AWI's Friends' Association honours permafrost researcher for extraordinary achievements

Members of the Friends' Association honour the best young scientist and the best scientific publication of the year
[17. December 2015] 

Permafrost researcher Dr Jens Strauss, AWI Potsdam, was awarded "Young Scientist 2015".  With this award the chairmen of the Friends' Association acknowledge the researcher's outstanding achievements in his dissertation. 

Jens Strauss investigated the quantity and quality of carbon in permafrost soils in Siberia and Alaska.

"This research subject is highly topical since the large carbon reserves in the permafrost soils and their partial release as greenhouse gas due to climate warming are currently in the focus of the climate debate," said AWI Director Karin Lochte in the eulogy.

"His research results regarding the quantity of deep permafrost carbon are essential contributions for a better understanding of the global carbon cycle which makes Strauss highly sought-after in the permafrost carbon community, leading to various high-ranked publications in cooperation with international experts in this research field," emphasised Lochte.

The Young Scientist Award of the AWI's Friends' Association is endowed with a prize money of 2,000 Euros and awarded annually at the institute's Christmas party in Bremerhaven. However, Jens Straus could not accept the award personally because he is participating in the annual AGU meeting in San Francisco, USA, as a speaker and session chair. Karin Lochte commented on his absence: "Just another proof that we have found a worthy winner."

Science Prize for developing an isotope thermometer

Hanno Meyer, permafrost researcher and head of the isotope laboratory at AWI Potsdam, received the Science Award 2015 for the best professional publication. Together with his colleagues Thomas Opel, Thomas Laepple, Martin Werner and Kirstin Hoffmann, he had developed an isotope thermometer for winter precipitation during the study "Long-term winter warming trend in the Siberian Arctic during the mid- to late Holocene" (Nature Geoscience), which helps in analysing ice wedges from permafrost soils.

Thanks to this method of analysis it would be possible now to generate historial climate data " regions where no glaciers or ice caps supply information on temperature or origin of paleo precipitation," said presenter Professor Ralf Tiedemann, Head of the Geosciences Division. The Science Award of AWI's Friends' Association is also endowed with a prize money of 2,000 Euros.



Jens Strauss

Hanno Meyer