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Press Release No. 60 | 28 September 2007
Volcanoes in View

DFG awards the Bernd Rendel Prize for outstanding young geoscientists

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has awarded the Bernd Rendel Prize to four young geoscientists, two of whom are volcanologists. One of the volcanologists has been working on a new method of predicting volcanic eruptions; the other winners have been working on modelling volcano tectonics, ocean currents and hydrogeochemistry.

With the award of the Bernd Rendel Prize, worth EUR2000 to each prize winner, the DFG enables young graduate scientists who have not yet received their doctorate to participate in international congresses and symposia. The young researchers and scientists are awarded the prize in recognition of their outstanding and original diploma theses, current doctoral theses or other research work. The prizes will be awarded at the annual conference of the German Geological Society (GV) in Bremen, which is taking place from 1 - 5 October 2007.

This year's winners are:

Dipl. Geologist Steffi Burchardt (24), University of Göttingen
The geologist Steffi Burchardt completed her diploma in an exceptionally short time of just nine semesters at university with excellent results and is now conducting research into volcano tectonics in Iceland. She is currently working towards her doctorate at the University of Göttingen and is concentrating, in particular, on the demanding task of modelling tectonic interrelationships.

Dipl. Geometer Henryk Dobslaw (30), Technical University of Dresden
Henryk Dobslaw completed his diploma in Geodetics in just eleven semesters, during which time he also spent a year at Uppsala University in Sweden. Since graduating he has been working on determining a numerical ocean model. His findings have been very well received internationally and are already being applied in numerous geophysical and oceanographic studies.

Dipl. Geophysicist Alexander Gerst (30), University of Hamburg
Alexander Gerst obtained his degree in geophysics from the University of Karlsruhe and the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, with distinction. Now he is working on his thesis on the volcanology of the early stages of eruptions of Mount Erebus in Antarctica. He already detected a temporal change in tension in the earth's crust under a volcano in New Zealand while working towards his Diploma degree. Since such tensions typically occur before eruptions, continual monitoring of seismic data is a new method which contributes towards the prediction of volcanic eruptions.

Dipl. Geoecologist Klaus-Holger Knorr (29), University of Bayreuth
Klaus-Holger Knorr is a hydrogeochemist. Since 2005, he has been working towards his doctorate as a member of the DFG Research Unit "Dynamics of Soil Processes under Extreme Meteorological Conditions" and is looking into the significance of organic substances for electron transfer processes in groundwater. He studied geoecology in Bayreuth and Zurich, funded by a grant from the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes (German National Academic Foundation), and graduated with distinction.

Further Information

Further information about the Bernd Rendel Prize and the prize winners is available on the Internet at Externer Linkwww.dfg.de/en/news/ scientific_prizes/rendel_preis/.
Contact person at the DFG is Dr Annett Uhmann, Division for Physics, Mathematics and Geosciences, Tel. ++49 (0) 228 / 885 2012, e-mail Annett.Uhmann@dfg.de.