Tobias Krüger is Director of IRI THESys and Professor of Hydrology and Society at Humboldt-Universität´s Geography Department. He studied Geoecology at the Technical University of Braunschweig and obtained his doctorate in Environmental Science from Lancaster University in 2009. From 2008 to 2013, he worked as Senior Research Associate, Associate Tutor and Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the University of East Anglia. From 2013 to 2020 he was Junior Professor at the Geography Department and IRI THESys.

Tobias’s research is at the intersection of hydrology and critical social science, trying to make social science critique useful for hydrological practice. His hydrological expertise is in modelling, with a focus on the interrelation of land use and management practices with water quality, particularly soil erosion and nutrient cycling. He cares deeply about data uncertainty and model structural uncertainty, with a methodological focus on developing, applying and critiquing Bayesian statistical methods. He has contributed to debates on the climate-water-energy-food nexus and water insecurity. He coordinates the project Water4Whom, an interdisciplinary consortium from Germany, Colombia and Brazil focussed on inequalities surrounding multipurpose reservoirs in Colombia. He is also involved in the CliWaC and AnthropoScenes projects.

Tobias enjoys collaborating with human geographers and social anthropologists, who made him aware of the contingencies and political implications of hydrology as a practice and our own positionality as researchers. This critical reflexion has led him to experiment with transdisciplinary research approaches, especially participatory modelling. While at the University of East Anglia, he worked with stakeholder groups in developing decision support models for sustainable river basin management. It is now time to take these approaches to our doorstep in Berlin-Brandenburg.

As a teacher, Tobias is offering courses on basic and advanced statistics, (social) hydrology and risk and uncertainty at the Geography Department and the Agricultural Economics Department of Humboldt-Universität. Check out his scripts Quantitative Methods for Geographers and Introduction to Statistics (in German). He is also mentor of the Humboldt-Scholarship ‘Sustainability and Global Justice’.

Tobias has been Deputy Director of IRI THESys since October 2022 and Director since April 2023.

Research Interests

  • Hydrology and society
  • Uncertainty in science and policy
  • Bayesian statistics


Water security for whom? – Social and material perspectives on inequality around multipurpose reservoirs in Colombia (Water4Whom)

Climate and Water under Change – Emerging challenges and strategies for coordinated action in the model region Berlin-Brandenburg (CliWaC)


Demotape – Designing multi-knowledge protocols to transform transboundary policies for hydroclimatic extremes

photo credit: Julia Baier