Current Projects

AI4SoilHealth: Accelerating collection and use of soil health information using AI technology to support the Soil Deal for Europe and EU Soil 

AI4SoilHealth: Accelerating collection and use of soil health information using AI technology to support the Soil Deal for Europe and EU Soil 

Duration: 01/2023 - 12/2026
Funding: EU - HORIZON EUROPE (grant ID 101086179)
PI / Co-PIs: Bernhard Ahrens, Melanie Weynants
Artificial intelligence in biodiversity resaerch (AI4Biodiv)

Artificial intelligence in biodiversity resaerch (AI4Biodiv)

Duration: 10/2020 - 9/2024
PI/Co-PIs: Jana Wäldchen

Effective and comprehensive biodiversity monitoring requires a broad range of methods and approaches. In the future, the most promising sources of new monitoring data will be in automated and semi-automated data collection and analysis methods that cover large spatial scales.

Participating department members: Jana Wäldchen, Negin Katal, Michael Rzanny
Big data technologies and Artificial Intelligence for Copernicus (DeepCube)
Duration: 01/2021 - 12/2023
PI/Co-PIs: Nuno Carvalhais

DeepCube is a research project that aims to explore and develop new deep learning approaches to address relevant Earth system dynamics related to localized impacts of extreme events (drought and heat waves) and ecosystem disturbances (wildfires), including impacts of climate variability on migration flows, through AI-based understanding, quantification and prediction.

Participating department members: Nuno Carvalhais, Fabian Gans and Markus Reichstein, Christian Requeña-Mesa, Dushyant Kumar more
Biodiversity Exploratories
Duration: 05/2014 - 12/2023
PI/Co-PIs: Marion Schrumpf, Susan Trumbore

The project provides essential soil characteristics that determine ecosystem properties such as plant and soil organism abundance, diversity, and productivity under different land use and management, and information on soil processes driving belowground carbon (C) and nutrient cycles, to link management, biodiversity and soil function.

Participating department members: Marion Schrumpf more
Climate-Carbon Interactions in the Current Century (4C)
Duration: 06/2019 - 05/2023
PI/Co-PIs: Sönke Zaehle

he EU-funded CCiCC project aims to reduce uncertainty in the quantitative understanding of carbon-climate interactions and feedbacks. Scientists will quantify key processes regulating the coupled carbon-climate system, and use observational constraints to provide long-term projections of the climate in response to anthropogenic emissions. The project will also deliver policy recommendations on carbon dioxide emission pathways. CCiCC analyses and data will help experts better assess how carbon dioxide emissions affect climate change.

Participating department members: Sönke Zaehle more
DeepESDL: Deep Earth System Data Lab
Duration: 04/2022 - 03/2025
Funding: ESA, European Space Agency
PI/ Co-PIs: Fabian Gans

DeepESDL is a virtual laboratory providing data, tool, and computational resources to efficiently implement comprehensive processing workflows for Earth System data. more
DUKE: Deep-learning-based hybrid uncertainty-aware modeling of the coupled water and carbon cycle with Earth observation data
Duration: 01/2022 - 12/2023
PI/Co-PIs: Basil Kraft, Martin Jung, Markus Reichstein

The combination of deep learning and physically-based approaches into so-called hybrid models has the potential to improve the predictability and understandability of the Earth system. Hybrid models are partially interpretable and physically consistent, yet they are highly adaptive to data. Given the growing amounts of Earth observation data, such approaches are worthwhile exploring to provide a complementary, data-driven perspective.

Participating department members: Basil Kraft, Martin Jung, Markus Reichstein, Zavud Baghirov more
Earth system models for the future (ESM2025)
Duration: 06/2021 - 05/2025
PI/Co-PIs: Nuno Carvalhais, Sönke Zaehle

Earth system models for the future is an ambitious European research project on Earth System modelling that will build a novel generation of Earth system models fitted to support the development of mitigation and adaptation strategies in line with the commitments of the Paris Agreement.

Participating department members: Nuno Carvalhais, Sönke Zaehle more
Earth System Deep Learning for Seasonal Fire Forecasting in Europe (SeasFire)
Duration: 03/2022 - 03/2023
PI/Co-PIs: Nuno Carvalhais
Participating department member: Nuno Carvalhais, Lazaro Alonso more


Duration: 01/2023 - 12/2027
PI/Co-PIs: Markus Reichstein
Participating department members: Markus Reichstein
Ellis Unit Jena
Duration: 01/2021 - 12/2026
PI/Co-PIs: Markus Reichstein, Ana Bastos

The ELLIS unit Jena is involving two research institutions and the university at the interface between climate/environmental science and machine learning with an emphasis on scientific knowledge integration in and knowledge generation from machine learning approaches.

Participating department members: Markus Reichstein, Ana Bastos more
Duration: 05/2019 - 04/2023
PI/Co-PIs: Markus Reichstein, Martin Jung

E-SHAPE aims to develop operational Earth Observation (EO) services with and for the users and to create a conducive environment whereby the strengths of Europe are exploited towards addressing societal challenges, fostering entrepreneurship and supporting sustainable development.

Participating department members: Markus Reichstein, Martin Jung, Jacob A. Nelson more
Extreme Events: Artificial Intellegence for Detection and Attribution (XAIDA)
Duration: 09/2021 - 08/2025
PI/Co-PIs: Ana Bastos, Markus Reichstein

XAIDA, a new EU-funded project starting in September 2021, brings together the interdisciplinary expertise of a research consortium of 15 universities and research organizations. Our consortium unites experts in machine learning, statistics and climate modeling. Together we will design new methods and apply them to recent high-impact events to understand the role of climate change.

Participating department members: Ana Bastos, Markus Reichstein, José Cortez, Nora Linscheid more
Flora Incognita – Systematic and reliable monitoring of German flora as a citizen science challenge
Duration: 08/2019 - 07/2024
PI/Co-PIs: Jana Wäldchen

Project objectives:
1) Establishment of the Flora Incognita app as a standard method for plant identification in Germany
2) Development and implementation of an observation methodology and data exchange with various partners like nature conservation authorities and research groups
3)Development of quality assurance methods for observations and spatio-temporal analyses.
4) Expansion of the Flora Capture Citizen Science project and new didactic concepts for the dissemination of citizen species monitoring.

Participating department members: Markus Reichstein, Michael Rzanny, Alice Fritz more
Forest vulnerability to compound extremes and disturbances in a changing climate (ForExD)

Forest vulnerability to compound extremes and disturbances in a changing climate (ForExD)

Duration: 09/2022 - 08/2027
PI/Co-PIs: Ana Bastos

Forest vulnerability to compound extremes and disturbances in a changing climate

Participating department members: Ana Bastos
HK2023: Climate crisis and systemic risks: Lessons Learned from COVID-19
Duration: 06/2022 - 09/2023
Funding: Volkswagen Stiftung, DFG Leibniz Preis
PI/Co-Pls: Markus Reichstein, Dorothea Frank

Climate change related systemic risks have the potential to be an even greater threat than those of the COVID-19 pandemic. Are we prepared for this? Join the Herrenhausen Conference in Hanover on June 21 - 23, 2023.

Participating department members: Stefanie Burkert more


Joint project ITMS Integrated Greenhouse Gas Monitoring System for Germany - Module B (demonstration phase)
Duration: 08/2022 - 07/2026
PI/Co-PIs: Gregory Duveiller


Joint project ITMS Integrated Greenhouse Gas Monitoring System for Germany - Module QS (demonstration phase)
Duration: 08/2022 - 07/2026
PI/Co-PIs: Gregory Duveiller
Land Surface Carbon Constellation Study (LCC)
Duration: 10/2020 - 03/2023
PI/Co-PIs: Sönke Zaehle, Tarek El-Madany

Investigate the terrestrial biosphere’s net ecosystem exchange – photosynthetic CO2 uptake minus respiratory CO2 release – response to climatic drivers by means of combining a process-based model with a wide range of observations (in-situ and remotely sensed) on local and regional scale. In the project we are involved in the modelling part and in the field activity.

Participating department members: Sönke Zaehle, Tarek El-Madany more
Multi-hazard and systemic framework for enhancing risk-informed management and decision-making in the E.U.
Duration: 09/2021 - 08/2025
PI/Co-PIs: René Orth, Markus Reichstein, Dorothea Frank

The project will offer new ways to assess trade-offs and synergies between economic sectors, hazards and their scales, through its systemic and forward-looking approach.

Participating department members: René Orth, Markus Reichstein, Dorothea Frank more
Duration: 10/2021 - 10/2026
PI/Co-PIs: Markus Reichstein, Fabian Gans

The goal of the NFDI4Earth is to provide simple, efficient and open access to all relevant Earth System Data. The NFDI4Earth aims to establish common principles, rules and standards for research data management in Earth system sciences. Major implementation guidelines are the FAIR principles, which do impact the whole research data life cycle.

Participating department members: Markus Reichstein, Fabian Gans more
Open Earth Monitor
Duration: 06/2022 - 05/2026
PI/Co-PIs: Gregory Duveiller

The mission of Open-Earth-Monitor is to accelerate uptake of environmental information to guide current and future users in research, decision-making and citizens toward the most sustainable solutions.

Participating department members: Fabian Gans, Markus Reichstein and Jacob Nelson more


Duration: 04/2022 - 03/2025
PI/Co-PIs: Alexander Winkler

The DFG-funded PhenoFeedbacks project addresses the effects and feedbacks of phenological changes in the climate system

Participating department members: Annu Panwar
Project Office BIOMASS
Duration: 07/2020 - 04/2023
PI/Co-PIs: Nuno Carvalhais, Markus Reichstein

Within ESA’s Earth Explorers, the primary objective of BIOMASS is to improve our understanding on the role of the land biosphere on the global carbon cycle, with clear implications in a context of climate change. Project Office BIOMASS aims to synthesize, produce and disseminate relevant information within the biomass community; identify gaps and investigate solutions within the context of BIOMASS; and establish communication to maintain a necessary dialogue within the broader context of the BIOMASS mission.

Participating department members: Hui Yang, Stefanie Burkert, Nuno Carvalhais, Markus Reichstein more
Prototype system for a Copernicus CO2 service (CoCO2)
Duration: 01/2021 - 12/2023
PI/Co-PIs: Martin Jung

CoCO2 is a European project lead by ECMWF to build a monitoring and verification support capability for global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) related to human activities.

Participating department members: Martin Jung more
Sen4GPP, Sentinels4Carbon

Sen4GPP, Sentinels4Carbon

Sentinel missions for Terrestrial Carbon Production
Duration: 06/2021 - 05/2023
PI/Co-PIs: Martin Jung, Gregory Duveiller
The The Forgotten Part of Carbon Cycling: Organic Matter Storage and Turnover in Subsoils (SUBSOM) project is funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG Forschergruppe FOR 1806) and aims at understanding the mechanisms of soil organic carbon storage and turnover in subsoils, and how they are influenced by physical, chemical and biological factors. Our task is developing a mechanistic soil carbon profile model representing and synthesing these mechanisms, including vertrical transport of particulate and dissolved organic carbon along the soil profile and consdiering both, rhizosphere and bulk soils.

Group members involved: Marion Schrumpf, Bernhard Ahrens, Thomas Wutzler more
Duration: 09/2020 - 08/2026
PI/Co-PIs: Markus Reichstein

The EU-funded USMILE project will use machine learning to improve modelling and understanding of the Earth system.

Participating department members: Markus Reichstein, Alexander Winkler, Reda El Ghawi more
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