Award 2010: Dr. Julia Pongratz
Excellent: The Wladimir Peter Köppen Award of the KlimaCampus for this year will be presented to Dr. Julia Pongratz for her dissertation, in which she shows that humans already influenced climate long before industrialization. She carried out her work at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M). At present, she is doing research at Stanford University in the USA.
The Köppen award is presented annually to talented young academics who have completed their PhD work in climate or earth system research. The award grants 5000 Euros and will be presented for the second time in 2010.
The jury, consisting of the emeriti Professors Hartmut Graßl, Walter Michaelis und Jürgen Sündermann, emphasized the outstanding character of the work carried out by Pongratz and recommended her for the award. The Scientific Steering Group of the Cluster of Excellence followed this recommendation unanimously.
The jury explained their choice as follows:
„Julia Pongratz employed the high resolution coupled atmosphere/ocean/land model of the MPI-M in order to quantify the climate change contribution of human land use before and after industrialization. In a highly creative combination of data synthesis and model development, the author gained fundamental knowledge about the effects of humans on climate. She was able to detect the human-caused effect of medieval land-use change on the climate. In this, Julia Pongratz was able to answer a central question in climate research regarding the influence of humans on the composition of the atmosphere before industrialization. The work is ambitious and interdisciplinary and the results are innovative and very relevant for climate research. The dissertation is also excellent in its clearness and attractive form, which is at the same time scientifically rigorous and exhaustive.”