Dr. Jakob Zscheischler

Group Leader

Department of Computational Hydrosystems
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Permoserstr. 15
04318 Leipzig, Germany


Jakob Zscheischler

Research Interests

I am an Earth system scientist with a background in mathematics, biogeochemistry and climate science. My research focus are compound weather and climate events, that is, combinations of climatic drivers that contribute to environmental and societal risk. I am the Chair of the European COST Action DAMOCLES (Understanding and modeling compound climate and weather events), which brings together climate scientists, engineers, social scientists, impact modellers and decision-makers and coordinates national research projects on compound events. In a recent review we propose four different types of compound events, with the goal to aid in compound event analysis.

I’m leading the group on Compound weather and climate events at UFZ. In my Helmholtz Young Investigator project COMPOUNDX we use machine learning to identify compounding meteorological drivers of extreme impacts such as floods, vegetation mortality and crop failure.

Currently I am managing guest editor of an Inter-journal Special Issue on Understanding compound weather and climate events and related impacts in the EGU journals BG, ESD, HESS, NHESS (Link) and a Special Issue on Compound Weather and Climate Events in Weather and Climate Extremes (Link) .


10/2020- Group Leader, Department of Computational Hydrosystems – UFZ
11/2018-6/2021 Ambizione Fellow, Climate and Environmental Physics, University of Bern, Switzerland
2/2015-10/2018 Postdoc, Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
6/2014-12/2014 Postdoc, Department Biogeochemical Integration, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany
10/2010-6/2014 PhD student, Department Biogeochemical Integration, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany and Department Empirical Inference, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen, Germany


6/2014 PhD, Environmental System Science, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
10/2010 Diploma, Mathematics, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany


2021-2025 eXtreme events: Artificial Intelligence for Detection and Attribution ( XAIDA ) (WP leader, 430k€ out of 6M€)
2021-2024 2021-2024 Identifying causal drivers of floods (CausalFlood) (Co-PI, Helmholtz AI, 200k€ out of 400k€) with Jakob Runge
2020-2026 Helmholtz Young Investigator Grant COMPOUNDX, (PI, 1.8M€)
2020-2022 Risk assessment of critical ecological thresholds in Amazonia and Cerrado (PI, SNSF, ~230k€)
2020-2022 Machine learning for detecting compound climate drivers of extreme impacts (PI, SNSF, ~170k€)
2019-2023 Compound events in the ocean (co-PI, Alfred Bretsched Fund, ~185k€)
2018-2022 New metrics for constraining multiple drivers of hazard and compound hazards (PI, SNSF Ambizione grant, ~757k€)



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2022 Arne Richter Award, European Geosciences Union
2021 Highly Cited Researcher (Web of Science / Thomson Reuters, top 1% cited papers)
2015 Vladimir Peter Köppen Award, Universität Hamburg’s Cluster of Excellence “Integrated Climate System Analysis and Prediction“ (CliSAP)
2014 Otto Hahn Medal, Max Planck Society