The Extremes Grand Challenge is co-led by:

zhang Xuebin Zhang is Senior Scientist at the Climate Research Division of Environment Canada. His work focuses on the understanding changes in climate extremes. He has an interest in statistical climatology and has been involved in the development of extreme indices. He has published on detection and attribution, and projection of climate extremes. Xuebin was also involved in the recent IPCC assessment reports.
hegerl Gabi Hegerl is Professor of climate system science at the University of Edinburgh. Her work focuses on the causes of change in mean and extreme temperature and precipitation. Gabi has been publishing on causes of observed changes in the frequency and intensity of temperature and precipitation extremes, and on properties of indices of extremes, and was involved in several of the recent IPCC assessment reports. Gabi is a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and supported by a Royal Society Wolfson fellowship.
seneviratne Sonia Seneviratne is an Associate Professor in Land-climate dynamics at the ETH Zurich, in Switzerland. Her works focuses on the role of land processes for the climate system, in particular related to changes in extremes such as heatwaves and droughts. Sonia was a coordinating lead author of the IPCC special report on extremes and was awarded the AGU James B. Macelwane medal in 2013. Since 2014, she is co-chair of the GEWEX Scientific Steering Group.
alexander Lisa Alexander is an Associate Professor in the Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia and leader of the Extremes Research Program in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Systems Science. Her work mainly focuses on understanding trends and variability of extreme climatic events through observations and climate models.

Each of the co-chairs lead a research theme: Document (Alexander), Understand (Seneviratne), Attribute (Zhang), Simulate (Hegerl) along with the following co-leads:


Ali Behrangi
Ali Behrangi is an Associate Professor in Hydrology and Atmospheric Science, University of Arizona, and scientist at NASA JPL-Caltech, Pasadena, USA. He is a principal investigator for research projects related to extreme weather, global water and energy cycle, and high latitude precipitation. His work mainly focuses on remote sensing of precipitation, hydrologic applications, and the analysis of extreme weather and climatic events using observation and models.



martius Olivia Martius is an Associate Professor in Meteorology and Climate Impact Research at the Oeschger Centre for Climate Research at the University of Bern. Her work mainly focuses on understanding the dynamics leading to extreme weather events using observational and re-analysis data
vautard Robert Vautard is a senior scientist of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) working at LSCE, a laboratory of the Institute Pierre-Simon Laplace. He is conducting research on extreme events in the context of climate change and regional climate modelling. He was review editor of the Chapter 10 of the 5th IPCC report on attribution of climate change.


otto Friederike Otto is a senior researcher at the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, UK, and the scientific coordinator of the project where she provides the scientific lead of several research projects. Her main research interest is the quantification of uncertainty and validation of methodologies and climate models in order to undertake attribution studies of extreme weather events to external climate drivers.


fischer Erich Fischer is a senior scientist at the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Switzerland. His work focuses on understanding and predicting future changes in temperature extremes, heavy precipitation and dry spells and quantifying the associated uncertainties based on Global and Regional Climate Models. Erich further has a strong interest in assessing and projecting impacts of extremes such as health effects of heatwaves

Jana Sillmann is a Senior Scientist at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research Institute (CICERO) in Oslo, Norway. Her work concentrates on evaluating climate extremes in climate model simulations, analyzing changes in climate extremes and understanding relevant drivers. She has established the extremes indices archive and contributed to IPCC AR5.