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Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize for GeoBio-Center Member Dr. Christian Wild, Department of Earth and Environmental Science

DFG Honours Six Young Researchers for Outstanding Achievements


DFG Press Release No. 11

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize this year. The ceremony on 5 June will also honour the six prizewinners for 2007. One woman and five men will receive awards of 16,000 euros each. Choosing from a candidate pool of 80 young researchers, including 28 women, the selection committee was most impressed by an astrophysicist, a fluid mechanics engineer, a clinical pharmacologist, an experimental physicist, a computer scientist, and a microbiologist. The prize is named after former DFG president and nuclear physicist Heinz Maier-Leibnitz. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, it is awarded annually to six young researchers.


The 2007 prizewinners are:

Dr. Eric Bell (31), astrophysics, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg


Dr. Michael Dumbser (29), fluid mechanics, University of Stuttgart


Dr. Veit Hornung (30), clinical pharmacology, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich


Dr. Stefan Linden (34), experimental physics, University of Karlsruhe (TH)


Prof. Dr. Nicole Schweikardt (33), computer science, Humboldt University, Berlin


Dr. Christian Wild (32), microbiology and ecology, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich

Christian Wild works at the interface between many scientific disciplines. A biologist by training, he collaborates closely with geobiologists, biologists, ecologists, palaeontologists and geochemists on his projects. His core research topic, the role of organic coral exudates for the functioning of reef ecosystems, used to be largely uncharted territory. For his initial work on this topic he received the Max Planck Society's Otto Hahn Medal in 2005. Christian Wild explores processes whose influence on ecosystems was previously underestimated, and which are crucial for understanding fossil coral reefs and for understanding and protecting modern coral reefs. The socio-political significance of the projects pursued by Christian Wild and his Emmy Noether independent junior research group, regarding material cycles in warm and cold water coral reefs, is also evident in Wild's role as a UNESCO consultant for coral reef issues.

The 30-year anniversary of the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, and the presentation of this year's awards by DFG President Professor Matthias Kleiner and Federal Minister of Research Dr. Annette Schavan, will be celebrated on 5 June in a ceremony at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn. Journalists are cordially invited to attend the event.

Full Version of Press Release:


Dr. Christian Wild