Viola Gerlach has been academic officer to Prof. Dr Ortwin Renn since May 2016. She studied political sciences and sociology at the University of Stuttgart and the Universitá degli Studi di Firenze (Florence, Italy). Her main research focus is on risk perception and risk communication. She has built up extensive scientific knowledge, especially with regard to climate change, natural hazards, and energy policy. She also offers considerable expertise in conceptualising dialogue formats and has more than ten years' experience in facilitating transdisciplinary dialogues.