Thomas Korbun studied biology, public law and psychology at the Universities of Frankfurt and Marburg.
From 1996 until 1998, Thomas Korbun worked at the University of Marburg as a research associate in the Department of Nature Conservation at the Faculty of Biology. Moreover, he coordinated the joint research project "Nature Conservation in Agricultural Landscapes", which was funded by Green Talents initiator, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU, German Federal Environmental Foundation). Afterwards, he was employed as a research associate at the Brandenburg state agency for large protected areas.
In 1999 Thomas Korbun became Scientific Director of the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW). The main focus of his work is research policy and management, sustainability strategies, as well as nature protection and conservation.
Furthermore, Thomas Korbun is the spokesperson of the Ecological Research Network (Ecornet), a network of non-university, non-profit German research institutes focusing on environmental and sustainability research. He is a member of the executive committee of the Organisation for Ecological Economic Research e.V. (VÖW, Vereinigung für ökologische Wirtschaftsforschung e.V.) and member of the scientific advisory council of Oekom Verlag, an established publishing house specialising in publications concerned with sustainability.