Austria´s annual contribution to this programme is financed by the Austrian Science Fund FWF together with the Austrian Academy of Sciences. The first-time participation of an Austrian in a drilling expedition of the research vessel JOIDES Resolution represents a highlight of this contribution to the IODP.
Globigerina – a group of planktic foraminifera and messenger of past climatic conditions
© Patrick Grunert
The depth of the sea is still largely unexplored. And the true scientific adventure really begins when fresh ground is to be broken - into the depths of the oceanic crust. This is exactly the goal of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), launched in 2003.
The international research programme intends to explore the structure and history of the Earth by examining sediments of the sea-floor. Several custom-built vessels equipped with advanced drilling facilities and experts from various countries will be employed as part of IODP in order to extract drill cores from the Earth´s crust on the open sea. Alongside the two leading agencies, the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the US National Science Foundation NSF, IODP is significantly co-financed by a consortium of European nations. The Austrian membership contribution of 100.000 US dollars is paid in equal shares by the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) and the Austrian Science Fund FWF. This contribution gives scientists of the member states the right to apply for a place in an expedition on one of the vessels. With the participation of Dr. Patrick Grunert, paleobiologist at the ÖAW and at the Institute for Earth Sciences of the University of Graz, this is the first time that Austria is represented onboard.
The micropaleontologist, who is currently boarding the JOIDES, will conduct the first examinations in specially set up high-tech labs. Based on this, samples can be specifically selected after completion of the expedition, which are suitable for further analyses. "By participating in this IODP expedition, I have the opportunity to obtain unique sample material from the drilling to conduct subsequent examinations in Austria", says Dr. Grunert. The scientist is thereby offered extraordinary research conditions, which would not have been possible without the financial contribution made by the FWF to the IODP. The FWF is thus helping top Austrian scientists to be involved at the cutting edge of research - now and in the future.Scientific contact:
Dr. Katharina Schnell | PR&D
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