Markus studied Ecology with Botany, Chemistry and Computer Science as minor and obtained his PhD in Plant Ecology at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. Since 2013 Markus is Professor for Global Geoecology at the FSU Jena, and founding Director at the Michael-Stifel-Center Jena for Data-driven and Simulation Science. He is fellow within the excellence network ELLIS (European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems) and founding director of the ELLIS Unit Jena established in 2021. He has been serving as lead author of the IPCC special report on Climate Extremes (SREX), as member of the German Commitee Future Earth on Sustainability Research, and the Thuringian Panel on Climate. Recent awards include the Piers J. Sellers Mid-Career Award by the American Geophysical Union (2018), an ERC Synergy Grant (2019) and the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Preis (2020).