Kirsten Elger received her Ph.D. degree from the Free University Berlin, in 2003, with a field-based, interdisciplinary work on the tectonics of the Altiplano Plateau in the Southern Central Andes. Both her diploma and PhD theses were part of a larger interdisciplinary project involving geology, geophysics and geodesy. Following several years in private companies and maternal leaves, she returned 2010 to scientific work at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. She was responsible for the ground-data management for the evaluation of remote sensing products and data steward for two EU-funded projects (PAGE21, INTERACT).
Since 2014 she is head of the research data repository GFZ Data Services, the domain repository for the geosciences hosted by the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences. Since then, Kirsten Elger has further developed the data repository into an internationally recognized place for the publication of citable research data for the geosciences and the unique identification of physical samples with International Geo Sample Numbers IGSN. Her data curation expertise includes metadata standardisation, harmonisation and interoperability and the usage of persistent identifier for data, text and physical samples. Her data publication activities led to the development of DOI-minting services for specific communities in the Earth sciences, including for the IAG Services ICGEM, IGETS, ISG; INTERMAGNET, the World Stress Map Project, GEOFON, GIPP, EPOS, the Specialised Information Service Geosciences FID GEO and others. She also led the development of RI@GFZ, the central data discovery portal for Data and Research Infrastructure at GFZ.
Kirsten is a hub for research data management at GFZ and represents the GFZ in national and international context, e.g. EPOS (European Plate Observing System), the Helmholtz Association and the Research Data Alliance (RDA). She is actively involved in the Coalition of Publishing Data in the Earth and Space Sciences (COPDESS) and the “Enabling FAIR Data” Project. Both initiatives are key projects to accelerate scientific discovery and enhance the integrity, transparency, and reproducibility of research data. She is editor for several data-related journals and repositories and, since November 2018, Editor in Chief for Copernicus’ data journal “Earth System Science Data”. In September 2019 she was elected as Chair of the IAG/GGOS DOI Working Group.