Woodcut of Fish   Wolfgang Lucht   ·   CV
Logo of PIK Chair Research Domain I
Earth System Analyis
Logo of Potsdam University Alexander von Humboldt Chair
in Sustainability Science

Research
· CV · Publications · Functions · Lecturing · Press · Contact


Mini-Bio

Wolfgang Lucht is Co-Chair of "Earth System Analysis", one of four Research Domains at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Potsdam, Germany. He is also the Alexander von Humboldt Chair in Sustainability Science at the Department of Geography at Humboldt University in Berlin. In 2016, he was appointed a member of the German federal government's Advisory Council on the Environment (Sachverständigenrat für Umweltfragen der Bundesregierung, SRU). In 1993 he obtained his doctoral degree from the
University of Kiel for research in solar system physics. He went on to spend several years as a postdoc and Research Assistant Professor at the Department of Geography and Center for Remote Sensing of Boston University, USA, where he worked as a group leader contributing land surface science to NASA's leading environmental monitoring sensor, MODIS. He joined the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research in 1999 and went on to lead the institute's Research Group on the Global Biosphere and then PIK's Research Domains on "Earth System Analysis" and "Climate Impacts and Vulnerability". Among his previous functions are membership of the European Space Science Committee, speaker of the German Climate Change Research Programme DEKLIM, member of the Advisory Board for Austria's Sustainability Research Programme ProVision, and member of the German National Committee on Global Change Research. He is currently a member of the German Comittee for Future Earth, the Program Committee Earth Observation of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and the Governing Council of the cross-faculty Centre for Excellence on "Transformations of Human-Environment Systems (THESys)" at Humboldt University Berlin. He has been a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) 4th and 5th Assessment Reports and a lead author on its Special Report on Renewable Energies. A physicist turned geoecologist and sustainability scientist, Wolfgang Lucht's work addresses the future of the biosphere, the effects climate and land use change on global landscapes, the interaction between human societies and the Earth's environment, sustainability and Earth system analysis. 


Personal Data
 
Name: Wolfgang Peter Lucht, born Wanner
Photo of Wolfgang Lucht
Born:  May 30,1964 in Sindelfingen
Legal Status: married, 1 daughter 
Photo: Markus Wächter, Berlin; copyright free; click for here for high resolution.

Alternative photo 1 high res here; Markus Wächter, Berlin; copyright free

Alternative photo 2 high res here; Klaus Welp, Helsinki; copyright free

Alternative photo 3 high res here: Frederic Batier, Berlin; copyright free


Basic Education
 
1970-1972 Elementary School in Mainz
1972-1974 Elementary School in New York State, USA
1974-1976 Junior High School in Mainz
1976-1983 Secondary High School in Mainz-Gonsenheim
1983 Graduation (Abitur)


University Education
 
1983-1989 Enrolled in physics at the University of Kiel 
1990 Diploma (M.Sc.)
  Field: Theory of scattering, galactic dynamics, vector programming 
  Topic:  Numerical simulation of N-body systems, equilibrium states of gravitationally bound ensembles 
  Institution: Institute for Nuclear Physics of the University of Kiel, Department of Mathematical Physics (Prof. K.O. Thielheim)


Doctoral Studies
 
1990-1993 Doctoral studies at the University of Kiel in physics 
1993 Doctoral Degree (Grade average magna cum laude, dissertation with distinction)
  Field: Theory of scattering and transport, evaluation of satellite data, solar physics 
  Topic:  Solar energetic proton scattering and the spatial structure of magnetic field turbulence in the inner heliosphere
  Institution: Institute for Nuclear Physics of the University of Kiel, Department of Extraterrestrial Physics (Prof. G. Wibberenz)


Postdoctoral & Academic
 
1993 Research Scientist
  Dept. for Extraterrestrial Physics, Institute for Nuclear Physics, University of Kiel 
  Tasks: Magnetohydrodynamics, international cooperation
1994-1996 Research Associate
  Center for Remote Sensing and Department of Geography, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  Tasks: Development of operational algorithms for the routine processing of data for bidirectional reflectance distribution function and albedo of the land surface for the NASA satellite remote sensing sensor MODIS
1996-1998 Research Assistant Professor
  Center for Remote Sensing and Department of Geography, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  Tasks: Project scientist for global BRDF and albedo data products for the NASA satellite remote sensing sensor MODIS; derivation of biophysical variables from remote sensing data, global vegetation mapping, theory of light scattering, field validation, sensor technology, mission planning, scientific coordination
1999-2000 Research Scientist
  Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research, Potsdam
  Tasks: Coupling of biogeochemical vegetation models with satellite remote sensing data; global carbon cycle, biosphere models, plant phenology; analysis of time series of satellite data
2001-2003 Senior Research Scientist
  Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research, Potsdam
  Tasks: Interaction of climate, vegetation and the global carbon cycle; synoptic evaluation of a dynamic global vegetation model and long time series of satellite data; anthropogenic impacts on the biosphere; coupling carbon models and remote sensing for Kyoto monitoring; construction of a "Sustainability Geoscope" for the observation of global trends in sustainability; perception of landscapes on the global scale
since 2003 Research Group Leader
Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research, Potsdam
Tasks: Interaction of climate, vegetation and the global carbon cycle; synoptic evaluation of a dynamic global vegetation model and long time series of satellite data; anthropogenic impacts on the biosphere; coupling carbon models, remote sensing, land use and economic models; perception of landscapes on the global scale, earth system analysis and sustainability science
 2007-2008 Chair, PIK Research Domain I on Earth System Analysis
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam
Tasks: Scientific, financial and administrative coordination of one of 4 PIK research fields (Co-Chair: Stefan Rahmstorf), with around 35 members. Research topics range from paleoclimate, future climate and astrobiology to land use change, biosphere tranformation, anthroposhpere-biosphere interaction in the Anthropocene and macroeconomics.
since 2008 Chair, PIK Research Domain II on Climate Impacts and Vulnerabilities
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam
Tasks: Scientific, financial and administrative coordination of one of 4 PIK research fields (Co-Chair: Helga Weisz), with around 100 members. Research topics include global biosphere and agrosphere modelling, regional climate, hydrological and ecosystems modelling, socioeconomic analysis, sustainability, adaptation to climate change, climate impact metrics and mapping, perspectives in development, urban and rural dynamics
since 2012 Chair, PIK Research Domain I on Earth System Analysis
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam
Tasks: Scientific, financial and administrative coordination of one of 4 PIK research fields (Co-Chair: Stefan Rahmstorf), with around 50 members. Research topics are comprensive Earth system modelling, atmosphere, ocean and cryosphere dynamics in the past and under anthropogenic climate change, biosphere change under global change and interaction with the sociosphere, paleoclimate, ecosystem stability, tipping points, sustainability.
since 2004 Professorships
2004 Professorship (C4/W3) of Geoinformatics offered at the Institute of Geography at the University of Mainz (list placement 1; declined)
2005
apl Professor of Biosphere Dynamics and Earth System Research at the Institute of Geoecology, University of Potsdam
2006 Guest professor (summer term), Institute of Social Ecology, Klagenfurt University, Vienna, Austria
since 2009 Alexander-von-Humboldt Chair in Sustainability Science, Geographical Institute, Humboldt University, Berlin


Scientific Projects
 
1990 Collaborator in BMFT project HEKODA: Helios Coordinated Data Evaluation (Prof. G. Wibberenz)
1992-1994 Collaborator in DFG project: Acceleration and transport of energetic solar particles (Prof. G. Wibberenz, Prof. R. Schlickeiser)
since 1994 Collaborator in NASA project: Development and implementation of an operational algorithm for global retrieval of land surface bidirectional reflectance and albedo from space (EOS MODIS) (Prof. A.H. Strahler)
1997-1999 Collaborator in US government project: Algorithm development for the National Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) (Dr. C. Schaaf)
1997-2000 Co-Investigator of NASA/JPL project: Key factors that determine the clear-sky top-of-atmosphere reflected solar radiation flux (Dr. R. Kahn)
1999-2000 Co-Investigator in BMBF project: European Ecosystems 1989-1998: Quantitative analysis using satellite remote sensing data (Prof. W. Cramer)
since 2001 Principal Investigator in BMBF project (DEKLIM programme): Climate, Vegetation and Carbon (CVECA): Seasonal and Long-Term Coupled Dynamics
2001-2003 Lead Coordinator of PIK project "Geoscope Preparatory Project"
2002-2005 Co-Investigator in the EU's Framework Programme 5 Project "Siberia-II" on carbon accounting using satellite data and models in Siberia (C. Schmullius, University of Jena)
2004-2006 Lead Coordinator of PIK project "Scenarios of Expanded Human Use of the Biosphere (BIOS-X)"
2004-2006 Partner in the Austrian Science Funds' Global Human Appropriation of Net Primary Production 1700-2000 (Prof. Helmut Haberl)
2005-2009 Co-Investigator in the EU's Framework Programme 6 Project "MATISSE: Methods and Tools for Integrated Sustainability Assessment"
2006-2008 Coordinator of the Leibniz Association's Excellence Initiative Project "Biosphere, Society and Global Change"
2006-2009 Co-Investigator in the EU's Framework Programme 6 Project "GEO-Bene: Global Earth Observation Benefit Estimation: Now, Nexct and Emerging"
2009-2011 Coordinator of the Leibniz Association's Excellence Initiative Project "BioEnergy Planet"
2010-2014 Core Co-Investigaor of the BMBF project "GLUES: Global Assessment of Land Use Dynamics on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Ecosystem Services", Coordinating Part A of the BMBF's Programme on Sustainable Land Use Management
2012-2015 Co-Investigator in the EU's Framework Programme 7 Project "POLFREE: Policy Options for a Resource-Efficient Economy"
2013-2016 Investigator in the DFG Schwerpunkprogamm on Climate Engineering, Project "CE-LAND: Climate Engineering on Land: Potentials and side-effects of afforestation and biomass plantations as instruments for carbon extraction"
2013-2016 Funding from the Stockholm Resilience Centre's Programme "Planetary Boundaries Research Lab" for the development of planetary boundaries research and modelling.


Scholarships
 
1981 1st-place state and 3rd-place national winner in science competition "Jugend Forscht" in physics
1981 Helmut-Lange-Scholarship for attending the International Summer University at the Weizman Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
1982-1988 Scholarship of the German National Merit Foundation
1992 Scholarship of the State of Schleswig-Holstein for the advancement of young researchers


Science Team Memberships
 
1997-1999 Associate Science Team Member, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), Earth Observing System (EOS), NASA 
since 1999 Selected Data User for the ESA satellite sensor MERIS (albedo, carbon cycle)
since 2000 Adjunct Science Team Member, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), Earth Observing System (EOS), NASA 
2003 Carbon-3D proposal science team for a BRDF+VCL instrument (DLR)
since 2005 BIOMASS proposal science team for a P-Band radar (ESA)


Teaching Experience
 
1986-1988 Teaching Assistant in theoretical physics at the University of Kiel:

Theoretical electrodynamics (2 terms)

Theoretical optics and theory of relativity (2 terms)

Theoretical thermodynamics (1 terms)

1989-1990 Seminar Moderator at the University of Kiel:

Advanced-level seminar on galactic dynamics (1 terms)

Interdisciplinary seminar on disarmament and arms control (2 terms)

Instruction in the use of computers in scientific research (2 terms)

2003-2004 Lecture on "Carbon Cyle and the Biosphere", Institute for Geoecology, Potsdam University (senior level, 2 h/week)
2004 Seminar of "Earth System Analysis", Institute for Geoecology, Potsdam University (senior level, 2 h/week)
2004-2005 Lecture and Exercise on "Introduction to Earth System Modelling", Institute for Geoecology, Potsdam University (senior level, 2 h/week)
2005 Seminar on "Recent Literature on Global Change", Institute for Geoecology, Potsdam University (senior level, 2 h/week)
2005-2006 Lecture on "Biosphere Dynamics Using Remote Sensing and Modelling"
2006 Seminar on "Earth System Analysis: Coevolution of the Biosphere"
2006 Guest professor, Institute of Social Ecology, University of KLagenfurt at Vienna, Austria; Lecture and Seminar on "The Future of the Biosphere: Biogeochemistry and Earth System Analysis"
2006-2007 Lecture on "Earth System Modelling: Biosphere"
Seminar on "Earth System Modelling: Biosphere"
2007 Seminar on "New literature on Global Change"
2007-2008 Lecture on "Earth system analysis for geoecologists"
2008 Seminar "Earth System Analysis"
2008-2009 Lecture "Earth System Analysis for Geoecologists"
2009 Lecture "Earth system analysis, climate change and sustainability"
2009-2010 Lecture "Earth system analysis and sustainability"
2010 Seminar "Earth and societies as complex systems"
2010-2011 Lecture "Earth as a Complex System"
2011 Seminar "Recent Literature on Global Change"
2011/12 Lecture "Earth as a Complex System"
2012/13 Lecture "Earth as a Complex System"
2013 Lecture "Earth System Modelling and Global Change"
2013/14 Lecture "Earth as a Complex System"
2014 Lecture "Earth System Modelling and Global Change"
2014/15 Lecture "Earth as a Complex System"
2015/16 Lecture "Earth as a Complex System"
2016 Seminar/Lecture Readings in Sustainability Science
1994-2000 Supervision of master's and doctoral students:

at Boston University:
Baojin Zhang (M.A., 1995); Baoxin Hu (Ph.D., 1997); Andrew Hyman (M.A., 1998); Nicholas Strugnell (Ph.D., 2000)

at PIK/Potsdam University:
Christoph Müller (Ph.D., 2007), Birgit Schröder (Ph.D., 2008), Stefanie Rost (Ph.D., 2009), Philipp Porada (M.Sc., 2009)

at PIK/Humboldt University:
Tim Beringer (Ph.D., 2011),
Sibyll Schaphoff (Ph.D., ongoing), Ursula Heyder (incomplete), Jens Heinke (ongoing), Lena Boysen (ongoing), Vera Heck (ongoing)

at other universities:
Christian Beer (Ph.D., 2005), 
Maria Gehne (Free University Berlin, M.Sc., 2006)

Membership in Ph.D. committees:
Gerhard Meister (University of Hamburg, 2000), Ulrich Beisl (ETH Zurich, 2001), Alexander Lotsch (Boston University, 2004), Anja Klisch (University of Potsdam, 2004), Sönke Zaehle (University of Potsdam, 2005), Christoph Müller (University of Potsdam, 2006), Joachim Post (University of Potsdam, 2008)

since 1980 Numerous talks and guest lectures at home and abroad


Committee Memberships
 
1981-1983 Member of Board of the Astronomical Association Mainz e.V.
1986-1993 Main organizer of the Discussion Roundtable on Science and Peace Kiel
1990-1992 Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute of Nuclear Physics at the University of Kiel as representative of the scientific employees
1994-2002 Land science team of the NASA satellite sensor MODIS
2000-2004 Member, European Earth Observation Panel EEOP (expert for land and biosphere), European Earth Science Committee (ESSC) of the European Science Foundation (ESF)
2002-2005 Co-speaker of the German Climate Research Programme DEKLIM for the section of "Climate Variability and Predictability"
2004-2007 Member, Steering Committee of the UK's Natural Environmental Research Council's "Centre of Excellence" CLASSIC (Climate and Land-Surface Interactions Centre)
2004-2009 Member, Advisory Board of Austria's Sustainability Research Programme "proVision" of the Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Culture
Advisory Board, IMAGE Model, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (MNP), The Netherlands, since 2006
2006 Member, Advisory Board, IMAGE Model, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (MNP), The Netherlands
2006-2007 Contributing Author, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC AR4), Working Group II, Chapter 4 (Ecosystems, their properties, goods and services); Expert Reviewer of WGs I and III.
2008-2011 Lead Author, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Special Report on Renewable Energy (IPCC SRREN), Chapter 2 (Bioenergy).
2009 Member, International Scientific Steering Committee, 8th International Carbon Dioxide Conference
2009-2013 Member, German National Committee on Global Change Research (NKGCF)
2009-2011 Member, Management Committee EU COST Action "The Terrestrial Biosphere
in the Earth System (TERRABITES)", Working group chair "Human land use"
since 2010 Member, Scientific Advisory Board, GAIA (the journal)
2010 Chair, Evaluation Committee for the Climate Change Research Programme FICCA, Academy of Finland, 2010
2010 Selection Committee, Junior Professorship Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Dept. of Geography, Humboldt University Berlin
since 2011 Contributing Author, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fifth Assessment Report (IPCC AR5), Working Group I, Chapter 12 (Long-term climate change: Projections, commitments and irreversibility)
2011-2014 Member, Editorial Board, Journal "Regional Environmental Change" (Springer)
2011-2013 Member, European Alliance of Global Change Committees (delegate for Germany)
since 2012 Editor, Earth System Dynamics (Journal)
since 2013 Member, Program Committee Earth Observation, German Aerospace Center (DLR)
since 2013 Member, German Committee for Future Earth, German Science Foundation
since 2016 Member of the German Federal Government's Advisory Council on the Environment (Sachverständigenrat für Umweltfragen der Bundesregierung, SRU)


Research at Foreign Institutes
 
1981  Weizman Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel (4 weeks)
1984-1990 Summer universities of the German National Merit Foundation, Italy (six times 2 weeks)
1991 Institut of Geophysics, National Autonomous University of Mexico City, Mexico (6 weeks)
1992, 1993 Bartol Research Institute, University of Delaware, USA (2 weeks each)
1994, 1996 Institute for Remote Sensing Applications, Beijing, and Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, Changchun, Chinese Academy of Science, China (twice 2 weeks)
1994-1998 Postdoc at Boston University, Boston, USA (5 years)


Additional Qualifications
 
Programming Advanced C-Programming, Fortran, Unix; image processing ERDAS-Imagine, RSI-IDL/ENVI
Software Development Author of the software tool Ambrals that is used by research groups worldwide for the semiempirical modeling of vegetation reflectance and for the inversion of satellite data (1994, 1998). Original author of the operational BRDF/Albedo data processing algorithm of NASA for the satellite sensor MODIS (1995, 1998)
Languages German and English, basic Finnish, a little French, some Latin
Reviewer Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Global Change Biology, Journal of Climate, Climatic Change, Earth Interactions, Tellus, Journal of Applied Meteorology, Geophysical Research Letters, Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres, IEEE Transactions in Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Remote Sensing of the Environment, Agronomie: Agriculture and Environment, Remote Sensing Reviews, Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Environmental Management, NASA. IGBP/IHDP/WRCP, ESF-ESSC, UK NERC, Austria BM-BWK, Finnish Academy.
Industrial Experience 1983-1986 Work study at IBM plant Mainz (seasonally)
Other Interests Poetry and other literature; geography; landscape perception and cultural-political theory of landscape, theory of science



For the list of Publications click here.