Axel Kleidon studied physics and meteorology at the University of Hamburg and Purdue University. He received his Ph.D. in meteorology from the University of Hamburg. After his PostDoc at Stanford University he joined the faculty of the University of Maryland. Since 2006 he leads an independent research group at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany. In his research, he uses thermodynamics to quantify natural energy conversions within the Earth system and their limits, and applies this approach to understand atmosphere-biosphere interactions, Earth system responses to global change, and the natural limits of renewable energy.