Scientific staff

The Council of Experts on Climate Change is supported in the fulfilment of its tasks by a Scientific Staff headed by a Secretary-General.

Dr. Jakob Peter has been Secretary-General and Managing Director of the Council of Experts on Climate Change (ERK) since September 2021. Before joining the ERK, he worked as Senior Manager of Energy Systems & Sector Coupling at Enertrag AG in Berlin, in addition to his engagement in Strategy & Analysis at the startup Caphenia in Frankfurt and Berlin. He completed his studies in Mechanical Engineering at ETH Zurich and Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. He worked at Voith Hydro R&D Ocean Energies in Heidenheim and Inverness, at myclimate Carbon Offsetting in Zurich and Climeworks in Zurich, among others. As a Fellow of the Mercator Kolleg on International Affairs, he worked as a Consultant for Sustainable Investment Partners in Zurich, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment in Berlin, and the International Energy Agency IEA in Paris. From 2014 to 2019, he worked as a Consultant at ewi Energy Research & Scenarios in Cologne while completing his Ph.D. in Economics at the Institute of Energy Economics (EWI) at the University of Cologne.

Jessica Berneiser

Scientific Associate

Council of Experts on Climate Change (ERK) | Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (Fraunhofer ISE)
Heidenhofstrasse 2
79110 Freiburg
E-mail:

Jessica Berneiser already worked for the Council of Experts on Climate Change (ERK) in 2021 and again since April 2022 as a Scientific Associate. She studied Psychology and Economics at the University of Freiburg and completed her Master’s degree in Psychology at the University of Leipzig. During her semesters abroad at the University of Bergen and University of California, Berkeley, she focused on international environmental policy. Since 2018, Jessica Berneiser has been working as a Research Assistant at Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. In her research, she investigates factors influencing the energy transition and policy measures in various sectors, the role of actors in decarbonization, and the acceptance of renewable energies and environment-related policy measures.

Marc Blauert has been working as a Scientific Associate for the Council of Experts on Climate Change (ERK) since April 2022. He also works as a Consultant in the Green Economy sector at Technopolis Germany in Berlin, specializing in the economic analysis of the regulatory framework for decarbonizing the economy. Marc Blauert studied Integrated Natural Resource Management with special focus on environmental and resource economics at the Humboldt University of Berlin. He holds a second Master’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Lund University in Sweden. During his studies, he worked in the Climate Policy Department at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin). In addition, he previously worked for several years in the recycling industry, where he was particularly involved in analyzing material flows.

Iska Brunzema

Scientific Associate

Council of Experts on Climate Change (ERK) | Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (Fraunhofer ISI)
Breslauer Straße 48
76139 Karlsruhe
E-Mail:

Iska Brunzema has been a Scientific Associate for the Council of Experts on Climate Change (ERK) since March 2021, as well as a Research Associate at the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI. She studied Geography at the University of Heidelberg. Her focus was on the fields of economic geography and organizational research. Her current research focuses on social aspects of the transformation of the energy system, in particular energy poverty, as well as the evaluation of targets and instruments in energy policy.

Nicolai Hans has been a Scientific Associate at the office of the Council of Experts on Climate Change (ERK) since July 2022. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Economics at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and his Master’s degree in Applied Statistics at the University of Göttingen. After his studies, he interned at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC). Before joining the scientific staff of the ERK, he worked as a Research Assistant in the Statistics and Data Science research group at the Humboldt University of Berlin.

Dr. Katrin Kohnert has been a Scientific Associate at the office of the Council of Experts on Climate Change (ERK) since November 2021. Previously, she worked at the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries on climate change-induced changes in water bodies, in particular on greenhouse gas exchange between water bodies and the atmosphere. As part of her doctorate, she studied greenhouse gas emissions from Arctic permafrost regions as a Research Assistant at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences. She received her doctorate in Environmental Sciences from the Technical University of Braunschweig and studied Geoecology and Global Change Ecology at the University of Bayreuth with a semester abroad at the University of Iceland in Reykjavík.

Simon Schnier has been a Scientific Associate at the office of the Council of Experts on Climate Change (ERK) since September 2021. He completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Economics at the University of Münster, focusing on climate and environmental economics as well as empirical methods. During his studies, he worked at the Institute for Housing from 2015 to 2019 and at the Institute for Public and Regional Economics from 2019 to 2021. Furthermore, he completed an internship at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) in the Energy, Transport, Environment Department in 2018.

Dr. Franziska Schulz has been a Scientific Associate at the office of the Council of Experts on Climate Change (ERK) since October 2022. She completed her Master’s degree in Statistics at the Humboldt University of Berlin and her Bachelor’s degree in Econometrics and Operations Research at Maastricht University and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. During her Ph.D. in Statistics and Econometrics at Humboldt University, her research focused on the development of probabilistic time series models to quantify risks in energy markets. Before joining the ERK, she worked at Energy Brainpool GmbH and the German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety.

Dr. Charlotte Senkpiel

Dr. Charlotte Senkpiel has been working for the Council of Experts on Climate Change (ERK) as a Scientific Advisor since the end of 2020 and functions as project lead for its publications. In 2023, she temporarily took over the position of Secretary General. She studied Energy and Environmental Management at the University of Flensburg and the University of Otago. Since 2012, she has been working as a Research Associate at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, where she is part of the Energy Systems Analysis Group. There she leads projects focusing on the decarbonisation of the energy system or individual sectors (e.g. buildings, industry) through the application, advancement and analysis of energy system models. She completed her doctorate on the topic of integrating social science methods and findings into energy system models.

Dr. Jan Stede has been a Scientific Associate for the Council of Experts on Climate Change (ERK) since April 2021, as well as Principal Consultant and Head of Green Economy at Technopolis Germany. Previously, he worked as a Research Assistant at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) since 2015. He completed his Ph.D. in Economics at the DIW Graduate Center and the Technical University Berlin, with a research focus on decarbonization in industry, energy efficiency in buildings and the integration of renewable energies. He received his Master’s degree in Industrial and Network Economics at the Technical University Berlin and the University Federico II in Naples and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics at the University of Cologne.

Dr. Annette Steingrube

Scientific Associate

Council of Experts on Climate Change (ERK) | Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (Fraunhofer ISE)
Heidenhofstrasse 2
79110 Freiburg
E-mail:

Dr. Annette Steingrube has been working as a Scientific Associate for the Council of Experts on Climate Change (ERK) since the end of 2020. She studied Mechanical Engineering with a focus on renewable energies at RWTH Aachen University from 2007 to 2013. Since 2014 she has worked as a Research Assistant at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. There she conducts research in the field of energy system analysis and modelling of urban energy systems with high shares of renewable energies in the electricity and heat supply. From 2015 to 2019, she completed her doctorate on the topic of modelling the decision-making behavior of households when investing in photovoltaic systems and heating systems at the University of Freiburg.

Pia Willers

Scientific Associate

Expertenrat für Klimafragen (ERK) | Institute of Energy Economics (EWI) at the University of Cologne
Alte Wagenfabrik
Vogelsanger Straße 321a
50827 Köln
E-Mail:

Pia Willers has been Scientific Associate for the Council of Experts on Climate Change (ERK) since September 2022 and a Research Associate and doctoral candidate at the Institute of Energy Economics (EWI) at the University of Cologne since April 2022. She completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Economics at the University of Cologne where she specialized in media economics, competition economics and energy economics. Already during her studies, she worked at the Institute of Energy Economics (EWI). She also worked at Yello Strom during her Bachelor’s degree and in the first year of her Master’s degree and completed an internship at Deutsche Bundesbank in 2019.

Marie Zeller

Scientific Associate

Expertenrat für Klimafragen (ERK) | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC)
EUREF Campus 19
Torgauer Straße 12-15
10829 Berlin
E-Mail:

Marie Zeller has been a Scientific Associate for the Council of Experts on Climate Change (ERK) since March 2021. In addition, she works at the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) in Berlin in the Policy Unit with a focus on international climate policy. She studied Climate Physics at the University of Potsdam, having written her Master’s thesis at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. Before that, she completed two bachelor’s degrees in Political and Administrative Science and in Physics with a focus on climate and environmental issues at the University of Konstanz. Furthermore, she worked at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Brussels as part of an internship from 2015 to 2016.