Earth System Data Science

Earth System Data Science


Leipzig University & Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, UFZ -Leipzig, Germany.

The Earth System Data Science (ESDS) group embraces a wide array of highly relevant research questions via data-driven research. Example questions from our researchers are:

  • How do ecosystem functions respond to climate extremes?
  • Which changes in societal and environmental pre-conditions trigger societal vulnerability to environmental hazards and what are the feedbacks?
  • How can we quantify nonlinear interactions in coupled Earth system dynamics?
  • What do novel citizen science data tell us about macroecological processes?

We assume that long-term observations encode the necessary knowledge to answer these questions in the different domains of the coupled Earth system and human activity. Hence, we mainly focus on developing methods to extract the valuable information in these data in order to confront them with models, and gain new insights.


Our team is highly interdisciplinary and culturally diverse, currently with researchers from Las Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe:

ESDS group picture


Teaching fundamentals of Earth system sciences as well as advanced methods is also one of our key missions. All course materials available only via moodle.

Current courses Degree Term
Introduction to Physical Geography: The climate system and water cycle (12-GGR-B-PG01B) BSc Geography, Leipzig University Winter
Current Research in Earth System Sciences (12-GGR-B-PG06) Seminar 1 BSc Geography, Leipzig University Winter
Methods in Earth System Sciences (12-GGR-B-PG06) Seminar 2 BSc Geography, Leipzig University Winter
Introduction to Programming with R (12-GGR-B-02) BSc Geography, Leipzig University Winter
Multivariate Statistics and Machine Learning (12-GGR-M-AG12) MSc Human Geography, Leipzig University Winter
Geodata Analysis in Human Geography (12-GGR-M-GFA1) MSc Human Geography, Leipzig University Summer
Geographic Information Systems in Physical Geography (12-GGR-M-GFP2) MSc Physical Geography, Leipzig University Summer


  • Earth System Data cubes
  • Biogeography and ecosystem functioning
  • Quantitative human geography
  • Climate extremes and ecosystems
  • Data analytic methods
  • How to integrate observational evidence in models