University of Bern Internationals


My international journey by Thomas Stocker

Thomas Stocker portrait
Stocker's journey to Bern included London, Montréal and New York (Image: University of Exeter)

"After the ETH Zurich, I was in the normal postdoctoral mill where you are a free-wheeling researcher with no long-term perspective but working in an extremely exciting environment, frequently changing universities.

I went to University College London for my first international air as a postdoc in mathematics and then to McGill University, Montréal, with a fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation. I am extremely grateful that this allowed me to be part of an institute and research community but with my own funding.

Coincidence and good fortune brought me to Columbia University, where I got deeply into climate change issues and simulations through my supervisor, Wally Broecker, one of the world leaders in the field. He is the father of anthropogenic climate change, publishing the first articles on the threats of global warming already in the 1970s.

I even testified before the United States Congress on climate change in 1992 where the testimony chair was Al Gore, then senator of Tennessee and later the country’s former vice-president.

I was then offered the opportunity to come to the University of Bern. For the first time, this gave me a longer-term perspective by becoming the director of Bern’s widely known division of climate and environmental physics."


Me and my work

Professor Thomas Stocker is widely considered a leading international expert in climate and environmental physics.