Prof. Dr. Torsten Sachs

Group Leader
Prof. Dr. Torsten Sachs
Building A 70, Room 303
14473 Potsdam

Function and Responsibilities:

  • Head of Earth-Atmosphere Interactions (TEAM)
  • Speaker of TERENO Observatory Northeast German Lowlands
  • Elected member of the Internal Scientific Council of GFZ

Research Interests:

With my group I investigate processes and drivers underlying (changes in) the geosphere-atmosphere exchange of heat, water vapor, and carbon on a range of temporal (hourly to multi-annual) and spatial (local to continental) scales. We do so by combining ground-based and airborne micro-meteorological measurements, biogeochemical analyses, airborne and satellite remote sensing, numerical simulations, and machine learning methods. The current focus is on heavily disturbed and very dynamic peatland systems in NE Germany and pristine Arctic permafrost ecosystems with the aim to quantify changes in atmospheric composition and radiative forcing resulting from Earth surface processes.


  • since 2016 Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Physics
    Technische Universität Braunschweig
  • since 2012 Group Leader
    Helmholtz Young Investigators Group "TEAM"
    GFZ German Research Centre for Geoscience, Potsdam, Germany
  • 2009-2011 Research Scientist / Postdoc
    GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany
  • 2008 Visiting Scientist
    ETH Zurich, Switzerland (DAAD Scholarship, ETH funding)
  • 2005-2009 Research Scientist / PhD Student
    Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar- and Marine Research, Potsdam
  • 2004 Staff member
    Barrow Arctic Science Consortium, Barrow, AK (Fulbright Scholarship)


  • 2005-2009 PhD Geosciences
    Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar- and Marine Research & University of Potsdam
    Guest researcher at ETH Zurich (DAAD scholarship & ETH funding)
  • 2002-2003 Master of Science in Environmental Science
    Alaska Pacific University Anchorage, Alaska, USA (Fulbright Scholarship)
  • 1998-2002 Undergraduate and graduate studies of Geoecology
    Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany


  • EU funding:
  • Horizon2020 Research & Innovation Action:
    • 2016 - 2021: INTAROS - Integrated Arctic Observing System
    • 2017 - 2022: NUNATARYUK - Permafrost thaw and the changing Arctic coast
    Horizon2020 ERA-NET Cofund:
    • 2017 - 2020: GHG-Manage - Managing and reporting of GHG emissions and C sequestration (Network: ERA-GAS)
    • 2017 - 2020: iCUPE - Integrative and Comprehensive Understanding on Polar Environments (Network: ERA-PLANET)

  • DFG funding (German Science Foundation):
  • International Research Training Group (GRK 2309/0):
    • 2018 - 2023: TransTiP - Geo-ecosystems in transition on the Tibetan Plateau
    Research Grant: 
    • 2019 - 2023: ALEXIA - Analysis Linking Arctic Methane, Carbon Release, Heat Fluxes and Sea Ice from Local to Sub-Regional Scales by Airborne Measurements

  • Helmholtz Association funding:
    MOSES - Modular Observation Solutions for Earth Systems
    - Terrestrial Environmental Observatories Network
    - Helmholtz Network "Regional Climate Change"
    Helmholtz Young Investigators Group:
    • 2012 - 2017: TEAM - Trace Gas Exchange in the Earth Atmosphere System on Multiple Scales
    Helmholtz Postdoc Program (PI: Koebsch; Advisor: Sachs):
    • 2014 - 2016: Capturing the hotspots – GHG dynamics during peatland restoration

  • Relevant collaborative project involvement:
  • NASA Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment ( ABoVE):
    DFG Research Grant (PI: A. Lorke):
    • 2016 - 2019: See-Atmosphäre Wechselwirkungen und Energieflusspfade in kleinen Seen

    Leibniz Association, Competition Collaborative Excellence:
    • 2018 - 2021: CONNECT - Connectivity and synchronisation of lake ecosystems in space and time

Research Boards and Committees:

  • since 2020 Steering Committee
    Modular Observation Solutions for Earth Systems (MOSES)
  • since 2017 Working Group Leader
    WG Permafrost, Modular Observation Solutions for Earth Systems (MOSES)
  • since 2015 Science Team Member
    NASA Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE)
  • 2007-2010 Council Member
    Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS)
  • 2007-2008 Co-Chair
    Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) - Germany
  • 2005-2007 Steering Committee
    International Polar Year Youth Steering Committee (IPY YSC)


  • 20122017 Helmholtz Young Investigators Group
  • 2008 German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Scholarship
  • 2003 Alaska International Education Foundation (AIEF) Scholarship
    Alaska Pacific University (APU) International Student Scholarship
  • 2002 – 2004 Fulbright Scholarship

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