He was awarded by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) at a meeting in San Francisco attended by more than 22,000 earth and space scientists this week. By applying mathematical analysis to, for instance, data from drills in the deep sea, he detected how shifts in African climate some million years ago influenced the fate of modern man’s ancestors.
“The Donald L. Turcotte Award is presented to Jonathan Donges for his original contributions to ‘recurrence network theory’ and its application to climate evolution," says Shaun Lovejoy, president of the AGU’s Nonlinear Focus Group and a professor at McGill University in Canada.
The prize was established to recognize an outstanding dissertation by a recent graduate. ‘Recurrence theory’ is the study of recurring states of a complex system such as repetitive weather patterns in the Earth's atmosphere. By investigating the network structure of these recurrences, it is possible to detect abrupt shifts in climate variability.
"It is rare that one can say a PhD-thesis laid the foundations for a truly novel and most important scientific approach, but this is the case with Jonathan Donges' work," says Jürgen Kurths, co-chair of PIK's research domain Transdisciplinary Concepts and Methods. He is a professor at Humboldt University Berlin and was the supervisor of the awarded thesis. "This is an amazing piece of research, pioneering in the field of interacting network analysis in the climate system and beyond. It emerges from the work within our team that focuses on complex systems, and I feel grateful that we succeeded to provide an environment that fosters such outstanding scientific creativity and innovative thinking."
Donges himself says that he feels deeply honoured by the award. “It is a recognition for applying high-end statistical methods to tackle real-world problems,” he says. “We try to identify the mechanisms behind so-called tipping points in the climate system and unravel their complex interactions – not just in the past, but also in our present and future.” Under unabated climate change, this might be of critical relevance. Relatively abrupt and potentially irreversible changes in the world’s major ocean currents or monsoon patterns, for instance, could have devastating impacts on humanity.Weblink to study:
Weblink to AGU: fallmeeting.agu.org/2013/For further information please contact:
Mareike Schodder | PIK Pressestelle
ERC: Six Advanced Grants for Helmholtz
10.04.2017 | Hermann von Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren
German Federal Government Promotes Health Care Research
29.03.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy