IPCC WGII Technical Support Unit

c/o Alfred-Wegener-Institut

Bremen, Germany

Hans-Otto Pörtner

Integrative Ecophysiology


Bremen, Germany

Debra Roberts

Sustainable and Resilient City Initiatives Unit

Ethekwini Municipality

Durban, South Africa

The Technical Support Unit (TSU) for IPCC WGII is based at Alfred-Wegener-Institut (AWI) in Bremen, Germany. The IPCC WGII TSU is supported by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research of Germany and Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung.

Melinda Tignor

Head of TSU

+49 (0) 471 4831-2442


Melinda Tignor serves as Head of the IPCC Working Group II Technical Support Unit (WGII TSU. The Head of the WGII TSU develops and directs the activities of the WGII TSU and supports the WGII Co-Chairs and Bureau in the preparation and production of the WGII products through the scoping, drafting, review, approval/acceptance, and publication processes.

In addition, the Head of the WGII TSU participates in the IPCC Executive Committee as an advisory member, represents WGII on the IPCC Communications Action Team, supports WGII at meetings of the IPCC Financial Task Team as well as at IPCC Bureau and Panel Sessions. Prior to joining the WGII TSU Melinda served as the Deputy Head and the Director of Operations for the Working Group I Technical Support Unit (WGI TSU) during the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report cycle, and as the Project Administrator for the WGI TSU during the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report cycle. Melinda has extensive experience with the IPCC process, having co-edited two assessment reports, two special reports, a technical paper, and numerous supporting materials during the previous two assessment cycles. Melinda holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology.

Elvira Poloczanska

Science Advisor to WGII Co-Chairs and TSU

+49 (0) 471 4831-2443


Elvira Poloczanska, Director of Science, has joined the TSU from Australia. Elvira has over 15 years expertise in climate change ecology research, with a focus on ocean ecosystems and fisheries particularly in the north-east Atlantic and south-west Pacific. Her research includes detection and attribution of observed impacts of climate change, mathematical modelling of ecological impacts under warming scenarios, and the development of adaptation options for ecosystems and industries. She has led or contributed to assessments of climate change impacts, risks and adaptation across disciplines and sectors. Elvira was a Lead Author of Working Group II of the Fifth Assessment Report.

Katja Mintenbeck

Director of Science

+49 (0) 471 4831-2439


Katja Mintenbeck, marine ecologist and Science Officer in the TSU, has long-standing experience in studies on direct and indirect effects of environmental changes on marine living communities. Her research focused on the impact of disturbances and fisheries on fish and benthos communities, trophic interactions, food web structure and stability, the impact of climate change on communities and the vulnerability of key fish species. Besides, she worked on environmental impact assessments in a large European project. Recently, she started extending her scientific approach identifying global pattern in species' vulnerability to ocean acidification using meta-analysis. Her work took her to many expeditions to the Antarctic, the Arctic and the North Sea, and the results of her studies are published in several book chapter and journal articles.

Bard Rama

Director of Operations

+49 (0) 471 4831-2438


Bard Rama’s role as the Operations Director is to coordinate the administrative, financial and technical aspects of the Technical Support Unit (TSU), liaise with the TSUs of WGs I and III of IPCC, and the IPCC Secretariat in Geneva and report to the Head of TSU, as well as coordinate activities and international meetings organized by WGII during the IPCC Sixth Assessment cycle.

Prior to joining the WG II TSU, he worked as an Operations Supervisor at NATO/KFOR. He has also worked in an Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Project with World Bank and participated in numerous international conferences in Europe and US. Bard is working on his PhD on Sustainable residential complexes.

Maike Nicolai

Communications Officer

+49 (0) 471 4831-2445


Maike Nicolai manages the communication and outreach activities of IPCC Working Group II. She is a trained journalist with a Master’s degree in Applied Cultural Sciences. Before joining the IPCC WG II TSU, Maike has worked in media relations and science communication, for example at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and Hamburg University.

Andrés Alegría

Graphics Officer

+49 (0) 471 4831-2437


Andrés Alegría’s role as Graphics Officer is to assist authors in the design and preparation of graphics for the products of the IPCC WGII, and ultimately to enhance understanding and impact of these products in terms of a visual communication and information design perspective. Andrés is a skilled graphic designer with an academic background, holding a M.Sc. on International Studies in Aquatic Tropical Ecology from the University of Bremen. Before joining the IPCC WGII, Andrés worked in the context of artisanal fisheries throughout the Mesoamerican Reef. Here he focused on the development of highly participatory management tools and corresponding communication campaigns targeting a wide array of stake holders demanding diverse media outputs.

Jan Petzold

Science Officer

+49 (0) 471 4831-2446


Jan Petzold is Science Officer at the TSU and has expertise in sustainable resource management, community resilience, and adaptation to climate change. Jan will be primarily engaged in questions that refer to the IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems (SR2). Moreover, his special focus lies on human-nature interactions in coastal regions and small islands. He holds a PhD in geography from the University of Hamburg where he was affiliated with the Cluster of Excellence "Integrated Climate System Analysis and Prediction" (CliSAP). For his PhD research, Jan analysed the potential and limitations of social capital for adaptability to climate change on the Isles of Scilly (UK). Further research projects included fieldwork on various islands, such as Helgoland (Germany) and The Bahamas.

Nora Weyer

Science Officer

+49 (0) 471 4831-2436


Nora Weyer is Science Officer at the TSU with a specific focus on climate change and terrestrial ecosystems. Nora is a biologist specialised on the potential resilience of terrestrial mammals to future climates. She studied and has been involved in research in Germany (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz) and South Africa (University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg; University of Cape Town; Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Port Elizabeth) on several free-living animal species. Nora’s PhD focuses on the physiological and ecological responses of a large free-living mammal, the aardvark, to drought events in the Kalahari semi-desert, with potential severe cascading effects of climate change on southern African biodiversity. She is also an active expert member of the Aardvark Working Group within the IUCN Red List Species Survival Commission (IUCN SSC Afrotheria).

Okem Andrew

Scientific Officer

+27 31 260 7267


Okem Andrew is a Scientific Officer (Social Science) in the Durban Office of the IPCC WGII TSU. He holds a doctorate in Policy and Development Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Before joining the IPCC WG II TSU, Okem worked as a Senior Research Fellow of the Maurice Webb Race Relations Unit at the University of KwaZulu-Natal where managed impact assessment of teacher training programmes. Between 2015 and 2017, he was part of an EU funded project that examined the poverty reduction co-benefits of climate change projects in Durban, South Africa. Over the years, he has been involved in other projects funded by various organisations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Bremen Overseas Research and Development, Unilever, and the Water Research Commission (South Africa).

Marlies Craig

Scientific Officer

+27 31 260 7702


Marlies Craig is a biologist with a PhD in Epidemiology (spatial and temporal distribution of malaria) and a diploma in Adult Education. As PI of the Mapping Malaria Risk in Africa (MARA) project she helped create a continental atlas of the disease which would inform malaria burden estimates and guide control operations. She contributed to the IPCC 3rd assessment - Health, by exploring potential changes in malaria and bilharzia distribution under future climate scenarios. Marlies worked as a consultant epidemiologist then transitioned into the environmental arena. As a freelance educator she authored a popular science book on insects, offered public presentations and educational events for children, and started developing a school curriculum enrichment programme to support biology and environmental education. She briefly worked as Research Mentor in the UKZN School of Clinical Medicine before joining the IPCC WGII team. She is afflicted by an incurable form of Biophilia.

Anka Freund

Administrative Officer

+49 (0) 471 4831-2441


Philisiwe Manqele

Administrative Officer

+27 31 260 7917


Philisiwe Manqele (Phili) is an Administrative Officer for SA WGII TSU in Durban (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in the School of Life Sciences, Westville Campus). She joined the university in April 2014 when she was working as a DRAP ( Durban Research Action Partnership) project Administrator at Pietermartzburg Campus. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Office Management and Technology obtained at Durban Universty of Technology.

Stefan Weisfeld

IT officer (system administration)

Stefan Weisfeld serves as IT expert and consultant for the IPCC WGII TSU. He is an experienced system administrator, data privacy and safety expert, and IT trainer. He is responsible for first user support as well as the conceptualisation of the IT environment for the TSU.
Jussi is working with web applications and websites to support both the WGII TSU and author teams during the sixth IPCC assessment cycle. He's also bringing his leadership and knowledge on web technologies in the cross working group IT coordination team. Jussi has years of IT experience from managing web products and operations for various international organisations including Microsoft, International Potato Center and IPCC during the previous assessment cycle.


Morale Officer

Mallou, coming from the Hellenic Centre for Social Sciences (HCSS) near Athens, is the Morale Officer of the WGII TSU. She graduated in studies on nutrition security combined with human psychology and manipulation and is an international expert on maintenance of emotional integrity and work-life balance. Her knowledge of mindfulness, underpinned by extensive field work on the streets of Greece, and combined with her friendly nature makes Mallou the perfect addition to the team. She ensures the highest level of motivation.