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Prestigious Award for Freiburg Scientists

European Research Council awards ERC Starting Grants of 3,1 million Euro for two edge of science projects

Freiburg, Jul 25, 2012

Prestigious Award for Freiburg Scientists

Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle & Dr. Markus Roth

Oliver Einsle and Markus Roth from the University of Freiburg receive one of the most important European grants for young scientists. The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded them a total of 3,1 million Euro in ERC Starting Grants for new projects.

The grantees and their projects are:

Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Freiburg, receives a 1,64 million Euro ERC Starting Grant.

The biochemist investigates the function of two environmentally important enzymes: nitrogenase catalyses the reduction of nitrogen from the air enabling its use as biologic fertiliser. Nitrous-oxide reductase is key for reduction of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide that is released in the atmosphere by the use of synthetic fertilisers. With the awarded N-ABLE project, these complex and highly oxygen-sensitive enzyme systems will be stabilised and optimised by using model organisms instead of their natural hosts. If they succeed, the biotechnological application can help to replace the use of synthetic fertiliser and to reduce green house gas generation.

Dr. Markus Roth, currently preparing his habilitation at the Institute of Physics and the Kiepenheuer Insitut fuer Sonnenphysik, receives an ERC Starting grant of 1,5 million Euro for his research on understanding the function of the solar dynamo.

Over an 11-year cycle, the solar dynamo drives the increase and decrease of the magnetic field of the sun. The change of the magnetic field is related to solar eruptions that can lead eventually to perturbations of technological systems in space like satellites. The investigation of solar seismic waves enables, similar to the seismographic measurement of earthquakes, insights into the processes in the sun’s deep interior. Markus Roth, an expert in the seismology of the sun, strives to develop new approaches for the probing of solar seismic waves to better understand the solar dynamo.

German Press Release

Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle
Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry
Phone: 0761/203-6058

Dr. Markus Roth
Kipenheuer Institut für Sonnenphysik
Phone: 0761/3198-228