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Ice scientist appointed professor in Potsdam

12/17/2014 - At 29, Ricarda Winkelmann has already accomplished what others may only dream of: She joined a scientific expedition to Antarctica, and is now set to become a junior professor for Climate Systems Analysis at the University of Potsdam. "Ms. Winkelmann is known for her excellent research in a highly relevant field," said Robert Seckler, Vice President for Research and Junior Academics of the university. "This joint appointment with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) is s an excellent way of promoting young academics." During a ceremony, the physicist received her official appointment letter from the Science Minister of the German State of Brandenburg, Sabine Kunst, and also took her oath of service.

The Minister also asked Winkelmann about her research topics and plans for the future. "I am looking forward to my new role," said Winkelmann. Her teaching and research activities will focus on the analysis of ice dynamics and tipping elements in the Antarctic region. "Recent studies suggest that West Antarctica has already crossed a tipping point," said the scientist. "Now I would like to identify similar potential thresholds for East Antarctica."

A mathematician and physicist by training, Winkelmann completed her PhD at PIK with distinction and has continued to work there upon receiving her degree. She has since worked on the chapter on sea level rise of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) and conducted research at the renowned Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, USA, over several months.

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