Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber was born in Ortenburg (district of Passau) and studied Physics and Mathematics at the University of Regensburg. In 1976 he received his Physics Degree with First Class Honours, and four years later he finished his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics, summa cum laude at the University of Regensburg. Furthermore, he obtained the Habilitation for Theoretical Physics at University of Oldenburg in 1985. Prof. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber is Professor for Theoretical Physics at the University of Potsdam and Senior Research Fellow at the Stockholm Resilience Centre. He is also Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) since he founded the institute in 1992.
He has been chair and still is a member of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) and is chair of the High-Level Panel of the European Decarbonisation Pathways Initiative of the European Union Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas. He is an appointed member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and elected member of the Leopoldina, the Academia Europaea, the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the Max Planck Society and several other academies. He received Honorary Doctorates from the University of Copenhagen and of the Technische Universität Berlin and has authored, co-authored or edited almost 350 articles and more than 60 books.