GFZ German research centre for geo sciences

Prof. Dr. Maik Thomas

Prof. Dr. Maik Thomas
Building A 20, Room 330 (Büro)
14473 Potsdam

Function and Responsibilities:

  • Head of GFZ Section 1.3: "Earth System Modelling"
  • Professor for Modelling of Fluid Dynamics in the Earth System, Freie Universität Berlin
  • Director Topic 2 "Oceans and Cryosphere in Climate Change" at GFZ

Research Interests:

Simulation of spatio-temporal variations of mass distributions within and mass exchanges among the Earth´s subsystems atmosphere, ocean, and continental hydrology in consideration of consistent mass and momentum fluxes as well as interactions with the solid Earth
  • Estimation and identification of oceanic, atmospheric, and hydrologic induced variations of the Earth´s gravity field, Earth orientation parameters, and geocenter on hourly to decadal timescales
  • Geophysical interpretation of geodetic observed variations of global parameters of the Earth by means of in-situ data and numerical simulations
  • Nonlinear interactions between dynamical components of the Earth´s subsystems (e.g., between the ocean´s general circulation and tides
  • Separation of mass and steric induced sea level variations
  • Paleo climate and paleo oceanography
  • Gravitational and pressure tides in atmosphere and oceans


  • since Nov 2013: W3-Professorship “Modelling of Fluid Dynamics in the Earth System” at the Department of Earth Sciences of the Free University of Berlin
  • Jan 2008-Oct 2013: W2-Professorship “Global Dynamic Geomodelling” at the Department of Earth Sciences of the Free University of Berlin
  • since May 2007: Head of Section 1.3 “Earth System Modelling” at GFZ Potsdam
  • Aug 2001–Apr 2007: Head of the working group “Global Geodynamics” at the Institute for Planetary Geodesy, Dresden University of  Technology
  • June 2001–July 2001: Research associate at the Meteorological Institute, University of Bonn
  • May 1999–May 2001: Research associate at the Institute and Museum of Geology and Paleontology, University of Tübingen
  • Nov 1996–Sep 1999: Research associate at the Observatory Hoher List of the Astronomical Institutes, University of Bonn


  • 2001: Ph.D. at the Faculty of Geosciences of the University of Hamburg on ”Ocean induced variations of Earth´s rotation –  Results from a simultaneous model for circulation and tides in the global ocean” (summa cum laude)
  • 1996: Graduation (Diploma) in Oceanography at the University of Hamburg; Topic of Master Thesis: ”Tides and angular momentum in the global ocean since the last glacial maximum”
  • 1989–1996: Study of Oceanography at the Department of Geosciences, University of Hamburg

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