Hans-Otto Pörtner studied biology and chemistry at the University of Münster, received his doctorate and habilitation in animal physiology at the universities of Münster and Düsseldorf. Before he became head of the Department of Integrative Ecophysiology at the Alfred Wegener Institute, he worked at the Universities of Dalhousie and Acadia in Canada and the Lovelace Medical Foundation in the USA. In October 2015 he was elected co-chair of the IPCC Working Group on Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. He was co-responsible for the three IPCC Special Reports on 1.5°C, Land, and Ocean and Cryosphere, which were adopted between October 2018 and September 2019. He is also a member of the European Academy of Sciences. According to an analysis by Clarivate Analytics (Web of Science) he is a "highly cited researcher" 2018 and 2019. He is member of the WBGU since 2020.