Veronika Stolbova visit 2018


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.

During my visit, we had several fruitful discussions with PIK researchers, including my former colleagues as well as new to me researchers from PIK - Dr. Ibrahim Tahri. As a result of these discussions, we were able to proceed with research on the topic of modelling the abrupt transition to monsoon - with Elena Surovyatkina, and extend existing projects in collaboration with Reik Donner and Mark Wiedermann.

In addition, I found that my current research direction in the estimation of the economic impacts of Climate Change is a common topic of interest for both PIK and my current institution - Center of Economic Research at the ETH, Zurich - and I believe that the collaboration between the two institutions can form productive synergies in addressing this important issue.

This visit to PIK was very special for me as an important step of my research career journey. On the one hand, it created new opportunities for research collaborations and new ideas. On the other hand, it also helped me to reflect on the past two years since PIK and observe the directions of the PIK growth and my own evolution as a researcher. It has been an incredible experience and I am very grateful for it.

I intend to keep a strong connection with PIK and its scientists in the future, and strongly hope to be able to keep coming back to my Alma Mater. I am very grateful to PIK Alumni Return program for giving me the opportunity to come back to PIK and I would like to express my gratitude to Prof.Kurths for hosting me in his group at the RD IV during my visit, and Alison Schlums for guiding the PIK Alumni program. It's great that PIK is doing so much to promote collaboration with its alumni and I am sure it will result in a variety of interesting projects with high social impact.