Speakers

We will present the list of speakers, moderators and work group facilitators with a short bio in alphabetical order to give you an overview about their individual field of expertise. The list will be updated regularly.

Last update: May 19


BELMIN, Camille
is a doctoral researcher in the Future Lab Social Metabolism and Impacts at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and at Humboldt University of Berlin. Her research focuses on the effect of access to modern energy on the fertility transition in low-income countries, and on relevant applications for sustainable development policies. Her main fields of scientific interest include energy in relation to gender and poverty, demography and social metabolism. Her analytical tools are data and statistical analysis, with a focus on survey data, and micro-simulation. In 2021, she participated to the Young Scientist Summer Program of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria. Prior to her PhD, she obtained a Master of Environmental Economics at AgroParisTech/Université Paris-Saclay (France).
BRUHN, Thomas
is a physicist (PhD) working transdisciplinarily at the IASS Potsdam since 2012. His key ambition is to contribute to a changing awareness for sustainable human relations within the Earth System in the Anthropocene.
In the first years at the IASS his research focused on technological topics like climate engineering and the environmental impacts of technologies for utilizing CO2 as a resource (carbon capture and utilization). Since 2016 he is leading the research group AMA (A Mindset for the Anthropocene) on the question how the transformation of mental paradigms and specific qualities like mindfulness and compassion can be integrated into processes for sustainability. Since 2017, he is also working in the team Co-Creation & Contemporary Policy Advice that aims at investigating and designing co-creative processes in the realm of political decision making for coping with wicked problems in the context of sustainability.

Before joining the IASS he did research on semiconductor nanomaterials in Berlin, Rome and Marseille. Beside his research work he is also a trained facilitator and is active in several NGOs, i.e. as a member of the executive board of the German Chapter to the Club of Rome or the German Association of Scientists (VDW).
BUBECK, Philip
works as a senior researcher and lecturer at the Department of Environmental Science and Geography, Potsdam University, with a focus on climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and vulnerability. He is specialized in the development of approaches and methods for the assessment of vulnerability, the design of empirical surveys, and the identification of suitable adaptation strategies at various societal levels. He has more than ten years of experience in participating in and leading national and international research projects in the context of disaster risk management and climate change adaptation, and he has published widely on these topics. In 2021, he was awarded the 2021 RISK Award of Munich Re Foundation in collaboration with UNDRR for the project Strong roots, Strong women, jointly implemented with the Centre for Social Research and Development (CSRD) in central Vietnam. Philip holds a PhD from the Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
CARDOSO, Isadora
is a queer feminist climate activist and expert. She is a fellow with the IASS as of May 2021. Isadora works with and studies inter-sectional perspectives and solutions to the climate crisis. She holds a master's degree in globalisation and development studies and has been working on and researching gender and climate issues over the past six years. She has worked with collectives focusing on gender and climate justice in Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands and internationally.
DONGES, Jonathan
is co-leader of the FutureLab on Earth Resilience in the Anthropocene (www.pik-potsdam.de/earthresilience) at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK, Germany), leader of the PIK working group on Whole Earth System Analysis and co-speaker of the COPAN collaboration (www.pik-potsdam.de/copan). He also holds a researcher position at the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University, Sweden, and is Visiting Research Collaborator at High Meadows Environmental Institute, Princeton University, both in the scope of the Earth Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (www.earthresiliencesustainability.org). Jonathan holds a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Humboldt University Berlin and has published on a variety of topics including Earth system analysis, climatology, paleo-climate, social-ecological systems, complex networks, complex systems theory, nonlinear dynamics, and time series analysis.
GERLACH, Viola
studied Political Science and Sociology in Stuttgart (Germany) and Florence (Italy), and holds a PhD in Sociology. Her research focuses on understanding and strengthening the transformative potentials of entrepreneurship. She works as a facilitator at the international level, bringing together decision-makers and researchers in order to bridge the gap between knowledge and action.

At the IASS, she is involved in both transformation research and transformative research that examines the efforts of entrepreneurs to become responsible actors in the eco-social-system and explores opportunities to support the co-creation of responsible solutions by entrepreneurs, policymakers and scientists.
GLEESON, Sarah A.
received a B.A. (mod.) in Geology from Trinity College Dublin and a Ph.D. in geochemistry from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College London. Subsequently, she held post-doctoral positions at the Natural History Museum, London and the University of Leeds before moving to the University of Alberta, Canada to take up a position as an Assistant Professor in 2001. Since 2016 she is the W3 Professor in Mineral Resources at the Freie Universität Berlin and leads the Inorganic and Isotope Geochemistry Section at the GFZ, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam. She is also the speaker for the Topic “Georesources for the Energy Transition and a High-Tech Society” in the Helmholtz Assocation’s research field Earth & Environment program “Changing Earth - Sustaining Our Future”. Among other awards, she was the Thayer Lindsley Travelling Lecturer (Society of Economic Geologists) and the Distinguished Lecturer of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland in 2019. She is an Associate Editor of the journal Economic Geology and on the Editorial Board of Geochemical Perspectives. She serves on several advisory boards to scientific institutions and on international grant funding panels.
Sarah A. Gleeson has broad research interests in mineral deposit genesis, hydrothermal fluid flow and water rock interaction. In recent times her research has been focused on base metal deposits in sedimentary basins, sedimentary geochemistry, diagenesis and ore forming processes.
GUTOW, Lars
works as a marine biologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven. His research addresses the responses of marine species, ecosystems and biodiversity to a changing environment. A major focus of his current research is on the pollution of the oceans by marine debris, consisting mainly of plastics. He studies the quantities and distribution of debris in the oceans as well as the implications for the marine biota. Together with colleagues, he has editored the Springer book “Marine Anthoprogenic Litter”, which has become an authoritative work in this field of environmental research .
Lars holds a PhD from Free University of Berlin and was based at the Marine Station of the Alfred Wegener Institute at the German offshore island of Helgoland. He conducts regular research expeditions in various regions of the world, including South America, Svalbard and the North Sea.
HELGENBERGER, Sebastian
is research group leader at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam, Germany. In his research work he explores the social sustainability of energy transitions and climate action, such as inclusiveness, ownership and equity, and advises governments on maximizing the social and economic co-benefits of renewable energy for a just transition. Sebastian graduated in Environmental Sciences and received a PhD in socio-economics for his work on the relevance of global warming on investment decisions in small and medium enterprises.


KNAPPE, Henrike
is the scientific lead of the Focal Topic Team ”Justice in Sustainability” at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Potsdam. Previously she was a research associate at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) Essen and held guest fellowships at the University of Washington, Seattle and Stockholm University. Her research interests include representations of the future in global environmental politics, temporality as well as justice claims in climate politics.
KOTZÉ, Louis
is Research Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law, North-West University, SA. He is also Senior Professorial Fellow in Earth System Law at the University of Lincoln, UK. His research encompasses 3 interrelated themes: human rights, socio-ecological justice and environmental constitutionalism; law and the Anthropocene; and Earth system law. He has over 170 publications on these themes. He is assistant editor of Earth System Governance; a Senior Fellow of the Earth System Governance Network and member of its Scientific Steering Committee; and co-convenor of the Network’s Taskforce on Earth System Law. In 2016 he obtained a second PhD at Tilburg University. He is the recipient of several prestigious research awards including among others the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He received a European Commission Horizon 2020 Marie Curie Fellowship in 2018 to lead a project titled: Global Ecological Custodianship-Innovative International Environmental Law for the Anthropocene. He currently serves as the Klaus Töpfer Sustainability Fellow at the Potsdam Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies where he is working on the theme Earth System Law for the Anthropocene.
KRAEHNERT, Kati
is a development economist. She heads the FutureLab “Inequality, Human Well-Being and Development” at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). She has a decade of experience in quantifying the socio-economic impacts of climate change on individuals in the Global South, using state-of-the-art econometric methods. Kati is particularly interested in how weather insurance can be an effective climate adaptation tool for farm holders. Her research builds on carefully designed household panel survey data, most of which she collects with her research group in the field. She holds a PhD in agricultural economics and a MA in social anthropology and economics.
MAR, Kathleen A.
joined the IASS in 2012 and leads the group "Climate Action in National and International Processes (ClimAct)." ClimAct focuses on participation in and understanding of political forums that aim to drive climate action, with a particular emphasis on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC). Kathleen holds a Ph.D. in atmospheric chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and worked at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) prior to joining the IASS. This perspective - combining scientific expertise with practical experience in the world of policy and administration - shapes her approach to both research and policy-oriented work.
MBUNGU, Grace
is a research associate and part of the Focal Topic “Justice in Sustainability” Coordination team at the IASS Potsdam. She holds a PhD from the University of Stuttgart, Germany. Her dissertation examined the factors that enable or hinder sustained access to sustainable and effective cooking energy services, with a focus on the informal settlement of Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya. Grace holds a BA in Political Science and Gender Studies as well as a Master's in Public Administration (MPA) with a focus on human rights and international development from Bowling Green State University, Ohio, USA.
MOORE-DELATE, Elisha
is a skilled development practitioner with more than twenty (20) years of experience working on complex projects in developing countries, including successfully implementing and managing donor-funded energy initiatives in Haiti and sub-Saharan Africa. She holds a master’s in Ecological Economics, University of Edinburgh, UK. Elisha has led several cookstove activities in IDP camps and zones of return s with the largest being for Mercy Corps’ implementation of an ECHO-funded food security and agricultural project in in Goma, DRC which saw the construction and distribution of 42,000 fuel-efficient stoves, tree planting on more than 150 hectares and the production of biomass briquettes. She has also managed funds earmarked for Women’s Empowerment Activities. The results were increased income for participating women; and a greater understanding of ecosystem management to increase harvests and their capacity to benefit/co-exist with free and available natural resources.

Elisha excels at fieldwork with her main expertise being in the design of M&E systems, development of training material and strengthening renewable energy value chains. She is adept at building relationships and collaborating with local partner organizations and government entities.

Elisha is fully fluent in both English and French.
NAGEL, Laura
joined the IASS in November 2017 as a communications officer for the project COBENEFITS, which focuses on the social and economic potentials of an ambitious climate protection programme based on renewable energies. She is interested in opportunity-oriented climate communication as a way to overcome psychological barriers to climate action. Laura completed a Masters in Media and Cultural Studies and worked as a freelancer in public relations for the public-broadcasting institution Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) and as a public relations coordinator for the Goethe-Institut Hanoi. Living in Vietnam's capital, she became more sensitized to the issue of air pollution and developed an interest in clean energy as an opportunity for a better quality of life.
OLIVEIRA, M. Cecilia
is leader of the transdisciplinary Research Group "Democratic Governance and Ecopolitical Transformations” (EcoPol) at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Potsdam. At IASS she previously led the groups “Implementing the Paris Agreement” (2017-2018) and “Democratic re-configurations of sustainability transformations” (2019-2020).
She researches the relationships of democracy and ecopolitics, focusing on topics such as climate change regime, environmental justice, ecopolitical trans-territorialities (rivers, forests, etc) and science and technology studies. The EcoPol group is currently working on a transdisciplinary case study in the Amazon basin. The aim is to identify and reflect on the political dynamics of a region in which the concepts of democracy and sustainability have become the key pillars of an anticipated transformation. Within the Amazon basin, the exploratory arenas of research are Rights of Nature, environmental crises, indigenous activism, knowledge production, populism, and the development of climate policy in relation to the Paris Agreement.
Cecilia obtained her PhD in international relations in 2016 at Pontifical Catholic University in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She developed part of her PhD as a Fulbright fellow at the Earth institute, Columbia University (2013-2014) in New York, with the thesis “Millennium Development Goals: secured life and planetary governmentality.” Another area of expertise and interest is Science Communication, with the aim of unifying art and politics through the development of dialogue forums, documentary films, podcasts, performances and lectures.
PAPE, Judith
is a freelancing social scientist, facilitator and campaigner at the intersection of democracy and climate justice activism.

She holds a M.A. in Sociology from the University of Freiburg i.B. Since her graduation on the discourse phenomenon of "green guilt" as a disempowering and transformation inhibiting factor in neoliberal societies, Judith has been curious about political agency and possible modes of transformative empowerment. At KIEZconnect, she regularly facilitates open neighborhood assemblies, where neighbours learn self-organization and start community projects. With Transformation Haus und Feld she campaigns for the establishment of a socio-ecological Transformation Center at the former airport Tempelhof in the heart of Berlin, where citizens should soon be enabled to learn all skills and solutions for the socio-ecological transitions of the Berlin/Brandenburg area.

At the IASS, Judith investigates one particular solution of the socio-ecological transformation: Public-Commons-Partnerships as a framework for long-term cooperations between public authorities and local communities (commoners).
PAUSCH, Franziska
is a marine biologist, specialised in the ecology and biogeochemistry 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). Within the project, she is involved in the creation of educational materials for the next generation of polar researchers and professionals, and organises and moderates online webinars.
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.
PHAM, My
has over 18 years experience in doing research and development projects in natural disaster mitigation and climate change response, with a background in international and national scale projects. She is skillful in managing projects and research activities at a local level and with disadvantaged people. Her expertise includes natural disaster research and practice at the local level, climate change impacts, adaptive capacity and vulnerability research, gender mainstreaming, social and environmental impact assessment, and community based research.

My was awarded an Australian Scholarship to complete a Masters Degree in Natural Hazards and Disasters at the Australian National University in 2011-2013. Together with CSRD team and the partner - UP Transfer GmbH from University of Potsdam, she was the winner of 2021 Risk Award by the MRF and UNDRR. My gained a DAAD scholarship in October 2021 for undertaking her PhD at the University of Potsdam.
PRADHAN, Prajal
is an expert in food systems, food security, climate change, and sustainable development goals (SDGs). His current research focuses on understanding urban transformations, investigating impacts of climate change on bioeconomy, and identifying interlinkages between bioeconomy and SDGs. Prajal has experience in developing relevant research on climate change and sustainable food systems. Currenlty, Prajal is a PI of the BIO-CLIMAPATHS project. He studied agricultural engineering and environmental management. Prajal was a lead author of the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land and a contributing author of the AR6 IPCC WG III Report and the AR6 IPCC WG II Report.

RACHOLD, Volker
is the Head of the German Arctic Office at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), which serves as an information and cooperation platform between German stakeholders from science, politics and industry. Before moving to the German Arctic Office in 2017, he served as the Executive Secretary of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) in Stockholm and Potsdam since 2006.
Dr. Rachold graduated as a geo-chemist from Göttingen University, where he also obtained his Ph.D. in 1994. Since then he worked with the AWI. His research is focused on land-ocean interactions in the Siberian Arctic and he led several land- and ship-based Russian-German expeditions.
REALPE CARRILLO, Natalia
holds an Ing and PhD from the Institute for Energy Technology at the TU Berlin on the contribution of the microfinance sector to improved energy access developing the Progress out of Energy Poverty Index. For more than a decade, she has worked as a senior project manager and energy consultant in Latin America, Central Asia and Africa, helping to provide access to clean energy in remote rural regions. She co-leads the e-MFP Green Inclusive & Climate Smart Finance Action Group https://www.e-mfp.eu/gicsf-ag, is guest lecturer at the Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences (PAUWES) and at the TU Berlin Campus El Gouna, and is Managing Director of HEDERA Sustainable Solutions GmbH https://hedera.online. In 2021, the start-up received an award for the most promising digital impact management tool in the energy access sector from the Alliance for Rural Electrification. In 2020-2021, she was the Klaus Töpfer Sustainability Fellow 2020-2021 of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies e.V, where she developed and managed the project Impact-Driven and Action-Based Research Project IMPACT-R https://impact-r.org.

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).
SACHSE, Dirk
is the Director of the Research Topic ‘Landscapes of the Future’ at the German Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) Potsdam which seeks to understand the processes that drive landscape evolution over geologic time, under climatic and anthropogenic pressure.
He leads the Organic Surface Geochemistry Lab at GFZ. This group determines the regional impact of abrupt climate change in the recent geological past (since the last Ice Age) and quantifies how surface processes and anthropogenic activities have and will affect the terrestrial carbon cycle. He is interested in transferring this knowledge towards developing carbon sustainable landscapes of the future.
Dirk Sachse studied Geology at the University of Jena, Germany and the Universidad de Granada, Spain. He holds a PhD from the Max-Planck Institute for Bio-Geochemistry and the University of Jena. As a Feodor-Lynen Fellow of the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation he worked at MIT and the University of Washington in Seattle.
SCHNEIDER, Birgit
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 https://re-imagine-climate.com/
SCHUPPERT, Fabian
is professor of political theory at the University of Potsdam (UP). Fabian's primary research interests lie in climate ethics, social (in)justice, and risk ethics. Fabian is one of the founders of the Just Climate Transition network (https://justclimatetransitions.com/), which brings together scholars working on different aspects of climate transition.
In earlier research projects Fabian looked at issues such as land rights in a changing climate, de-territorialising sovereignty when it comes to governing natural resources, and the role of feasibility arguments in climate justice discourses. At the moment, Fabian works together with Janina Walkenhorst (UP) on a project looking at the role of citizen participation in urban climate governance.
ŠEDOVÁ, Barbora
(co-)leads the FutureLab - Security, Ethnic Conflicts and Migration at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). She earned her PhD in Economics at Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change in Berlin and the University of Potsdam and conducted research stays at Columbia and Yale University. In her work, she analyses contextual effects of climate impacts on human (im)mobility and conflicts, applying econometrics, machine learning, GIS and systematic literature review. The overarching goal of her research is to improve adaptation strategies that minimize welfare losses in a changing climate. Dr. Šedová’s work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including World Development and Global Environmental Change and covered by various media (e.g., Deutsche Welle).
TANG, Matthias
studied politics and communications. He has worked as a journalist, was deputy press spokesman for the Green Party parliamentary group in the German Bundestag and, most recently, press spokesman for the Berlin Senate Administration for Environment, Transport and Climate Protection. Since joining the IASS in November 2018 he has been shaping the work of the institute's Press & Communications department together with the team. He finds the IASS focus on the societal know-how necessary for the transformation to a sustainable future particularly exciting.
THONICKE, Kirsten
is Deputy Head of Research Department 1 on Earth System Analysis and Working Group Leader on Ecosystems in Transition of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Her research work focuses on how climate and land-use change transform ecosystems, fire and biodiversity. She is the Speaker of the Leibniz Research Network Biodiversity.

After graduating from the Institute for Geo-Ecology at Potsdam University (Germany) she worked as a Post-Doc at the Max-Planck-Institute for Bio-Geochemistry in Jena (Germany). In 2005 she was offered the Marie Curie Fellowship at the University of Bristol (Great Britain) where she coupled mechanistic global fire models into climate-vegetation models at the School of Geography. Kirsten Thonicke joined PIK in 2007.
TOST, Alexandra
is a research associate of the transdisciplinary Research Group "Democratic Governance and Ecopolitical Transformations” (EcoPol) and part of the Focal Topic “Justice in Sustainability” Coordination team at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Potsdam. She holds a MA in International Development Studies from Philipps-Universität Marburg and a BA in Political Science and Economics from Universität Potsdam.
With the EcoPol group she partakes in the research on the relationships of democracy and ecopolitics, focusing on topics such as climate change regime, environmental justice and ecopolitical trans-territorialities (rivers, forests, etc). The EcoPol group is currently working on a transdisciplinary case study in the Amazon basin. With the Justice Focal Topic she explores distributional, procedural and recognitional justice aspects of sustainability transformations.
Before joining the IASS she worked for several years in political and technical development cooperation in Latin America. During this time, she coordinated multi-stakeholder and transdisciplinary dialogues and knowledge exchange from the local to the international level. Her work focused on sustainable development, environmental participation, social ecological transformation as well as climate policy and adaptation.
TREFFEISEN, Renate
has headed the climate office for polar regions and sea level rise at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in Bremerhaven since 2008. In this function, the former atmospheric researcher develops, among other things, innovative communication formats with which research results from the polar regions can be made usable for decision-makers in politics, business and society. In this important interface function, she also works for the Helmholtz Association for Regional Climate Change and Humans (REKLIM). She is also responsible for the information and data platform seaiceportel.de and the huge adult education project ‘climate fit’. She has a long experience in knowledge transfer activities.

Renate pursued her doctoral studies with a thesis on tropospheric ozone, and explored how air masses transport pollutants and which factors lead to elevated ozone concentrations.
VINKE, Kira
heads the Center for Climate and Foreign Policy at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP).
She also co-chairs the Advisory Board to the German Federal Government on Civilian Crisis Prevention and Peacebuilding. Vinke is affiliated as a scientist with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) where she led the East Africa Peru India Climate Capacities (EPICC) project before joining DGAP.

Until 2018, Vinke was a research analyst to the director of PIK. In this capacity, she worked from 2014 to 2016 as an analyst for the German Advisory Council on Global Change to the Federal Government (WBGU). She provided her expertise as a consultant for the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) and the Asian Development Bank. She has extensive field research experience in South Asia, the Pacific, and the Sahel.
Vinke completed her doctoral dissertation (summa cum laude) at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin on the subject of climate change and migration; her studies were funded by the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes. For her dissertation, she received the “Potsdamer Nachwuchswissenschaftler-Preis,” a prize for young scientists, from the city of Potsdam.