Felix Schaumann

Department IMPRS
Group IMPRS doctoral candidate
Position Phd Candidate
phone +49 40 42838-3223
Email felix.schaumann@mpimet.mpg.de
Room Von-Melle-Park 5, 2133

Since June 2022, I am doing my PhD through the amazing IMPRS-ESM program at the University of Hamburg and the Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology. I am working on Integrated Assessment Models under the supervision of Moritz Drupp, Hermann Held and Chao Li.

I am working at the intersection of natural climate science and economics, with a focus on modelling, and I am interested in all the science around climate change. I find it very fascinating how different scientific approaches to climate change interact with each, how they can contradict or complement each other and how all of this knowledge can be used to inform climate politics.

While studying physics, I was always interested in the questions underlying the science - how can we be certain about what we know, what is the status of our scientific knowledge and why are some phenomena so much easier to quantify than others? This prompted me to venture a bit into the philosophy of science and the history of science and technology and I really enjoyed thinking about these questions from the perspective of the humanities. Being intrigued by the possibilities and limits of quantifying systems, I did my Bachelor thesis in complex systems theory and chose a Master’s degree on what seemed to me to be at the same time one of the most relevant and most paradigmatic complex systems around us: the climate system.

During the studies of integrated climate system sciences, I was more and more intrigued by models of climate change and how they were used and interpreted. I was especially intrigued by integrated assessment models (IAMs), where paradigms of natural climate science and economics meet in order to generate policy-relevant insights. Building concise and aggregate models that accommodate both the science of climate change and the ethical aspects relating to causes, consequences and responsibilities, while delivering informative results on which to base policy strategies seemed daunting – and almost dangerously ambitious. So I embarked on a journey to find out how IAMs can be evaluated: What makes for a good model? During my Master thesis, I built on concepts from the philosophy of modelling in order to answer this question, and I propose to evaluate IAMs not only based on their empirical validity or adequacy for a given purpose, but based on the expectations there are for them.

Now, I started doing my PhD, in which I investigate how IAMs can be used to bridge the divide between natural climate science and economics. In contrast to the Master thesis, I now work more hands-on with IAMs, currently with the DICE model. This way, I plan to strike a balance between generating concrete knowledge through modelling and reflecting on its broader relevance and applicability for informing global climate policy.


since 2022

PhD, Climate Economics; University of Hamburg, Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology


MSc Integrated Climate System Sciences; University of Hamburg

Thesis: A Philosophically Informed Evaluation of Integrated Assessment Models

Supervised by: Prof. Moritz Drupp (Uni Hamburg), Dr. Chris Hedemann (Expertenrat für Klimafragen), Prof. Conrad Heilmann (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Prof. Johanna Baehr (Uni Hamburg)


BSc Physics; Technical University Dresden

Thesis: Investigation of nonhyperbolic dynamical systems

Supervised by: Prof. Holger Kantz (MPI-PKS), Prof. Marc Timme (TU Dresden)


Erasmus+; Universitat de València


2020 - 2022

Research on Systems Innovation; Technical University Hamburg-Harburg

  • With Prof. Fenna Blomsma (Uni Hamburg).
  • Systematic literature review on experimentation for sustainability to develop an actionable experimentation framework for practitioners.

2020 - 2022

Research on Interdisciplinarity; University of Hamburg

  • With Prof. Simone Rödder (Uni Hamburg).
  • Semi-structured interviews with researchers of the project AGITHAR in order to analyse interdisciplinarity in tsunami science.

2018- 2020

Software Developer; RiskCom GmbH

  • Numerical algorithm for inferring ground height changes arising from the renovation of contaminated floors with integration of the resulting 3D visualisation into existing software.

Peer-reviewed papers
Rödder, S., & Schaumann, F. (2022). “It’s something that I do every day.” Exploring interdisciplinarity and stakeholder engagement in tsunami science. Frontiers in Earth Science, 10. doi:10.3389/feart.2022.949803

Conference papers
Blomsma, F., Schaumann, F. & Weissbrod, I. (2021, October). The Experimentation Landscape: An actionable synthesis of experimental approaches for sustainability problems. Paper presented at the 12th International Sustainability Transitions Conference (IST2021), Karlsruhe, DE.

Schaumann, F. (2022). A philosophically informed evaluation of integrated assessment models. Master thesis, Universität Hamburg. PuRe: hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000C-BE77-9

Schaumann, F. (2019). Investigation of nonhyperbolic dynamical systems. Bachelor thesis, Technische Universität Dresden. PuRe: hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-CFAD-F


Coding: GitHub (felixschaumann), DKRZ GitLab

ORCID: 0000-0002-6826-0517

Linkedin: Felix Schaumann

Twitter: @felixschaumann

Mastodon: @felixschaumann

Blogging: Climate Matters Blog



+49 40 42838 3223


  • Room 2133
    Von-Melle-Park 5
    20146 Hamburg

  • Room 130
    Bundesstraße 53
    20146 Hamburg