Max Planck Gesellschaft

Research group Hydrology-Biosphere-Climate Interactions

Mission | Team | Masterarbeits- und Praktikums-Themen | Key Publications | Lecture

This group is funded by the German Research Foundation’s Emmy Noether program


The understanding of the exchange of energy, water and carbon between land and atmosphere is the keystone to many of the fundamental challenges facing humanity.

The group’s research focuses on the interface of soils, vegetation, and atmosphere. The exchange and feedback processes acting there can affect food production, water availability, and hence economy and society.
In particular, our research is directed to contribute to
(1) a better management of extremes such as droughts and heat waves
(2) improved hydro-meteorological forecasts
(3) more reliable climate change projections

We strive to improve the physical understanding of the Hydrology-Biosphere-Climate system through land surface and climate modelling in combination with
observation(-based) data analysis.


Name Position E-mail Room
René Orth Group leader C2.022
Sungmin O PostDoc C1.016
Jasper Denissen PhD student C1.014
Ali Fallah visiting PhD student C3.007
Ali Komail Master student C3.002b
Xinyuan Hou Bachelor student C3.007

If you are interested in joining our research group, please send an email with your CV to!

Masterarbeits- und Praktikums-Themen
(Master-Thesis and Internship topics)

  • Wie nachhaltig ist landwirtschaftliche Bewässerung in Europa? Vergleich von Wasserverbrauch und Angebot
    (How sustainable is irrigation in Europe? Comparing water usage versus water supply)
  • Trockenheiten treffen die Hydrosphäre vor der Biosphäre - spiegeln Klimamodelle das wider?
    (Droughts affect hydrosphere before the biosphere - is this captured by climate models?)
  • Wichtigkeit von Bodenfeuchte im Vergleich zur atmosphärischen Zirkulation for unser(e) Sommerwetter(extreme)
    (Importance of soil moisture versus large-scale circulation in shaping our summer weather (extremes))
  • Wie wichtig war die anfängliche Bodenfeuchte für Überschwemmungen der letzten Jahre in Deutschland und Europa?
    (How important was the initial soil water content for recent floods in Germany and Europe?)

Bei Interesse an einer Masterarbeit oder einem Praktikum in unserer Gruppe bitte einfach eine email mit Lebenslauf an schicken!

Key Publications

Orth, R., and G. Destoni (2018)
Drought reduces blue-water fluxes more strongly than green-water fluxes in Europe
Nature Communications, 9, 3602, doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06013-7

Orth, R., J. Zscheischler, and S.I. Seneviratne (2016)
Record dry summer in 2015 challenges precipitation projections in Central Europe
Sci. Rep., 6, 28334, doi: 10.1038/srep28334

Orth, R., M.M. Vogel, J. Luterbacher, C. Pfister, and S.I. Seneviratne (2016)
Did European temperatures in 1540 exceed present-day records?
Env. Res. Lett., 11, 114021, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/11/11/114021

Orth, R., E. Dutra, and F. Pappenberger (2016)
Improving weather predictability by including land-surface model parameter uncertainty
Mon. Weather Rev., 144(4), 1551-1569, doi: 10.1175/MWR-D-15-0283.1

Orth, R., M. Staudinger, S.I. Seneviratne, J. Seibert, and M. Zappa (2015)
Does model performance improve with complexity? A case study with three hydrological models
J. Hydrol., 523, 147-159, doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2015.01.044

FULL LIST of Publications


Klimawandel at Friedrich-Schiller Universität Jena

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