Leibniz Prize 2012 to honor outstanding researcher Prof. Dr. Ulf Riebesell

Prof. Dr. Ulf Riebesell (52), Oceanography, Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR) at University of Kiel

Ulf Riebesell receives the Leibniz Prize for his research on ocean change, one of the farthest-reaching corollaries and consequences of human-induced climate change. This marine scientist from Kiel was one of the first researchers to examine the influence of acidification and ocean warming on marine organisms and ecosystems. He focused especially on plankton and other calcareous and calcifying organisms in the ocean. In his experimental work — initially in the laboratory and later with free-drifting mesocosms in the Baltic Sea, Norwegian fjords and the Arctic — Riebesell was able to show how increased uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere reduces the pH value in oceans and the ability of calcareous organisms to produce shells. Because these organisms are often at the beginning of the food chain, this may have a material impact on the entire food chain and production in the ocean. With his work, Riebesell has made not only marine scientists but also the general public aware of ocean acidification as one of the most acute threats to marine ecosystems.

Following the study of biology and biological oceanography at Kiel, Ulf Riebesell continued his scientific education on the West and East Coasts of the United States. After receiving his doctorate in Bremen, he conducted research at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven and in Santa Barbara, California, before he took over in 2003 as head of the Department of Biological Oceanography at IFM-GEOMAR in Kiel, which also entails a professorship at Kiel University.

 

 

Marco Finetti, EurekAlert, 14 December 2011. Full article.

 


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