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Photo: Alfred Wegener Institute / Kerstin Rolfes

Research

Major scientific interests: Deep-Sea Ecology, Microbial Biodiversity

Pelago-benthic coupling in Polar Seas; Methane biogeochemistry; Ecology of chemosynthetic and extreme environments; Microbial biodiversity; Microbial processes of early diagenesis in deep-sea sediments; Effects of pressure and temperature on microbial processes

Career

  • since 2017 Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 2012-2018 Vice Director, MARUM Cluster of Excellence, University of Bremen, Germany
  • since 2009 Professor of Geomicrobiology, University of Bremen, Germany
  • since 2008 Leader of the HGF-MPG Joint Research Group on Deep Sea Ecology and Technology, Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 2003-2008 Leader of the “Microbial Habitat” Group, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology Bremen, Germany
  • 2001-2008 Professor, International University Bremen (now: Jacobs University Bremen), Germany, Research associate, Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 1999-2001 Research associate (Postdoc), Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology Bremen, Germany
  • 1996-1999 Research associate (Postdoc), Institute for Baltic Sea Research, Warnemünde
  • 1996 Doctorate in Biology, University of Bremen, Germany
  • 1993-1996 Research associate (PhD), Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 1989-1990 Lab assistant, Scripps Institution of Oceanography San Diego in La Jolla, University of California, USA
  • 1986-1992 Diploma in Biology, University of Hamburg, Germany

Functions

  • 2014-2020 Chair of the Steering Committee of Wissenschaft im Dialog (WiD)
  • since 2015 Member, Senate of the German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • 2014-2016 Chair of the Scientific Commission, German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat)
  • since 2014 Member, Senate of the Leibniz Association
  • since 2012 Vice Director of the MARUM Cluster of Excellence, University of Bremen
  • 2010-2016 Member, Scientific Commission, German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat)

Projects

  • 2015-2019 EU project “AtlantOS – Towards an integrated All-Atlantic Ocean Observing System”, supported by the European Commission
  • 2015-2017 “Ecological Aspects of Deep Sea Mining, Joint Programming Initiative Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans – JPI Oceans”
  • 2014-2020 FRAM Frontiers in Arctic Marine Monitoring – HGF Research Infrastructure, Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers (HGF)
  • 2013-2018 Helmholtz Alliance „Robotic Exploration of Extreme Environments – ROBEX“, Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers (HGF)
  • 2012-2017 ERC Advanced Grant “ABYSS (Assessment of Bacterial Life and Matter Cycling in Deep-Sea Surface Sediments)”
  • 2009-2018 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz program, German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • 2009-2018 MARUM Cluster of Excellence, University of Bremen, Germany
  • 2009-2015 BMBF project „BIOACID – Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification“, supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
  • 2009-2010 DFG MERIAN expedition
  • 2007-2008 DFG METEOR expedition

Honours and Memberships

  • 2020 Mercator-Professur, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
  • 2019 Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • 2019 Robert L. and Bettie P. Cody Award in ocean sciences
  • 2019 Leibniz-Ring-Hannover
  • 2018 Deutscher Umweltpreis, Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU)
  • 2018 Communicator Award, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation)
  • 2017 Copernicus Medal
  • 2017 Carl Friedrich Gauß Medal
  • since 2016 Member of the European Academy of Sciences
  • since 2015 Member of the European Academy of Microbiology (EAM)
  • 2014 Hector Wissenschaftspreis, Hector Fellow
  • 2013 International Ecology Institute Prize (ECI)
  • 2012 Heinrich-Hertz guest professor, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
  • since 2011 Member of the Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz
  • since 2010 External Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society
  • since 2009 Member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
  • 2009 Distinguished Professor, Jacobs University Bremen, Germany
  • 2009 Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz Prize of the DFG
  • 2006 Medaille de la Societé d’Oceanographie de France
  • 1986 - 1989 Stipend, “Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes”

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