Advisory Board

Dr. Rafaela Hillerbrand

Rafaela Hillerbrand, Ph.D. is James Martin Research Fellow in Global Risk Modelling. Her research at the Future of Humanity Institute (FHI) is about global catastrophic risk.
Her research interests traverse epistemological problems related to the interpretations of probabilities, quantitative and qualitative modelling, foundational questions of statistical mechanics as well as ethical questions specific for decisions under risk or under uncertainty. The unifying question behind her research is the improvement of current risk assessments, with a particular focus on the unique problems of catastrophic risks.
Rafaela holds a PhD both in philosophy and in theoretical physics. Her book on foundational issues in environmental ethics and in ethics of technology was awarded the Lilli-Bechmann-Rahn-Preis in 2005. This year her work on hydrodynamic turbulence was awarded the biannual Natural Sciences prize of the Ingrid zu Solms Stiftung.
She coauthored Heavy particles in incompressible flows: the large Stokes number asymptotics, On Peculiar Property of the Velocity Fluctuations in Wall-Bounded Flows, Stochastic suspensions of heavy particles, Anthropogenic climate change: Scientific uncertainties and moral dilemmas, and Renormalized Perturbation Theory for Lagrangian Turbulence. Also read her posts on Practical Ethics.
Rafaela studied physics (with a minor in fluid mechanics) and philosophy (minor in political sciences) at the Universities of Erlangen-Nünberg (Germany) and Liverpool. She earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the former in 2003 for a work on the ethics of technology. She completed a Ph.D (2007) in Theoretical Physics at the University of Müster and the Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur in Nice (France). Her thesis was on hydrodynamic turbulence.