Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Otto Hahn Medal for young aerosol researcher from Mainz


Christopher Pöhlker from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry is being awarded the Otto Hahn Medal for his outstanding research of the characteristics and sources of biogenic aerosol particles.

Pöhlker has proven that biogenic aerosols have a much greater influence on clouds and rain than previously assumed. Biogenic aerosols are tiny airborne particles that originate from plants, fungi, and bacteria.

Christopher Pöhlker


Their effects on the climate and the environment are still largely unknown. For his pioneering research, the 30-year-old chemist will be awarded the Otto Hahn Medal at the General Meeting of the Max Planck Society on June 4, 2014.

The Max Planck Society awards the Otto Hahn Medal to young scientists every year to promote their research careers. This year the award, worth 7,500 euros, goes to Christopher Pöhlker for his outstanding academic work in connection with his doctoral thesis.

In the opinion of the jury, the thesis gives a new perspective on the role of aerosols in terms of their interactions with the atmosphere, the biosphere, and the global climate.

Pöhlker’s results show, for example, that plants and fungi have greater influence on the formation of clouds and the production of precipitation in the rainforest than previously thought. They release potassium-rich particles that trace gases accumulate on. These particles then serve as condensation nuclei for atmospheric moisture, forming clouds and producing rain.

The chemist did his research in the Amazonian rainforest and in a semi-arid woodland area in the US. He determined the concentration of bioparticles arising from fungal spores, pollen, and bacteria in the atmosphere and characterized their properties by using various methods such as fluorescence microscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, X-ray microscopy, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy.

Christopher Pöhlker, who is currently on a research campaign in the Brazilian rainforest and is therefore not able to attend the award ceremony in person, studied chemistry at the Philipps-Universität in Marburg. During his studies, he spent some time at the department of organic chemistry at Stockholm University, Sweden.

Since October 2009 he has been active in the Biogeochemistry Department of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz with Meinrat O. Andreae and Ulrich Pöschl. In 2013 Pöhlker successfully completed his thesis, receiving the grade “summa cum laude”. His research has been published in the prestigious science magazine SCIENCE.

Weitere Informationen:

Dr. Susanne Benner | Max-Planck-Institut

Further reports about: Max-Planck-Institut Society X-ray atmosphere bacteria chemist clouds fluorescence fungi gases particles spectroscopy thesis woodland

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht Changing the Energy Landscape: Affordable Electricity for All
20.10.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE

nachricht Emmy Noether junior research group investigates new magnetic structures for spintronics applications
11.10.2016 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>