Dr. René Orth

Independent Group Leader
BGI Team
Department Biogeochemical Integration (BGI)
Hydrology-Biosphere-Climate Interactions
+49 3641 57-6250

Main Focus

  • Land-atmosphere coupling: Soil moisture-vegetation-climate feedbacks in a changing climate
  • Extreme weather events: Biophysical and societal impacts, interactions, legacy effects
  • Earth system modelling: Constraining models, required model complexity, machine learning
  • Forecasts/Projections: Hydroclimatic forecasts, climate projections, socio-economic implications


Key Publications

Denissen, J.M.C., A.J. Teuling, A.J. Pitman, S. Koirala, M. Migliavacca, W. Li, M. Reichstein, A.J. Winkler, C. Zhan, and R. Orth (2022)
Widespread shift from ecosystem energy to water limitation with climate change
Nature Climate Change, 12, 677–684, doi: 10.1038/s41558-022-01403-8

Li, W., M. Migliavacca, M. Forkel, J.M.C. Denissen, M. Reichstein, H. Yang, G. Duveiller, U. Weber, and R. Orth (2022)
Widespread increasing vegetation sensitivity to soil moisture
Nature Communications, 3959, doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-31667-9

Orth, R., S. O, J. Zscheischler, M.D. Mahecha, and M. Reichstein (2022)
Contrasting biophysical and social impacts of hydro-meteorological extremes
Env. Res. Lett., doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/ac4139

O, S., E. Dutra, and R. Orth (2020)
Robustness of process-based versus data-driven modelling in changing climatic conditions
J. Hydrometeorol. 21(9), 1929-1944, doi: 10.1175/JHM-D-20-0072.1

Orth, R., and G. Destouni (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

FULL LIST of Publications



EU H2020 Project MYRIAD, Multi-hazard and systemic framework for enhancing risk-informed management and decision-making in the E.U.
[2021 - 2025, Participant]

DFG Emmy Noether Group, Hydrology-Biosphere-Climate Interactions
[2018 - 2023, PI]

SNF Advanced Postdoc Mobility, Multivariate analysis of hydrology-climate dynamics in a changing climate
[2017 - 2020, PI]

EU FP7 Project DROUGHT-R&SPI, Fostering European Drought Research and Science-Policy Interfacing
[2011 - 2014, Participant]

ETH Excellence Scholarship & Opportunity Award, Influence of soil moisture on temperature variability in IPCC AR4 climate scenarios
[2008 - 2010, PI]



since 2018 Group Leader, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany
2017 Researcher, Stockholm University, Sweden
2016 Senior Scientist, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
2013 - 2016
05-07/2015, 09/2016
Postdoctoral Scientist, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Visiting scientist, European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts, Reading, UK
2010 - 2013
PhD thesis, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Visiting student, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
2008 - 2010 MSc in Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
2005 - 2008

BSc in Earth Science, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Erasmus exchange semester, University of Leeds, UK


Community Service

Supervisor of >15 BSc, MSc & PhD theses

Vorlesung Klimawandel / Lecture on Climate Change

Elected representative of the institute to the CPT section of the Max Planck Society

Member of Die Junge Akademie

Faculty member of institute's graduate school (IMPRS-gBGC)

Reviewer of >70 manuscripts (e.g. Nature Clim. Change, Nature Geosci., Nature Ecol. & Evol. , GRL, Clim. Dyn., Hydr. Earth Syst. Sci.)

Reviewer of >5 proposals (e.g. German Research Foundation (DFG), UK National Environment Research Council (NERC), Czech Science Foundation (GACR))

Go to Editor View