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German Environmental Prize for Boetius

  • 10.16.2018 | Awards

    Antje Boetius is honored with the Environmental Prize of the Federal Environmental Foundation.    

    Many researchers all over the world are devoted to researching our environment and are looking for new methods to slow down climate changes - including our Hector Fellow Prof. Dr. Antje Boetius, deep-sea and polar researcher and director of the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, in cooperation with an interdisciplinary team of wastewater experts from Leipzig. Together, they have ensured that the Jordanian government's "Clean Water for All" initiative has now become a realistic goal.

    With this award, the German Federal Environmental Foundation emphasises the importance and urgent need for action in supplying the world's population with clean drinking water and functional sanitation facilities. Boetius' contribution in this area is based primarily on her work in the field of marine biology – including successful demonstration of the importance and influence of deep-sea bacteria on the global climate. Among others, these tiny organisms break down methane - a much more dangerous greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Only a part escapes into the atmosphere as a result of the microorganisms - but since these are just as affected by environmental destruction as many other living organisms, it is possible that in future more gases will escape to the surface and thus further accelerate global warming. As the "attorney of the oceans", she is committed to the conservation of our oceans, especially the deep sea, which has so far been largely unexplored, and is strongly advocating for the urgently needed and far-reaching planning for the future.

    The prize is an award endowed with 500,000 euros, whereby the marine biologist and the Leipzig team are each rewarded with one half.


    To the german press release.