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.
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.
Dr. Susanne Benner | Max-Planck-Institut
Protein design – A construction kit full of opportunities
25.03.2015 | Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie
University of Luxembourg physicist is awarded a grant by the European Research Council
23.03.2015 | Universität Luxemburg - Université du Luxembourg
In an experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, scientists precisely measured the temperature and structure of aluminum as...
The IPH presents a solution at HANNOVER MESSE 2015 to make ship traffic more reliable while decreasing the maintenance costs at the same time. In cooperation with project partners, the research institute from Hannover, Germany, has developed a sensor system which continuously monitors the condition of the marine gearbox, thus preventing breakdowns. Special feature: the monitoring system works wirelessly and energy-autonomously. The required electrical power is generated where it is needed – directly at the sensor.
As well as cars need to be certified regularly (in Germany by the TÜV – Technical Inspection Association), ships need to be inspected – if the powertrain stops...
When an earthquake hits, the faster first responders can get to an impacted area, the more likely infrastructure--and lives--can be saved.
The Atlantic overturning is one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards. Also known as the Gulf Stream system, it is responsible for the mild climate in northwestern Europe.
Scientists now found evidence for a slowdown of the overturning – multiple lines of observation suggest that in recent decades, the current system has been...
Because they are regularly subjected to heavy vehicle traffic, emissions, moisture and salt, above- and underground parking garages, as well as bridges, frequently experience large areas of corrosion. Most inspection systems to date have only been capable of inspecting smaller surface areas.
From April 13 to April 17 at the Hannover Messe (hall 2, exhibit booth C16), engineers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing IZFP will be...
25.03.2015 | Event News
19.03.2015 | Event News
17.03.2015 | Event News
31.03.2015 | Physics and Astronomy
31.03.2015 | Information Technology
31.03.2015 | Physics and Astronomy