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Bernd Rendel Prize 2015

The Bernd Rendel Prize awarded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG) recognises promising geoscience research with international potential by researchers who have not yet obtained their doctorates. This year the prize will be presented to British researcher Eleanor Berryman and Austrian researcher Benedikt Soja. The annual meeting of the German Geological Society in Berlin on 6 October will provide a fitting framework for the award ceremony. The aim of the Bernd Rendel Foundation, administered by the Donors' Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany, is to enable prizewinners to attend international conferences and congresses. The two winners will each receive €1000 for scientific purposes.

Prizewinners 2015

Eleanor Berryman

Geochemist Eleanor Berryman studies the formation of the mineral tourmaline using a combination of laboratory and field experiments. By using this mineral as an indicator of the formation of certain types of rock, she can look back into the Earth's history. Tourmaline occurs in many different types of rock, but its complex chemical crystal structure and actual behaviour remain a challenge to scientists. Berryman is studying this topic as part of her doctoral research at TU Berlin and GFZ Potsdam. As well as studying the formation of potassium- or ammonium-rich tourmaline in the laboratory, for example, she investigates rock flows at the Pfitscher Joch pass in Austria and how the mineral may have formed there.

Benedikt Soja

Geodesist and geophysicist Benedikt Soja studies the sun's corona with the help of radio telescopes. For his master's degree at the Technical University of Vienna he developed a method for continually observing the structure and state of the sun's atmosphere. Working with researchers at NASA and TU Vienna, he prepared observation schedules for global radio telescope networks which were used successfully in 2011 and 2012. His research brings together astronomy, solar physics and geodesy. For his doctorate in Potsdam he is refining his expertise in the measurement method known as Very-Long-Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) in relation to Kalman filtering.

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