Markus Reichstein

Markus Reichstein

Markus Reichstein is Director at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry, and Professor for Global Ecology at the University of Jena. He is founding co-director of the ELLIS ( program “Machine Learning for Earth and Climate Science” and the recently established ELLIS Unit Jena ( within the Michael-Stifel-Center Jena for Data-driven and Simulation Science Jena. and member of the German National Committee Future Earth for Sustainability research. He has been serving as lead author for the IPCC, as member of the German Committee Future Earth on Sustainability Research, and the Thuringian Panel on Climate for advising the state on climate protection and adaptation.

Markus’s main research interests revolve around the response and feedback of ecosystems (vegetation and soils) to climatic variability with an Earth system perspective. Of specific interest is the interplay of climate extremes with ecosystem and societal resilience. He is addressing these topics with a combination of artificial intelligence and classical modelling approaches to exploit the wealth of experimental, ground- and satellite-based Earth observations together with theoretical knowledge. Recent awards for his research include the Piers J. Sellers Mid-Career Award by the American Geophysical Union (2018), and the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Preis by the German Science Foundation (2020).

He is also Principal Investigator in the European Research Council Synergy Grant USMILE dedicated to the development and application of machine learning for a better Earth system understanding and modelling. Furthermore, Markus is chairing the Global Research Program and Knowledge-Action Network “Emergent Risks and Extreme Events – Reducing Disaster Risks under Environmental Change” (

Markus is excited about linking system thinking with data-driven science and artificial intelligence for understanding complex systems, such as the climate-environmental-societal system and believes that such approaches can help societies become more resilient and sustainable.

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  • Organization
    Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
  • Profession
    Director & Professor