Dr. Jonas Zimmerman

Role: Coach | currently on hiatus
Background: Biology

Consulting fields: Career development and leadership
Languages: German and English

Approach to coaching and training

What was my journey to coaching?
I dreamed of becoming a biologist since early childhood. During my time working as an individual and group coach at the Camphill Alt-Schönow facility for the disabled in Berlin, I realised how important it was to me to work with people from all walks of life. This experience was so inspiring I stayed in the role for two years following the conclusion of my civilian service. My studies in biology represented the almost complete fulfilment of my childhood dream, but due to the (self-imposed) pressure to perform, I repeatedly found myself coming up against my limits. This pressure, combined with the often precarious working conditions in research, almost made me lose joy in my passion. Coaching offered me possibilities and ways to take pleasure in my research again despite these challenges, and to develop myself. I would like to make this experience available to others, and promote a research culture in which more space is made for individual aptitudes.


I am a coach and biologist. I studied biology with minors in geology and palaeontology at the Freie Universität Berlin, where I also studied philosophy for several semesters. My doctorate (summa cum laude) at Justus Liebig University in Giessen was awarded two prizes. I have been working in research for more than ten years and have coordinated multiple research projects (e.g. DFG, BMBF, EU COST) at national, international, and EU levels.

I am currently head of the research group Diatoms at the Botanical Garden and Museum, Freie Universität Berlin. In addition to research, policy, and committee appointments, my day-to-day work includes supervising young researchers from all over the world. Since completing coaching training in 2011 (Coaching Spiral, Berlin, certified by the German Coaching Association DCV), I have also worked as a coach and facilitator. I am co-founder of Scienza Science Coaching.