Sönke Zaehle studied geoecology and environmental sciences in Braunschweig and Norwich and earned her doctorate at the University of Potsdam and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. After his post-doctoral period at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement in Gif-sur-Yvette, he worked as a group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry from 2008. His research was funded by the European Commission (EC), the European Space Agency (ESA), Microsoft and the German Research Foundation (DFG), among others. He has received several awards, including the Heinz-Maier-Leibnitz Prize of the DFG. He is co-author of the 6th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and currently heads the consolidator project QUINCY, which is funded by the European Research Council (ERC).