Ricarda Winkelmann studied mathematics and physics at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. In 2012, she received her doctorate at the University of Potsdam and at PIK, where she subsequently conducted research as a postdoctoral researcher. After a research stay at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, she took on a junior professorship at PIK and the University of Potsdam in 2015. Since 2019, she has headed the Ice Dynamics working group at PIK as well as the FutureLab for Earth System Resilience in the Anthropocene and has been Professor of Climate System Analysis at PIK and the University of Potsdam since 2020. She also heads one of the working groups of the Earth Commission, an international commission that investigates the stress limits of our planet with regard to anthropogenic climate change and the loss of biodiversity.