The committee is supported by a secretariat that handles day-to-day operations. The secretariat staff members have a sound professional background in various sustainability-related disciplines as well as experience in science and project management.

The secretariat is responsible for all operational tasks, both internally and externally. This includes supporting the committee in implementing its strategy, organizing events and meetings, press and public relations work via various media, networking and supporting the national scientific community as well as building and maintaining contact with strategic partners in Germany and partners on the international level.

The DKN secretariat thus acts as interface, platform, national contact point and coordination office. In the third (2019-2022) and the current fourth (2023-2025) term of office, it is located at the Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS) in Hamburg, which is headed by DKN Chair Prof. Dr. Daniela Jacob. Dr. Sebastian Sonntag, DKN Executive Director, heads the secretariat and is an ex-officio member of the committee.


Deutsches Komitee für Nachhaltigkeitsforschung in Future Earth (DKN)
c/o Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon, Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS),
Chilehaus - Eingang B
Fischertwiete 1
20095 Hamburg

Staff members

Dr. Sebastian Sonntag, Executive Director

Sebastian Sonntag

Dr. Sebastian Sonntag has been the Executive Director of the DKN since November 2019. As head of the DKN secretariat, he is concerned with the strategic development of the research and research landscape in the context of global change. Previously, Sebastian Sonntag worked at GERICS as scientific coordinator of the Earth League and at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology as a scientist in the field of climate science. Sebastian Sonntag studied physics at the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg and received his PhD in geosciences from the University of Hamburg. Sebastian Sonntag has a special interest in the targeted communication of scientific content to different groups as well as in the interdisciplinary networking of science.

Phone: +49 (0) 40 226 338 455

E-mail contact

Dr. Tanja Blome, Scientific Officer

Tanja Blome

Dr. Tanja Blome works as a scientific officer for the office of the DKN since April 2023. Previously, she was a research associate in the Net Zero 2050 project of the Helmholtz Climate Initiative (HI-CAM). In addition, she has been involved in teaching in the field of hydraulic engineering, where she supervised content on climate change, climate science, and climate modeling for the AKWAS project. After studying meteorology, she completed her PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany. In addition to basic research, she is primarily interested in the application and communication of knowledge in the field of climate and climate change.

Phone: +49 (0) 40 226 338 481

E-mail contact

Scientific Officer (wpn2030)

Dr. Stefanie Trümper, Scientific Officer (wpn2030)

Stefanie Trümper

Dr. Stefanie has been supporting the work of the DKN Chair as a scientific officer since June 2021 as part of her co-chairmanship of the Science Platform Sustainability 2030 (wpn2030). Previously, she worked as a personal advisor and research assistant. After studying media culture at the University of Bremen and journalism at the Bremen University of Applied Sciences, she taught and conducted research in the Cluster of Excellence "Integrated Climate System Analysis and Prediction (CliSAP)" at the University of Hamburg, where she completed her dissertation on "Sustainable Memory in Journalism." Stefanie Trümper is particularly interested in the strategic importance and design of solution-oriented science communication.

Phone: +49 (0) 40 226 338 460

E-mail contact

Former staff members

Dr. Barbara Malburg-Graf, Scientific Officer

From 2016 until 2023 Scientific Officer at the DKN secretariat.

Dr. Tina Krönert, Scientific Officer

From 2020 until 2023 Scientific Officer at the DKN secretariat.

Martina de Pedro, Assistant

From 2019 until 2021 Assistant at the DKN secretariat.

Dr. Martin Scharffenberg, Scientific Officer

From 2021 until 2022 Scientific Officer at the DKN secretariat.