Prof. Dr. Katja Matthes


Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics - Marine Meteorology 

Head of the group "Physics of the Atmosphere"


Katja Matthes
Prof. Dr. Katja Matthes (Foto: Stefan Kolbe)


Phone: +49 431 600 4054
Fax:     +49 431 600 4052
E-Mail: kmatthes(at)

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
Düsternbrooker Weg 20
24105 Kiel, Germany  

Research Interests


Key aspects:

  • Stratosphere-troposphere-ocean modeling with special focus on chemistry-climate modeling
  • Role of the middle atmosphere for (natural) climate variability
  • Mechanisms for Sun-climate connections
  • Decadal climate variability and predictability
  • Processes in the UTLS (Upper Troposphere Lower Stratosphere)
  • Development of and contribution to international model intercomparison studies of climate variability and climate change

Professional Experience

  • Since 2012: W3-Professorship for General Meteorology at the Christian-Albrechts Universität zu Kiel and the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research  Kiel

  • 2012-2015: Head of the Helmholtz-University Young Investigators Group NATHAN (Quantification of Natural Climate Variability in the Atmosphere-Hydrosphere System with Data Constrained Simulations) at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

  • 2010 - 2011: W2-Professorship for Atmosphere-Hydrosphere Systems at the Faculty of Geosciences at the Freie Universität Berlin  and the Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam, the German Centre for Geosciences (GFZ)

  • 2009-2011: Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam, German Centre for Geosciences and Freie Universität Berlin
    Head of the Helmholtz-University Young Investigators Group NATHAN (Quantification of Natural Climate Variability in the Atmosphere-Hydrosphere System with Data Constrained Simulations) 

  • 2004–2008: Freie Universität Berlin

  • 2007–2008: Reintegration phase of a Marie Curie Outgoing International Fellowship (OIF) SOLVO (The Influence of Solar Variability on Climate) within the 6th framework of the European commission

  • 2004–2007: National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder/CO, USA (PostDoc) -Outgoing phase of the Marie Curie Fellowship 

  • 2003:  Dr. rer. nat., Institut für Meteorologie, Freie Universität Berlin
    Topi: The influence of the 11-Year Solar Cycle and the QBO on the Atmosphere. a Model Study (summa cum laude, Prof. Dr. K. Labitzke, Prof. Dr. U. Cubasch)  PDF

  • 2000–2003: Freie Universität Berlin (PhD student, Stratospheric Research Group)

  • 1988–2000: Freie Universität Berlin (Diploma student, Stratospheric Research Group) 

  • 2000: Diploma in Meteorology (with distinction)

  • 1995–2000: Freie Universität Berlin (Studies of Meteorology)

Personal Information

  • Born: 23. September.1975 in Berlin

  • married, 3 children (2004, 2006, 2012)

Honors and awards

  • 2010: Interview film about career path from Kisswin 
  • 2010: Admission to the AcademiaNet (, a German online platform to enhance the visibility of excellent women in science
  • 2009 - 2010: Selected participant of the Helmholtz-Mentoring program for women “In Führung gehen” („Preparing for Leadership“)
  • 2008 - 2009: Selected participant of the 'ProFiL Programme' which prepares outstanding women for leadership positions in science and higher education from the Technische Universität Berlin, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Freie Universität Berlin (ProFiL. Professionalisierung für Frauen in Forschung und Lehre: Mentoring – Training - Networking)
  • 2004: Ernst-Reuter Award of the Freie Universität Berlin
  • 2001: Award for the best young scientist from the “Stiftung Umwelt und Schadensvorsorge der SV Gebäudeversicherung, Stuttgart” at the DACH-Meteorologentagung in Vienna, Austria


  • Since 2016: Member of the Wissenschaftlichen Beirat des Leibniz-Instituts für Atmosphärenphysik (IAP) in Kühlungsborn
  • Since 2013: Chairwoman of the GEOMAR Women's Executive Board (WEB)
  • Since 2013: Scientific Advisory Board of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
  • Since 2011: Member of the International Committee on the Middle Atmosphere (ICMA)
  • Since 2011:  Co-Chair of WG II-D “External Forcing of the Middle Atmosphere” of IAGA
  • Since 2006: Coordination of the SPARC solar influence study group (SOLARIS-HEPPA) for the World Climate Research Programme – Stratospheric Processes and their Role in Climate (WCRP-SPARC)
  • 2011-2015: Vice-chair of the EU-COST Action ES-1005 “Towards a more complete assessement of the impact of solar variability on the Earth’s climate (TOSCA)”
  • 2012-2014: Co-Leader of CAWSES TG1 "What is the solar influence on the Earth's climate"
  • 2008 - 2012: Scientific Discipline Representative for the Scientific Committee on Solar Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP)
  • 2001-2004: Co-coordination of the GRIPS (GCM Reality Intercomparison Project for SPARC) solar influence study group for WCRP-SPARC