Alumni news, publications, honours


We would be pleased to hear from former members of PIK now at other institutions and in other parts of the world. Write to and tell us your news! You might want to spread the word about your recent publications, about personal achievements, or about research activities you're involved in.

  • October 2021: In the new episode of the podcast ‘Sustain Ability. The Potsdam Dialogues - Science for a Safe Tomorrow’, experts Friederike Otto and Stefan Rahmstorf discuss extreme weather events and attribution science. Friederike, now at the Grantham Institute, is a former member of PIK.
  • October 2021: Warmest congratulations to Professor Klaus Hasselmann on receiving the Nobel Prize in Physics. Prof. Hasselmann was one of the founding fathers of PIK in the early 1990s and is a former member of PIK's Scientific Advisory Board.
  • June 2020: Congratulations to Katrin Vohland, who has been appointed General Director and CEO of the Natural History Museum Vienna. Katrin coordinated the BfN-funded project Schutzgebiete Deutschlands im Klimawandel – Risiken und Handlungsoptionen / Protected areas in Germany in Climate Change at PIK from 2006-2009, before moving to Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.
  • November 2019: "Drivers of Climate Change in Urban India" by Lutz Meyer-Ohlendorf has been published by Springer-Verlag.
  • April 2019: PIK Alumna Friederike Otto's book "Wütendes Wetter: Auf der Suche nach den Schuldigen für Hitzewellen, Hochwasser und Stürmen" appeared in Ullstein Verlag, Berlin. Friederike is Acting Director of the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford.
  • January 2019: Congratulations to two former members doctoral researchers from RD4:
    Kira Rehfeld is leading a new Emmy Noether junior research group on changes in climate variability since the last ice age at the Institute for Environmental Physics, University of Heidelberg, and
    Wu Ye has become a Full Professor at Beijing Normal University.
  • October 2018: Congratulations to PIK Alumnus Christoph Schmitz on receiving a special award for his company, Ackerdemia. Ackerdemia won a Social Entrepreneurship award in the nationwide corporate competition "KfW Award Gründen 2018." Read more ...
  • Stefanie Lyn Becker completed her PhD in Research Domain 2 in July 2018 and has since moved to Frankfurt am Main. Stefanie writes:

I think it is really important to understand and explore research outside of our immediate field because it can open us up to new ways of thinking about our own research. However, it can be really hard to pick up a peer-reviewed journal article in another field, read it and immediately understand it. This is the inspiration behind my podcast, The Sustainable Transitions Podcast. In my podcast I interview academics about their work related to sustainability and climate change, but without all of the jargon found in research articles. This also makes it easier for interested non-academics to have access to the latest research which is often behind pay walls. Also I personally happen to love listening to educational podcasts as a way of killing time while commuting.

It was great to get it started with this project at PIK both because there are people in all sorts of disciplines working on climate change issues and because I was lucky to have supportive colleagues who were willing to be my first interviewees. So far, the podcast has covered topics such as food systems, aerial rivers, and urban gardening. In the future I hope to interview more academics from a diverse range of backgrounds working on sustainability issues along with some practitioners to get their point of view.

The podcast can be found on the Sustainable Transitions Blog: along with show notes and blog posts on the topic of transitions, as well as on Castbox, Blubrry, and Stitcher.