Honours for young PIK scientists

12/31/2014 - Jonathan Donges of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research received the Wladimir Peter Köppen Prize for his achievements in modelling the climate system. The award of the Cluster of Excellence CliSAP (Integrated Climate System Analysis and Prediction) in Hamburg honours outstanding doctoral theses of young scientists under the age of thirty years. The jury described Donges dissertation, submitted to Berlin’s Humboldt University, as an innovative and outstanding contribution to current climate research.
Honours for young PIK scientists
Jonathan Donges received the Wladimir Peter Köppen Prize. Photo: PIK

Donges investigated whether simplified models can be used to gain an understanding of the climate system. To do so he described its essential structure using a network of subcomponents like atmosphere, ocean and land surface, which mutually influence each other. With the help of theoretical tools such as network analysis and graph theory, he was then able to analyse and interpret our planet’s complex geophysical-environmental changes. He can use this method to describe fundamental climate-system processes more simply. In future this could simplify calculations thereby saving time and resources.

PIK scientist Christian Otto also received a prize for his doctoral thesis on nonlinear dynamics of semiconductor lasers: the annually awarded Springer Thesis Award for outstanding doctorates. A highly endowed scholarship of the James S. McDonnell Foundation, the Postdoctoral Fellowship Award in Studying Complex Systems, was granted to Jakob Runge of PIK.

Link to the Wladimir Peter Köppen Award

Link to the Springer Thesis Award

Link to the Fellowship of the James S. McDonnell Foundation