Master in Physics, University Bern, Switzerland, 1978. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics, University Bern, Switzerland, 1982.
Research assistant Scripps Institution Oceanography, La Jolla, California, 1982—1985. Senior research scientist, workgroup leader Max-Planck-Institute Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany, 1985—1998. Research group leader Max-Planck-Institute Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany, 1998—2003, director department biogeochemical systems, since 2003.
Member task force on global analysis, integration and modelling International Geosphere-Biosphere Progressive, 1992—2000. Member science advisory board Institute Oceanography, Kiel, Germany, 2000—2002, Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, Germany, since 2001. Member science steering committee German Climate Computing Center, since 2003.
Member of Max-Planck-Society, European Academy of Sciences.
Married; 2 children.