Dr Leonie Wenz

Working Group Leader, Deputy Head of Research Department


Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
T +49 (0)331 288 2568
P.O. Box 60 12 03
14412 Potsdam


Professional Experience

Since 01/2020
Deputy head of research department Complexity Science at Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

Since 09/2019
Head of working group Data-based Analysis of Climate Decisions at PIK

Since 09/2018
Principal investigator of Impactee project (funded by Volkswagen foundation)

Since 09/2012
Fellow at Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) in Berlin

Postdoc at Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ARE) at University of California (UC), Berkeley

Postdoc in working group Global Adaptation Strategies at PIK

Research stay at Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ARE) at University of California (UC), Berkeley


Ph.D. in Climate Physics/Economics
Grade: summa cum laude
Thesis title: Climate change impacts in an increasingly connected world
First supervisor: Prof. Anders Levermann (Physics, University of Potsdam)
Second supervisor: Prof. Maximilian Auffhammer (Economics, UC Berkeley)
Awards: Scholarship by Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, prize for best PhD thesis awarded by Friends & supporters of PIK, Leibniz dissertation award

M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Mathematics at Philipps University of Marburg, Germany
Grade: very good (1.3/A)
Minors: Psychology
M.Sc. thesis in number theory (grade: 1.0/A+; supervisor: Prof. J. Hinz)

Abitur at Gymnasium Edertalschule in Frankenberg, Germany
Grade: 1.0/A+ (valedictorian)

Research Interests
  • Climate and environmental economics
  • Socioeconomic impacts and cost of climate change
  • Cascading effects in trade and supply networks
  • Sustainable development
  • Methods: econometrics, statistics, causal inference, machine learning, mathematical modeling

M. Kotz, S. Lange, L. Wenz, A. Levermann
Changes in mean and extreme precipitation scale universally with global mean temperature across and within climate models
Journal of Climate (submitted) [Working Paper version]

A. Stechemesser, A. Levermann, L. Wenz*
Temperature impacts on hate speech online: evidence from four billion tweets
The Lancet Planetary Health (accepted)

M. Jakob, S. Afionis, [...], L. Wenz, S.N. Willner
How trade policy can support the climate agenda
Science (2022)  DOI: 10.1126/science.abo4207
>> Press releases by MCC and PIK

L. Wenz & S.N. Willner
Climate impacts and global supply chains: an overview [Book chapter]
Handbook on Trade Policy and Climate Change [edited by M. Jakob] (2022).

M. Kotz, A. Levermann, L. Wenz*
The effect of rainfall changes on economic production
Nature (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-021-04283-8

A. Stechemesser, L. Wenz*, M. Kotz, A. Levermann
Strong increase of racist tweets outside of climate comfort zone in Europe
Environmental Research Letters (2021). https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ac28b3

M. Kotz, L. Wenz, A. Levermann
Footprint of greenhouse forcing in daily temperature variability
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2103294118

T. Beaufils & L. Wenz*
A scenario-based method for projecting multi-regional input-output tables
Economic Systems Research (2021). https://doi.org/10.1080/09535314.2021.1952404

M. Kalkuhl, M. Kotz, L. Wenz*
DOSE - The MCC-PIK Database Of Subnational Economic output (Version 1) [Data set]
Zenodo (2021). http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4681306

K. Kuhla, S.N. Willner, C. Otto, L. Wenz, A. Levermann
Future heat stress to reduce people's purchasing power
PLoS ONE 16 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0251210

K. Barton-Henry, L. Wenz*, A. Levermann
Decay radius of climate decision for solar panels in the city of Fresno, USA
Nature Scientific Reports 11, 8571 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-87714-w

>> Selected media coverage: Deutschlandfunk WDR 5 | MDR TAZ Süddeutsche Zeitung

M. Kotz, L. Wenz*, A. Stechemesser*, M. Kalkuhl, A. Levermann
Day-to-day temperature variability reduces economic growth.
Nature Climate Change (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-020-00985-5/
L. Wenz*, A. Levermann, S.N. Willner, C. Otto, K. Kuhla
Brexit no-trade-deal scenario: short-term consumer benefit at the expense of long-term economic development

M. Kalkuhl & L. Wenz
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 102360 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeem.2020.102360

>> Data & code
>> Informed  US White House Council of Economic Advisors White Paper  on climate-related macroeconomic risks
>> Informed NGFS Climate Scenarios for central banks and supervisors
>> Selected media coverage: Frankfurter Rundschau (print) | Heise Online | Business Insider

L. Wenz*, U. Weddige, M. Jakob, J.C. Steckel
Environmental Research Letters 15 (2020). https://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab858d

A. Stechemesser, L. Wenz*, A. Levermann
The Lancet - EClinicalMedicine (2020). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2020.100372
* PhD student in my lab

F. Ueckerdt, K. Frieler, S. Lange, L. Wenz, G. Luderer, A. Levermann
Earth System Dynamics 10 (2019). https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-10-741-2019

H. Ward, L. Wenz, J.C. Steckel, J.C. Minx
Journal of Industrial Ecology 22 (2018). DOI: 10.1111/jiec.12655.

C. Otto, S. N. Willner, L. Wenz, K. Frieler, A. Levermann
Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control 83 (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.jedc.2017.08.001
>> Open source code of acclimate model

L. Wenz*, A. Levermann, M. Auffhammer
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114 (2017). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1704339114.
>> Press release
>> Selected media coverage: Carbon Brief The Guardian Spiegel Online (german) | Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (german) | El País (spanish) | NRC Handesblad (dutch)

L. Wenz
University of Potsdam (2016)
** Dissertation

L. Wenz
World Economic Forum (2016)
*** Popular writing

L. Wenz* & A. Levermann
Science Advances 2 (2016). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501026.
>> Selected media coverage: Washington Post | Bloomberg | The Times of India | Spiegel Online (german)
>> Radio interview discussing the study in Deutschlandfunk (german)
>> Motivated parliamentary enquiry on the resilience of the German economy
>> Response by German government
>> Informed stakeholder dialogue on the indirect effects of global climate change on the German economy organized by the Federal Environmental Agency (UBA)

C. Bren d'Amour, L. Wenz, M. Kalkuhl, J.C. Steckel, F. Creutzig
Environmental Research Letters 11 (2016). DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/11/3/035007.
>> Press release
>> Selected media coverage: Phys.org Energie Zukunft (german)

L. Wenz*, S.N. Willner, A. Radebach, R. Bierkandt, J.C. Steckel, A. Levermann
Economic Systems Research 27 (2015), DOI: 10.1080/09535314.2014.987731.
>> C++ implementation by S. Willner

L. Wenz, S.N. Willner, R. Bierkandt, A. Levermann
Environment Systems and Decisions 34 (2014). DOI: 10.1007/s10669-014-9521-6.

R. Bierkandt, L. Wenz, S.N. Willner, A. Levermann
Environment Systems and Decisions 34 (2014). DOI: 10.1007/s10669-014-9523-4.

* corresponding author

ImpactEE (principal investigator)
  • Impact of intensified weather extremes on Europe's economy
  • Funded by Volkswagen Foundation  as part of the Europe & global challenges initiative (2017-2023)
  • Joint with Columbia University (A. Sobel), UC Berkeley (M. Auffhammer) and University of Sydney (M. Lenzen)
  • More information: http://portal.volkswagenstiftung.de/search/projectDetails.do?ref=93350
  • Additional module: What can we learn from the Corona crisis to enhance our societies' resilience to intensified weather extremes?

Member of German Young Academy (2022-2027)
  • Elected Member of German Young Academy (Junge Akademie) at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science and National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

UC Berkeley Postdoc Fellowship (2018-2019)
  • Ciriacy-Wantrup Postdoctoral Fellowship in Natural Resource Economics and Political Economy
  • Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (mentor: Prof. Max Auffhammer)
Leibniz Dissertation Award (2017)
6th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Economic Sciences (2017)
  • selected for participation as young economist
  • sponsored by Mars Inc. and Leibniz Association
PIK Dissertation Prize (2017)
  • prize for best Ph.D. thesis 2016
  • awarded by Society of Friends & Promoters of PIK
Graduate Scholarship (2013-2016)
  • scholarship for dissertation project
  • awarded by German Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, DBU)
Research Scholarship (2015)
  • scholarship for research stay at UC Berkeley
  • awarded by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)