Dr. Sebastian Sonntag is Executive Director of the German Committee Future Earth (DKN) since November 2019. As head of the DKN Secretariat at GERICS he is engaged in the strategic development of research and related issues in the context of global change. As an independent scientific advisory committee of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and national contact point for the developments and activities in the context of the international research program for sustainability research “Future Earth” and the „World Climate Research Programme (WCRP)“ DKN supports interdisciplinary integrative sustainability research at a national and international level.
Before joining DKN, Sebastian was scientific coordinator of the Earth League, an international alliance of world-class research institutions and scientists on climate and sustainability research, who work together to respond to some of the most pressing issues faced by humankind including climate change, depletion of natural resources, land degradation, water scarcity, or food security.
Before joining GERICS, Sebastian worked as a scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, where he studied potential effects and side-effects of different climate engineering methods. Sebastian studied physics at Albert Ludwigs Universität Freiburg and received his PhD in geosciences at Universität Hamburg. In his doctoral thesis, he investigated biological-physical feedbacks in marine systems using models of different complexity.
Sebastian’s special interest is in transferring scientific results to different target audiences and in interdisciplinary networking in science. Among other activities, he participated in the theatre project “World Climate Conference” at the Schauspielhaus Hamburg and is a co-founder of the early-career researchers network “Young Earth System Scientists (YESS) community”.