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Curriculum vitae


Kirsten Thonicke

Born: 14 June 1972

Nationality: German





Academic Preparation


PhD (Dr. rer.nat.) in Geoecology:
        Institute for Geoecology, University of Potsdam, Germany, April 2003


Diplom in Physical Geography:
        Institute for Geoecology, University of Potsdam, Germany, May 1997


Professional experience


Speaker of Flagship project "Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Climate Change" in Research Domain 1

Senior scientist, since 01/2008:
Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

  • Scientific coordination in EU-FP7 fire project “FUME” - Forest fires under climate, social and economic changes in Europe, the Mediterranean and other fire-affected areas of the world (from Jan 2010): investigating impact of climate extremes on fire regimes and vegetation vulnerability
  • "TIPI" - Tipping Point Interactions in the Earth System (until Dec 2010): coupling of dynamic vegetation and fire models in Earth System Models of intermediate complexity

    • Coupling dynamic vegetation and fire into land surface schemes of an Earth System Model of Intermediate Complexity to investigate the role of fire and terrestrial vegetation in tipping points

  • Pilot study on calculating fire-related emissions in Germany

    Participation in European fire networks; Participation in EU-FP6 fire IP “PARADOX” (until Feb 2010)


Post-doctoral position, 06/2007 - 12/2007:
Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

  • Vulnerability of fire in Europe, the influence of humans on wildfires
Project: Assessing LArge scale Risks for biodiversity with tested Methods (ALARM)


Marie-Curie-Fellow, 04/2005 – 05/2007:
School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, UK

  • Coupling of mechanistic global fire models in coupled climate-vegetation models
  • Palaeo-climate application of dynamic vegetation-fire model LPJ-SPITFIRE


Project:  Interactions between fire, biosphere and atmosphere in a coupled vegetation-climate system     (IFBACC)


Post-doctoral position, 02/2003- 11/2004:
Global Ecology, Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany

  • Assess and improve the realism of the LPJ representation of fire in European and global natural ecosystems
  • Estimate fire-related, climate-sensitive emissions from biomass burning under paleo- and         contemporary climate conditions.

Project:  EU-FP5 projects ATEAM and COCO (Measuring CO2 from space exploiting planned                        missions 2001-2004).


PhD student, 07/1997-01/2003:
Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

  • Development and verification of fire models for their implementation into Dynamic Global           Vegetation models




Honours and awards

Award for the best Dissertation in 2003/2004, Society of Friends and Promoters of the Potsdam-Institute, Potsdam, Germany, Nov. 2004.

Michelson Award for the best dissertation, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, University of Potsdam, Germany, June 2003

Nominated for Young Researcher Award of the Leibniz Association, Nov. 2003

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