Curriculum vitae Dr. Jonathan F. Donges (short)


Job experience

2020 - present

2019 - present

  • Co-leader, PIK FutureLab on Earth Resilience in the Anthropocene
  • Group leader, PIK RD1 Working Group on Whole Earth System Analysis
  • Co-speakerCOPAN collaboration
  • Co-lead developer, COPAN:CORE World-Earth modelling framework
  • Co-PI, Leibniz Association project DominoES (Domino effects in the Earth system - Can Antarctica tip climate policy?)
  • PIK research coordinator of ERC advanced grant project ERA led by Prof. Dr. Johan Rockström
  • Researcher at the Planetary Boundaries Research Lab, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University

2013 - 2018

  • Joint Post-Doc, Stordalen Scholar and EarthDoc at Research Domain for Earth system analysis, Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Germany and Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden within Planetary Boundaries Research Lab
  • Co-head of PIK's flagship project COPAN on Coevolutionary Pathways in the Earth system


2009 - 2012

PhD (summa cum laude) with Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Jürgen Kurths in theoretical physics at Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research and Department of Physics, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany

Topic: "Functional network macroscopes for probing past and present Earth system analysis: Complex hierarchical interactions, tipping points, and beyond" (thesis submitted May 2012)


Diplom (Grade: with distinction), M.Sc. equivalent in Physics, University of Potsdam, Germany

2008 - 2009

Final year project on "Complex networks in the climate system" with Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Jürgen Kurths at Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research and Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Potsdam, Germany

2006 - 2007

Year of study at University of California San Diego and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, USA

2005 - 2009

Graduate studies of physics, University of Potsdam, Germany
Subsidiary subject: environmental sciences

2003 - 2005

Undergraduate studies in physics, University of Bonn, Germany
Subsidiary subject: Astrophysics

Awards and honors



Wladimir Peter Köppen Prize 2014, awarded by Cluster of Excellence CliSAP, Hamburg


Friedrich-Hirzebruch dissertation award (second mention), awarded by German National Academic Foundation


Donald L. Turcotte award for outstanding dissertations in nonlinear geophysics, awarded by American Geophysical Union

2010 - 2012

PhD scholarship, awarded by German National Academic Foundation


Falling Walls Lab scholarship, awarded by Falling Walls Foundation and A.T. Kearney


Award for outstanding graduates in Physics (Physik-Studienpreis), awarded by Physical Society of Berlin and WE-Heraeus Foundation

2006 - 2007

  • Scholarship, Education Abroad Program, University of


  • Fulbright scholarship, German-American Fulbright Commission

  • Hölderlin scholarship, German National Academic Foundation

    and Siemens Management Consulting

2005 - 2009

Scholarship, awarded by German National Academic Foundation

1995 - 2001

Six federal state level awards (North Rhine-Westphalia), Jugend Forscht and Schüler Experimentieren science competitions

International experience

2016 - 2019

Several research stays at Princeton University (New Jersey, USA) in the framework of the Princeton-Humboldt Cooperation and Collective Cognition Network (CoCCoN).

2013 - present

Frequent research visits within Planetary Boundary Research Initiative,
Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden

2011 - 2012

Project work on time series analysis of sea level dynamics, funded by German Academic Exchange Service and Portugese Foundation for Science and Technology,
University of Porto, Portugal

2009 and 2011

Speleological and paleoclimatological field work (Indian Speleological Monitoring Expedition),
Cherrapunji, Meghalaya, India


Research visit to Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology,
Pune, India

2006 - 2007

Research project on optimal parameter estimation exploiting synchonization phenomena with Prof. Dr. Henry D.I. Abarbanel,
Institute for Nonlinear Science, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, USA


High school exchange program,
Apalachicola, Florida, USA