Dr. Norbert Marwan

Deputy Head of Department, Working Group Leader

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Complex systems, nonlinear data analysis (recurrence plots, complex networks, 3D image analysis), time series analysis of irregularly sampled time series, interdisciplinary applications with focus on Earth science, paleoclimatology, speleology.

Group leader of working group Development of advanced time series analysis techniques.

Member of the Employees Council.

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Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK)
T +49 (0)331 288 2614
P.O. Box 60 12 03
14412 Potsdam


  • Physics: Univ of Technology Dresden
  • PhD: Univ of Potsdam

Research highlights

  1. Development of the new time series analysis framework of recurrence networks, their use for detection of regime transitions and applications in physiology and climate.
  2. Development of recurrence based coupling analysis, significance assessment of recurrence based data analysis, and recurrence analysis for high-dimensional systems with applications in cardio-respiratory systems, global warming, and monsoon systems.
  3. Complex network analysis of climate data, in particular of extreme states. Identification of characteristic spatio-temporal patterns and teleconnections in monsoon systems as well as development of a prediction scheme for extreme rainfall using the network approach.
  4. Multiscale approach for complex network analysis.
  5. Theoretical justification of complex networks as representatives of atmospheric and ocean circulation. Boundary corrections for spatially embedded networks.
  6. Framework for age-depth modelling of palaeoclimate proxy records and introduction of an “absolute time scale” by transferring dating uncertainties into the proxy domain.
  7. Introduction of the "Transfer cost time series" (TACTS) approach for analysing time series with irregular sampling.
  8. Development of the concept of basin stability for complex networks and application in power grid stability.

Selected publications

(full list: https://www.pik-potsdam.de/~marwan/publications.php)
  1. N. Marwan, M. C. Romano, M. Thiel, J. Kurths: Recurrence Plots for the Analysis of Complex Systems, Physics Reports, 438(5–6), 237–329 (2007).
  2. N. Marwan, J. F. Donges, Y. Zou, R. V. Donner, J. Kurths: Complex network approach for recurrence analysis of time series, Physics Letters A, 373(46), 4246–4254 (2009).
  3. D. J. Kennett, S. F. M. Breitenbach, V. V. Aquino, Y. Asmerom, J. Awe, J. U. L. Baldini, P. Bartlein, B. J. Culleton, C. Ebert, C. Jazwa, M. J. Macri, N. Marwan, V. Polyak, K. M. Prufer, H. E. Ridley, H. Sodemann, B. Winterhalder, G. H. Haug: Development and Disintegration of Maya Political Systems in Response to Climate Change, Science, 338(6108), 788–791 (2012).
  4. N. Boers, B. Bookhagen, H. M. J. Barbosa, N. Marwan, J. Kurths, J. A. Marengo: Prediction of extreme floods in the eastern Central Andes based on a complex networks approach, Nature Communications, 5, 5199 (2014).
  5. N. Molkenthin, K. Rehfeld, N. Marwan, J. Kurths: Networks from Flows – From Dynamics to Topology, Scientific Reports, 4(4119), 1–5 (2014).
  6. H. E. Ridley, Y. Asmerom, J. U. L. Baldini, S. F. M. Breitenbach, V. V. Aquino, K. M. Prufer, B. J. Culleton, V. Polyak, F. A. Lechleitner, D. J. Kennett, M. Zhang, N. Marwan, C. G. Macpherson, L. M. Baldini, T. Xiao, J. L. Peterkin, J. Awe, G. H. Haug: Aerosol forcing of the position of the intertropical convergence zone since ad 1550, Nature Geoscience, 8, 195–200 (2015).
  7. J. Runge, V. Petoukhov, J. F. Donges, J. Hlinka, N. Jajcay, M. Vejmelka, D. Hartman, N. Marwan, M. Paluš, J. Kurths: Identifying causal gateways and mediators in complex spatio-temporal systems, Nature Communications, 6, 8502 (2015)
  8. D. Eroglu, F. H. McRobie, I. Ozken, T. Stemler, K.-H. Wyrwoll, S. F. M. Breitenbach, N. Marwan, J. Kurths: See-saw relationship of the Holocene East Asian-Australian summer monsoon, Nature Communications, 7, 12929 (2016).
  9. B. Goswami, N. Boers, A. Rheinwalt, N. Marwan, J. Heitzig, S. F. M. Breitenbach, J. Kurths: Abrupt transitions in time series with uncertainties, Nature Communications, 9, 48 (2018).
  10. Y. Zou, R. V. Donner, N. Marwan, J. F. Donges, J. Kurths: Complex network approaches to nonlinear time series analysis, Physics Reports, 787, 1–97 (2019).