Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Geology research in Lund receives SEK 40 million

Within the space of a week, Lund University’s geology researchers have raked in SEK 40 million.
Professor Birger Schmitz has received SEK 25 million for his ground breaking research on the meteorite flux to earth that has been taking place for billions of years. Professor Daniel Conley has received SEK 15 million for research on how carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have varied in the past.

Both Birger Schmitz and Daniel Conley are based at the Department of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences at Lund University, Sweden.

Birger Schmitz is a bedrock geologist and a world leader in the emerging field of research on the history of life from a broader astronomical perspective. He has received SEK 25 million from the European Research Council (ERC), which is a desirable and prestigious honour in the research community.

With the help of an amateur geologist and three quarry workers, Birger Schmitz has previously uncovered over 90 fossilised meteorites in 470 million year old bedrock in Västergötland, Sweden – a unique find. The meteorites come from one of the largest explosions in the recent history of the solar system, when a comet broke up an asteroid of several hundred kilometres diameter between Mars and Jupiter, which had consequences for life on earth. Still today, around a third of meteorites that fall to earth come from this event that happened 470 million years ago.

In the new ERC-funded project, Astrogeobiosphere, Birger Schmitz has developed pioneering methods to link the evolution of life to events in the history of the solar system and the galaxy. By studying microscopic extraterrestrial minerals in sediment from different periods in the history of the earth, the origins of the astronomical body that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago could be traced. Using the new methods, the movement of the solar system through the spiral arms of the galaxy, as well as the rotation of the galaxy, can be traced in sediment that has been deposited on earth over billions of years. According to the ERC, Birger Schmitz project has paved the way for a whole new interdisciplinary research field in the interface between geology, astronomy and biology.

Daniel Conley is a biogeochemist and conducts research on oxygen deficiency and dead seabeds in the Baltic Sea and on how levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have varied in the past, on a time scale from tens of thousands to millions of years. His work has now been recognised by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW), which at its latest board meeting appointed his as one of the participants in the Wallenberg Scholars programme. The appointment comes with financial support of SEK 15 million, to be used freely for research projects. Conley has been awarded the funding for the part of his research that concerns carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. He obtains his research results by analysing ancient sediment layers below the seabed in various locations around the world.

“In order to understand climate change and the greenhouse effect, we need to know more about how carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have varied in the past”, says Professor Conley.

For more information, please contact:

Birger Schmitz, tel. +46 768 565568, or

Daniel Conley, tel. +46 46 222 0449,

Megan Grindlay | idw
Further information:

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht UCI and NASA document accelerated glacier melting in West Antarctica
26.10.2016 | University of California - Irvine

nachricht Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere
25.10.2016 | American Geophysical Union

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

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...

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

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Solid progress in carbon capture

27.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>