Alumni Return Awards 2017/18


Final visit - Friederike Otto

25.09.2018: A last return visit took place in September 2018 when Friederike Otto, Acting Director of the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford and an Associate Professor in the Institute’s Global Climate Science Programme, visited PIK.  Her main research interest is on extreme weather events (droughts, heat waves, extreme precipitation) and she is co-investigator in the international project World Weather Attribution which aims to provide an assessment of the human-influence on extreme weather in the immediate aftermath of the event occurring. During her week at PIK she renewed contacts with former colleagues including host Anders Levermann.

Returnee from China - Professor Zhongke Gao

former DAAD scholar at PIK, spent a month revisiting the institute in August

24.08.2018: Prof. Gao teaches at the School of Electrical and Information Engineering at Tianjin University and is Director of the Laboratory of Complex Networks and Intelligent Systems there.

He writes: I visited PIK 5 years ago as a DAAD scholar. Since then I have established a long and fruitful collaborative relationship with Prof. Jürgen Kurths. I was honored to return to PIK with Alumni Return Awards. During my visit, I gave a talk entitled "Complex network analysis of multivariate time series", and introduced our recent research works in the areas of complex network, deep learning, recurrence analysis, brain networks, artificial intelligence, etc. We had many fruitful discussions with Dr. Norbert Marwan and Prof. Jürgen Kurths. Some novel research ideas have been put forwarded to cope with the new challenges in multichannel time series analysis. Now we are preparing some research papers. In the future, I will further strengthen the collaboration between PIK and the Laboratory of Complex Networks and Intelligent Systems at Tianjin University. Young teachers and Ph.D. students in my lab will visit PIK in the near future. We warmly welcome the researchers from PIK to visit Tianjin University in China.

Return visit - Dr. Veronika Stolbova

24.07.2018:  Veronika completed her PhD on the Indian Summer Monsoon at PIK under Prof. Jürgen Kurths in 2016. After a postdoc position at the University of Zürich she is currently a postdoc at the Center of Economic Research (CER) at ETH Zürich. In July 2018 she returned to PIK and gave a talk on "Winners & losers on the way to decarbonization: the impact of climate change on the financial sector and real economy."

Veronika writes: I spent four wonderful years at PIK working on my PhD thesis on the topic of forecasting the Indian Summer monsoon under the supervision of Prof. Kurths. During my research on monsoon, I was acquainted with crucial impact of climate change on monsoon and, as a result, on Indian economy. In 2016, driven by desire to assess the economic impact of climate change, I joined FINEXUS Center for Financial Networks and Sustainability at Department of Banking and Finance of University of Zurich, and, later, this year – the Center of Economic Research at the ETH Zurich. Now, my research is focusing on developing tools and methods for assessment of economic impact of climate change and finding solutions for the economy that can help to transfer economic losses associated with climate change into opportunities for creating a climate-friendly sustainable economy.

I have always felt intensely grateful for my time at PIK and it has really driven what I have done ever since. It equipped me with the knowledge, necessary skills and way of thinking in applying the ideas to solving real world problems. It had a crucial impact on shaping my research interests. Therefore, an opportunity to return to PIK in the frame of PIK Alumni Return Program was so important for me.

Read more ....

First Return Visit - Dr Alexander Robinson

27.02.2018: In February 2018 Dr. Alexander Robinson made a return visit to PIK to work with PhD student Levke Caesar and other members of RD1.

Alex writes: "I was particularly proud to be able to return with the Alumni Award to PIK almost exactly 10 years after I first started working on Telegrafenberg. Although I have kept in close contact with many colleagues and visit when I can, this visit felt very special. The deep value to my work, as well as to me personally, of maintaining a strong link with PIK really came into focus over course of the week I was there. It gave me the opportunity to forge new collaborations with bright young scientists like Levke, as well as reconnect with colleagues and rekindle old projects. I saw how I have evolved as a scientist and how the institute is growing too. I am very grateful to be a PIK alumnus and I hope to be fortunate enough to keep coming back in the years to come."

Read more about the visit here: First Alumni Return Visit.

Winners of the Alumni Return Awards 2017/2018

18.10.2017: We are very pleased to announce that the following PIK Alumni have won awards and will be returning to collaborate with colleagues here in Potsdam in the coming months:

  • Professor Zhong-Ke Gao, Tianjin University, China (former DAAD scholar at PIK)
  • Professor Friederike Otto, Deputy Director and senior researcher, Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University, United Kingdom
  • Dr. Alexander Robinson, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain, and National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
      • Dr. Veronika Stolbova, FINEXUS Center for Financial Networks and Sustainability in the Department of Banking and Finance, University of Zürich, Switzerland