and a PhD from TU Berlin. She worked on climate impact assessments in different parts of the world - Europe, Asia, Africa and has developed capacity building programs in the fields of hydrological and climate change modelling for different stakeholder groups. Currently, she is leading the Green Central Asia Project @ PIK, which is a part of the Green Central Asia Initiative of the Foreign Office of Germany. Within this project her team aims to bring together climate science and capacity building to ensure a safer future in Central Asia and Afghanistan.
Löw Beer, David
is heading the project "Social Change and responsive policy advice" together with Johannes Staemmler. The goal of the project is to develop and apply democratic means in the social and economic transformation that is accelerated by the end of coal mining.
He studied international economics and political science in Tubingen, Germany and Niteroi, Brazil. Then, David Löw Beer worked in a comprehensive school for two years. He received his PhD in 2015 from the University of Koblenz-Landau after being a Visiting Scholar at the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont. His PhD focused on teacher education in economics from the perspective of ecological and environmental economics.
His current research includes financing the socio-ecological transformation, economic and political education for sustainable development, and governance structures of the transformation. He has published in Ecological Economics, Leviathan, Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaften (Magazine for Political Sciences), Sustainability Science, and Zeitschrift für ökonomische Bildung (Magazine for Economic Education), among others, and has given numerous seminars at universities and colleges. He is also chairman of the Fair Rubber association.

Merz, Bruno
is Head of the Section Hydrology at GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences and Professor for Engineering Hydrology and Management of Georisks at the University of Potsdam. His main research interest is flood risk assessment, integrating hazard and vulnerability aspects. He has also published on related topics, such as detection and attribution of hydrological change or monitoring and simulation of hydrological and hydraulic processes. He has coordinated several large-scale research projects on natural hazards, such as the ‘German Research Network for Natural Hazards’, or the European Training Network ‘System-Risk’. He is AGU Fellow and received the EGU Plinius Medal.

Motagh, Mahdi
was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1975. He received the B.Sc. degree in Surveying Engineering and the M.Sc. degree in Geodesy from the University of Tehran in Iran, in 1998 and 2002, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in Earth Sciences from the University of Potsdam, in Germany, in 2007. As of 2007, he was a Postdoctoral Scientist in various departments of GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences in Potsdam, where he became a Permanent Research Staff in 2011. In 2017, he became a Professor for radar remote sensing with Leibniz University Hannover in Germany. His research interests are concerned with the use of radar remote sensing data to investigate processes related to various types of geological phenomena and engineering applications such as active tectonics, landslides, floods, groundwater extraction/injection, underground mining, glacier motion and ice mass change, dam stability, and anthropogenic activities in urban areas.

Mutafoglu, Konar
An environmental economist by training, Konar joined the IASS in June 2017 as a senior research associate. Within the Science Platform Sustainability 2030, he contributes to scientific studies and other output formats and engages with stakeholders from academia, policymaking, the business community, and civil society.
Konar holds a PhD in economics from TU Berlin, where he worked on the economics of water resources management under conditions of climate change and extreme weather events. Prior to joining the IASS, he was a researcher at the Institute for European Environmental Policy in Brussels, where he worked on nature protection policies in the European Union, with links to health and urban development, and on sustainable development strategies, including indicators to assess wealth and well-being.
Earlier, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, where he analysed how extreme climatic events are affecting coastal regions and communities. He also worked at the German Development Bank, supporting its climate change and climate finance strategy, particularly regarding the water sector.
Neumann, Barbara
is a senior research associate at the Ocean Governance Research Group of the IASS. Her area of expertise is in the field of human-environment interactions, sustainable development and governance of coastal and marine areas. She holds a PhD in geography from Saarland University, and was postdoctoral researcher at Kiel University and with the Cluster of Excellence "The Future Ocean" in Kiel, Germany, before joining the IASS in 2017. There she undertook research on sea-level rise impacts, sustainability and governance of coastal areas and gained substantive experience in interdisciplinary research and teaching. Her interest in the climate change and ocean nexus has recently gained traction through a H2020 research project on ocean-based net emission technologies, OceanNETs, where she is involved as principal investigator on ocean-governance. In her current work she further addresses specific issues relating to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, the “ocean goal”, such as how to enhance collaborative processes at the science-policy-society interface.

Niestroy, Ingeborg
is a geographer, worked as planner for transport projects, and has ever since been interested in governance questions of environmental integration and sustainable development. In her Ph.D. thesis she described decision-making processes with Strategic Environmental Assessment with a special focus ofplanning processes for waterways (river Elbe) and dredged material disposal (San Francisco Bay).
She has some 20 years of experience in the science-policy-society interface of the sustainable development arena, both as apractitioner and researcher. sShe worked at EU level, in European and international cooperations as well asinter alia as director of EEAC, the European network of advisory councils for environmental policy and sustainable development, in the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), in the civil society alliance SDG Watch Europe and the European Commission's multi-stakeholder platform on Agenda 2030. She has (co-)authored, lead and collaborated in a number of studies on governance for sustainable development, including a comparative study of nine EU member states one for the European Parliament on SDG implementation in all EU member states (2019), and for the members of the Central European Initiative (CEI) - a set of EU, Western Balkan and EaP countries (2020).

Since 2019 she has been with the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam, Germany, first as senior fellow and now as scientific staff member both in the transdisciplinary team, and in the secretariat of the German ‘Science Platform Sustainability 2030’. Her key research interests are geography of governance for sustainable development, improving the multi-sector,- level and –actor links and cooperations in different contexts.
Nitze, Ingmar
is a post-doctoral researcher and expert for earth observation at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Potsdam, Germany.
His main interest is the observation and analysis of landscape processes and dynamics using applying novel Machine-Learning and Artificial Intelligence techniques. Such changes include for example fire, erosion or vegetation dynamics in the Polar Regions. He is particularly focusing on Arctic permafrost regions, such as Siberia, Alaska or Canada, to analyse the impact of the changing climate on permafrost and to project its consequences. Besides analysing satellite data, Ingmar participated in several land and flight expeditions in Alaska and Siberia
Pausch, Franziska
is a marine biologist, specialised in the ecology and bio geochemistry of Southern Ocean phytoplankton. In February 2021, she joined the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) as a project officer in the EU Horizon 2020 project ARICE (Arctic Research Icebreaker Consortium) and supports the APECS International Directorate Office in administrative tasks. During her studies at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Franziska had the chance to join an interdisciplinary research expedition on RRS James Cook expedition crossing the Atlantic as well as an expedition on a RV Polarstern expedition to the Southern Ocean. Since she has a great passion for science communication, especially on topics connected to climate change, Franziska is a co-founder of AWIs4Future, a regional group of Scientists for Future. As part of the AWIs4Future core team, she won the AWI prize for science communication 2020.
Reese, Ronja
is a trained mathematician (master in 2013) and climate physicist (PhD in 2018). Currently, she is a postdoc at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in the working group on Ice Dynamics and in the Future Lab on Earth Resilience in the Anthropocene. She investigates ice dynamics in Antarctic and Greenland with a focus on sea-level projections, interactions between the ice sheet and the surrounding ocean, ice-shelf buttressing and ice sheet (in)stabilities.
REICHLE, Ingeborg
is a contemporary art historian and cultural theorist and currently a Senior Fellow at IASS working about art, science and sustainability. In recent years she served as Professor in the Department of Media Theory at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and as founding chair of the Department of Cross-disciplinary Strategies (CDS), designing an integrated BA study programme on applied studies in art, science, philosophy, and global challenges. Her current area of research and teaching is the encounter of the arts with cutting-edge technologies such as biotechnology and synthetic biology, taking also into account artistic responses to systemic risks and global challenges such as climate change and ecological collapse in order to develop a critical understanding of the role of twenty-first century arts. Before joining the faculty of the Department of Media Theory as full professor in 2016, she was FONTE professor at Humboldt University Berlin. In 2004 she gained her Ph.D. from the Humboldt University Berlin with the dissertation Kunst aus dem Labor, published in 2005 with Springer publishers, at Humboldt University Berlin she also gained her habilitation in 2013. She is the author of a number of books including Art in the Age of Technoscience: Genetic Engineering, Robotics, and Artificial Life in Contemporary Art, Springer, Vienna 2009 and Plastic Ocean: Art and Science Responses to Marine Pollution, De Gruyter, Berlin, Boston 2021. In addition to her research and teaching she is advising a number of institutions like the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia (NanoARTS) and the sci-art programme NaturArchy at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra, Italy (the European Commission's science and knowledge service).
Reinecke, Robert
is a postdoctoral researcher in the working group Hydrologic Systems of Prof Thorsten Wagener at the University Potsdam. He is an early career scientist with expertise in global groundwater resources, large scale hydrologic modelling, global climate impact assessments, sensitivity analysis, and content distribution systems. His research made fundamental contributions to the development of global groundwater models and the development of flexible content distribution networks in the field of computer science. He is the founder and former CEO of two successful enterprises.
Dr Robert Reinecke holds a PhD in geosciences from Goethe University Frankfurt and a bachelor and master degree in computer science from TU Darmstadt. He joined the University Potsdam in 2021 as PostDoc after working as deputy director and lead scientist at the International Centre of Water Resources and Global Change (ICWRGC), a UNESCO Category 2 centre. Before that, he worked at the Goethe University Frankfurt and TU Darmstadt as a scientific researcher.
Rockström, Johan
is Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Professor in Earth System Science at the University of Potsdam. He is an internationally recognised scientist on global sustainability issues and led the development of the Planetary Boundaries framework for human development in the current era of rapid global change.

Professor Rockström is a leading scientist on global water resources, with more than 25 years experience in applied water research in tropical regions, and more than 150 research publications in fields ranging from applied land and water management to global sustainability. He is i.a. member of the European Commission expert group: Mission Board for Adaptation to Climate Change including Societal Transformation, Chair of the Earth Commission and is elected member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

Schmidt, Falk
has been the head of Secretariat of the German Science Platform Sustainability 2030 since 2017. In the previous years, he has worked on transdisciplinarity and he served as academic officer of IASS Executive Director Klaus Töpfer. Falk studied philosophy, business and law at the Freie Universität Berlin and holds a PhD in political science.
is professor for Knowledge Cultures and Media Environments in the Department of European Media Studies at the University of Potsdam, Germany. She studied art and media studies as well as media art and philosophy in Karlsruhe, London and Berlin. After initially working as a graphic designer, she worked from 2000 to 2007 at the research department "The Technical Image" at the Humboldt University in Berlin, where she received her doctorate. Since 2009, she has been researching in the context of fellowships at the European Media Studies Department of the University of Potsdam as well as in Munich, Weimar and Cambridge, UK. Her current research focuses are images and perceptions of nature, ecology and climate change, diagrams, data graphics and maps as well as images of ecology. Publications: „The Technical Image“ (Cambridge 2015); „Image Politics of Climate Change“ (Bielefeld 2014), “Klimabilder” (Berlin 2018). She recently published the platform
Schuch, Esther
joined the IASS in January 2021 as a postdoc for the ISIGET project which analyses the risks and benefits of the clean energy transition for countries of the global south. She holds a PhD in Environmental and Natural Resource Management from Wageningen University (WUR). She worked in the MARine MAnagement and Ecosystem Dynamics under Climate Change (MARmaED) project. Her research focused on the governance of social-ecological systems and sustainable management of natural resources in Europe and Cambodia. Previously, she studied the potential of microfinance for poverty alleviation with a specific focus on renewable energy. Further, she holds a MSc in Political Economics from Trier University, a BSc in Social Sciences from Trier University and a BA in European Studies from Maastricht University. She also worked as a consultant for the private sector on defining Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategies and non-financial risk management.
Schulz, Alexander
is a post-doctoral researcher (PhD in Physics) at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Potsdam, Germany. His scientific focus is the physics of the Arctic atmospheric boundary layer (AABL). He is strongly experienced in conducting in-situ measurements of the AABL structure and the Earth's surface energy budget in the field. He conducted several own field campaigns on Svalbard during and after his PhD with international partners. In 2020, he joined the MOSAiC campaign where the RV Polarstern drifted 1 year through the central Arctic. Alexander was responsible for several experiments on the ice including mobile turbulence measurements (so-called eddy covariance method) and various measurements with the novel distributed temperature sensing technology (DTS) on a tethered balloon platform, on towers and in the upper ocean.
Thieken, Annegret
Since October 2011, Annegret H. Thieken has been Professor of Geography and Disaster Risk Research at the University of Potsdam. With a background in Environmental Sciences she has researched on water-related risks over the past 25 years at Germany’s Climate Service Center, the University of Innsbruck (Austria), the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) and the University of Halle. Her research has dealt with a broad range of topics in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, e.g. e.g. probabilistic flood risk modelling, analysis and modelling of losses, multi-risk studies as well as evaluation of mitigation measures including property-level mitigation and flood insurance. Up to now, she has (co-)authored more than 100 internationally reviewed papers ( and many other contributions in proceedings and books. In December 2015, she was elected president of the German Committee for Disaster Risk Reduction (DKKV) and was responsible for DKKV’s strategy until December 2019.
Trescher, Dino
is a risk and science communication scholar in the Systemic Risk research group at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam (IASS). His research foci concern systemic interdependencies of nature, technology and society, especially the nexus of risk and ethics assessment. He is currently researching REconciling sCience, Innovation and Precaution through the Engagement of Stakeholders (RECIPES). Before joining the IASS he led quantitative and qualitative risk benefit perception research projects at the Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and contributed to the further development of the German National Sustainable Development Strategy. Prior to this he led numerous risk perception research projects in the department Sociology of Risk and Risk Benefit Appraisal at the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). He holds degrees in Science Communication (M.Sc.) from Technische Universität Berlin and Media and Communication Management/Journalism (B.A.) from DHBW Ravensburg. He served many years as a science journalist and editor at the interface of science, technology and society, is a stipendiary of the Robert Bosch Foundation and lectures scientific writing.

Unger, Sebastian
leads work on Ocean Governance at the IASS. He has a background in biology and political science and 15 years of experience in international ocean policy. His research focuses on global governance processes for ocean sustainability, including the development of a new international agreement for marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the governance of deep seabed mining. He joined the IASS in 2011 as a scientific coordinator for IASS Founding Director Professor Klaus Töpfer. He was appointed Deputy Secretary to the OSPAR Commission, the international convention for the Protection of the North‐East Atlantic, in 2007. In that role he was instrumental in developing the world's first network of marine protected areas on the 'high seas' and participated in negotiations on new international legislation in the fields of marine biodiversity, impacts of human activities, and the offshore oil and gas industry. He also served at the German Federal Foreign Office, where he coordinated international maritime affairs.

Wagener, Thorsten
is the Alexander von Humboldt Professor of Hydrologic Systems at the University of Potsdam. He is an internationally recognized hydrologist who has published over 150 peer-reviewed journal papers and several books on the development, evaluation and use of hydrologic models. Over the last 20 years, he has made fundamental contributions to hydrologic predictions in gauged and ungauged basins, he has developed new algorithms and software packages for model evaluation and for uncertainty attribution using sensitivity analysis, and he has developed a novel process-based hydro-epidemiological model to better understand the spreading of infectious diseases under climate change. Prof Wagener holds a PhD from Imperial College London and studied at TU Delft and the University of Siegen. He joined the University of Potsdam in 2021 after working at the University of Bristol, the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Arizona.

Zens, Josef
is head of press and public relations at the German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam. From the end of 2011 until March 2016, he led the Communications Department at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC). Prior to that, he was press spokesperson for the Leibniz Association (2008 to 2011).

He has worked in journalism and science communication for more than thirty years. He is a trained daily newspaper editor and worked for five years as member of the science section at the daily paper Berliner Zeitung (1998 to 2002). He studied geography, meteorology and economics at the Free University of Berlin and the University of Minnesota, graduating with a diploma. From 2003 to 2008 he was responsible for the press relations of the Forschungsverbund Berlin. Since 2000, he has regularly taught courses at universities (print journalism or science communication and science journalism). He has held teaching positions at the University of Applied Sciences in Mittweida, at the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences, at the Humboldt University in Berlin, at the Technical University in Berlin and at the KIT in Karlsruhe. In 2010, science journalists elected him science press spokesman of the year. He is currently chairman of the Helmholtz Association's Press Working Group. He is a member of the think tank “Siggener Kreis”, he coordinates a competence team “science communication” within the Berlin journalists’ union and he is an alumnus of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation.