Skip to main content

Thorsten Kiefer

Executive Director JPI Oceans

Thorsten is the Executive Director of JPI Oceans. As such he is the main contact for JPI Oceans' members and wider connections, heads the JPI Oceans secretariat in Brussels, and oversees the implementation of the Management Board's strategic decisions. Formal roles in ongoing activities include the chairing of the Resource Forum of the European Resource Forum (EOOS) and of the Governing Council of the Knowledge Hub on Sea Level Rise.

Before joining JPI Oceans in 2019, Thorsten was director of the Future Earth Global Hub in Paris, a global network of researchers and innovators in support of sustainability in environmental and societal sectors. Going back further, Thorsten was Executive Director of the Past Global Changes programme PAGES, faciliting global research and synthesis of environmental changes that pre-date systematic observations by using archives such as fossil corals, tree rings, sediments or ice cores.

Thorsten's roots are in research in the field of paleoceanography. At the Universities of Kiel, Germany and Cambridge, UK, he analysed deep-sea sediments to study the substantial oceanographic and climatic changes that took place over the past thousands to ten-thousands of years. In that capacity he was editor and co-chief editor of the open access journal Climate of the Past for about 10 years.

Thorsten has (co-)authored 38 peer-reviewed publications and guest-edited 7 special journal issues, among them the favourites listed below:

Wang, P.X., Wang, B., Cheng, H., Fasullo, J., Guo, Z., Kiefer, T., Liu, Z., 2017. The global monsoon across time scales: Mechanisms and outstanding issues. Earth-Science Reviews 174, 84-121.
Waelbroeck, C., Kiefer, T., Dokken, T., Chen, M.-T., Spero, H.J., Jung, S., Weinelt, M., Kucera, M., Paul, A., MARGO Project Members (2014). Constraints on surface seawater oxygen isotope change between the Last Glacial Maximum and the Late Holocene. Quat. Sci. Rev. 105, 102-111.
Johnstone, H.J.H., Kiefer, T., Elderfield, H., Schulz, M. (2014). Calcite saturation, foraminiferal test mass, and Mg/Ca-based temperatures dissolution corrected using XDX—A 150 ka record from the western Indian Ocean. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 15, 781–797.
Galbraith, E.D., Kienast, M. and The NICOPP working group members (2013). The acceleration of oceanic denitrification during deglacial warming. Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/ngeo183.
PAGES 2k Consortium (2013). Continental-scale temperature variability during the last two millennia. Nature Geoscience 6, 339-346.
Wang, B., Wang, P., Kiefer, T., 2012. Global Monsoon. Climate Dynamics 39.
Kiefer, T. (2010) When Still Waters Ran Deep. Science 329, 290-291.
Tzedakis, P.C., Raynaud, D., McManus, J.F., Berger, A., Brovkin, V., and Kiefer, T. (2009). Interglacial diversity. Nature Geoscience, 2, 751–755.
MARGO Project Members. (2009). Constraints on the magnitude and patterns of ocean cooling at the Last Glacial Maximum. Nature Geoscience 2, 127-132.
Kiefer,T., I. N. McCave, and H. Elderfield, Antarctic control on tropical Indian Ocean sea surface temperature and hydrography, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L24612, 2006.
Kiefer, T. and M. Kienast, Patterns of deglacial warming in the Pacific Ocean: a review with emphasis on the time interval of Heinrich Event 1, Quaternary Science Reviews, 24, 1063-1081, 2005.
McCave, I.N., T. Kiefer, D.J.R. Thornalley, and H. Elderfield, Deep flow in the Madagascar-Mascarene Basin over the last 150,000 years, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A , 363, 81-99, 2005.
Barker, S., T. Kiefer, and H. Elderfield, Temporal changes in North Atlantic circulation constrained by planktonic foraminiferal shell weights, Paleoceanography, 19, PA3008, 2004.
Kiefer T., S. Lorenz, M. Schulz, G. Lohmann, M. Sarnthein and H. Elderfield, Response of precipitation over Greenland and the adjacent ocean to North-Pacific warm spells during the last glacial period: Implications for Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles, Terra Nova 14, 295-300, 2002.
Kiefer T., M. Sarnthein, H. Erlenkeuser, P. Grootes and A. Roberts, North Pacific response to millennial-scale changes in ocean circulation over the last 65 ky, Paleoceanography 16, 179-189, 2001.