Jörn Thiede, born in 1941, studied geosciences at the universitites of Kiel, Vienna and Buenos Aires. 1967-1982 he worked in junior to senior academic positions (from amanuensis to full professor) at the universities of Aarhus/DK, Bergen/N, Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oslo/N and learned to sail the worlds oceans attempting to understand the history of their shape, waters and life. In 1982 he moved to a professorship in Historical Geology and Paleontology at Kiel University, and persued the foundation of a new research institution in marine geosciences (GEOMAR). GEOMAR was established in 1987 and he became its founding director. In 1988 he was granted the Leibniz-Prize by the DFG, Germanys most prestigeous science award. During that time he also led as chief scientist expeditions into high northern latitude waters (on POLARSTERN, the German research ice breaker, and on JOIDES RESOLUTION, the ODP drill ship). He initiated the ODP drilling program „North Atlantic Arctic Gateways“ which resulted in several legs. Before moving to Denmark, where he is now a professor for “Geology and Climate” at the Geocenter Danmark, he became the director of the German Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research (1997-2007). As chairman of the European Polar Board (EPB) 1999-2002 of the European Science Foundation and President of SCAR (2002-2206) he reorganized both organisations, helped to prepare for the IPY and initiated the EU-ESFRI project AURORA BOREALIS (novel international research icebreaker for the Arctic). As lead scientist of a Russian government megagrant (2010-2012) he was invited to join the St. Petersburg State University (SPbGU) where he is now a professor.