Group picture 1

From left to right: Sabrina Arnold, Violeta Trifunov, Jakob Runge, Christian Reimers, Lars Kühne, Christian Requena Mesa, Xavier-Andoni Tibau Alberdi



Jakob Runge (Group leader)

Jakob is a complex systems scientist with a focus on causal discovery techniques from high-dimensional, nonlinear time series. His main research interests are causal inference algorithms using advanced machine learning techniques, causal complex network theory, information flow in complex systems, and nonlinear prediction. Jakob collaborates with researchers from many applied fields to help in better understanding real world complex systems, in particular the climate system.

Jakob studied physics at Humboldt University Berlin funded by the German National Foundation (Studienstiftung). In 2014 he obtained his PhD on causal inference from dynamical complex systems at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Humboldt University Berlin, again funded by the German National Foundation. For his thesis he was awarded the Carl-Ramsauer doctoral thesis prize by the Berlin Physical Society. From 2016 to 2017 he did a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Studying Complex Systems at the Grantham Institute, Imperial College, funded by the James S. McDonnell Foundation.

Jakob’s research was published in Nature Communications, Physical Review Letters, AISTATS, and Journal of Climate, among others. On he provides Tigramite, a time series analysis python module for causal inference.


VioletaVioleta Teodora (PhD student)

Violeta Teodora is a computer science researcher mainly interested in deep learning, graphical models and how existing expert knowledge can be used to improve artificial learning systems.

Violeta Teodora studied mathematics at the University of Novi Sad from 2012 to 2015 where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree. In 2017, she finished her master studies in mathematics at the University of Bonn and since September 2017 she is working on a PhD project in computer science in the Climate Informatics group at the DLR Institute for Data Science in Jena in collaboration with the Computer Vision group at the Friedrich-Schiller University Jena.


Christian Requena Mesa (PhD student)

Christian is an environmental scientist invested in machine learning and artificial intelligence. He works on how novel computer vision and generative algorithms can improve environmental monitoring, as well as how artificial general intelligence can lead to a better environmental management and decision making. His long-term vision for environmental problem solving relies on the use of novel artificial intelligence methods as a dynamic adviser to help us set the rules by which humans best interact with the environment, maximizing both: the benefits we get from nature, and the stability and resilience of natural systems.

Christian studied environmental science at the University of Málaga (Spain) from 2010 to 2015 while staying abroad at GSU (GA, USA), SNU (South Korea) and Radboud University (Netherlands) obtaining a Bachelor’s degree. In 2017, he finished his master studies in applied ecology at the University of Poitiers (France), Coimbra (Portugal) and UFRGS (Brazil) and since August 2017 he is working on his PhD project “Deep learning approaches for analyzing spatio-temporal memory effects in Earth System data” in computer science in the Climate Informatics group at the DLR Institute for Data Science in Jena in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry and the Computer Vision group at the Friedrich-Schiller University Jena.


ChristianChristian Reimers (PhD student)

Christian is a mathematician who works on deep neural networks and focuses on formalizing and understanding deep learning. This includes to make concepts learned by deep neural networks more comprehensible to humans.

Christian got his Bachelor and Master degree in analytical number theory from the Georg-August University in Göttingen and is part of the Computer Vision Group at Friedrich Schiller University Jena and the Climate Informatics Group at the German Aerospace Center since November 2017. The title of his project is “Understanding Deep Learning”.

[more profiles coming soon!]