External and internal awards for UFZ scientists

On this page we present you our UFZ award winners that were honoured for their outstanding achievements in research, knowledge and technology transfer.

Environmental Award of Honor from Environment, Nature, and Climate Protection Foundation of Saxony-Anhalt

Dr. Stefan Klotz, head of Ecosystems of the Future department at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) received the award on 14 July from the hands of Saxony-Anhalt's Environment Minister Prof. Claudia Dalbert.
For 25 years, the state of Saxony-Anhalt has awarded an environmental prize for exemplary environmental activities and projects. The "Environmental Award of Honour" recognises the long-standing voluntary commitment of individuals or groups.
More information can be found here (in German)

Digital Leader Award (link to German website)

The Helmholtz project "DIGITAL EARTH - Towards SMART Monitoring and Integrated Data Exploration of the Earth System" is a central joint project of 8 Helmholtz centers in the field of Earth and Environment. The aim of Digital Earth is to improve data-driven research through new approaches from computer science and data science so that interdisciplinary questions about the Earth System can be investigated in an integrative way.
DIGITAL EARTH at the UFZ is led by Prof Peter Dietrich, Department of Monitoring and Exploration Technologies. His and the Hydroinformatics group at the Department of Environmental Informatics around Dr. Thomas Kalbacher are significantly involved in Digital Earth with their developments on Smart Monitoring Design and Digital Exploration Framework.
Since 2016, the Digital Leader Award has been presented to innovative projects that drive the digital transformation across industries. This year there were 83 applications with 24 finalists in five categories.

Award for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis

Johanna Wiedener, a student at the University of Leipzig, has been awarded the prize of the German Society for Plant Sciences (DBG) for the best master's thesis in plant science. The master's thesis "Investigation of a mixed species cultivation concept for a continuous photosynthesis-driven hydrogen production" was written at the UFZ Department of Solar Materials in the group of PD Dr Stephan Klähn.
Click here for more information!

UFZ Awards
Technology Transfer Award

Dr. Anett Georgi, Silke Woszidlo und Dr.-Ing. Robert Köhler (department of Environmental Engineering / TUCHEM) for their research and development work on the realization of customized methods for wastewater treatment using zeolites and colloidal activated carbon

Knowledge Transfer Award

Dr. Silke Beck, Dr. Julian Rode, Dr. Heidi Wittmer (department of Environmental Politics / UPOL), Prof. Dr. Ralf Seppelt, Dr. Michael Beckmann, Dr. Matthias Schröter-Vinke (department of Computational Landscape Ecology / CLE), Prof. Dr. Aletta Bonn (department of Ecosystem Services / ESS), Prof. Dr. Josef Settele (department of Community Ecology / BZF; since 1 November 2020 head of the department of Conservation Biology / NSF), Susanne Hufe, Susan Walter, Benjamin Haerdle und Doris Wolst (staff unit Press and Public Relations) for their transfer activities and contributions to policy advice on a global scale as part of IPBES (The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services)

Communication Award
Prof. Dr. Josef Settele (department of Community Ecology / BZF; since 1 November 2020 head of the department of Conservation Biology / NSF) for his authentic and clear communication of research results, especially on the decline in insect populations, the importance of biodiversity and the consequences of land use

Leipzig Science Award (links to German website)

The City of Leipzig, the University of Leipzig and the Saxon Academy of Sciences in Leipzig award this prize usually every two years for work that meets the highest scientific standards and consolidates Leipzig's reputation as a city of science with a nationally and internationally important research and educational landscape. In April, Prof. Klaus-Dieter Kopinke, Head of the Department of Environmental Engineering, received the award in the Old City Hall of Leipzig.

Ulrich Babel Award of the German Soil Science Society

The German Soil Science Society (DBG) awards the Ulrich Babel Prize every two years to young scientists for an outstanding dissertation or publication in the field of German soil science. Dr. Steffen Schlüter (Department of Soil System Science) was awarded the prize during the annual meeting of the German Soil Science Society, which took place in August in Bern, Switzerland.

Helmholtz Doctoral Prize in Research Field: Earth and Environment

Dr. Annegret Grimm-Seyfarth (Department of Conservation Research) was presented with the Helmholtz Doctoral Award. In her dissertation she investigated the effects of climate change at the level of individuals, populations and communities using reptiles in Australia. She has published her findings extensively and highly ranked in nine publications and presented them beyond the scientific community (e.g. in the TV show 3sat Nano). The Helmholtz Doctoral Award is presented annually and includes a financial award of 5,000 EUR as well as a monthly stipend of 2,000 EUR for travel and accommodation expenses for a research stay of up to six months at an international research institution.

Biogas Innovation Award of German Agriculture (links to German website)

This year's 10,000 euro Science Award was given to Maria Braune from the DBFZ and Dr. Heike Sträuber (Department of Environmental Microbiology) from the UFZ for their joint development of a process for the production of the fatty acids capric and caprylic acid from regional biomass. The development was part of the BMBF-funded project "From biogas plant to biorefinery – combined production of medium-chain fatty acids and biogas" and is intended to enable the expansion of the product range of biogas plants.

Research and Innovations Award in Water Science of the Sultanate of Oman

Shamsa bint Masoud Al Saadi from the Centre for Environmental Biotechnology achieved third place in the Research and Innovation Awards in Water Sciences of the Sultanate of Oman. This prize is awarded by the Science Council of Oman and is endowed with 6,000 euros.

UFZ Awards
Research Award

Prof. Rolf Altenburger (Department of Bioanalytical Ecotoxicology) and the UFZ team of the EU project SOLUTIONS, coordinated by PD Dr. Werner Brack, for their outstanding achievements in the research of the toxicological effects of chemical mixtures, the further development and synthesis of the findings in European cooperation and the derivation of recommendations for action for different stakeholders

Technology Transfer Award
Dr. Susanne Dunker (Department of Physiological Diversity) for the research and development work on high-throughput analysis of ecological samples with imaging flow cytometry

Knowledge Transfer Award

Dr. Christiane Schulz-Zunkel (Department of Conservation Biology), Dr. Mario Brauns (Department of River Ecology), Mathias Scholz (Department of Conservation Biology) and Prof. Markus Weitere (Department of River Ecology) for their excellent transfer activities in the "Wilde Mulde" project to solve current challenges in river and floodplain management in Central Europe

Communication Award
Dr. Andreas Marx (Department of Computational Hydrosystems) for his outstanding, credible and comprehensible communication on the causes and effects of climate change, in particular on the drought of 2018 and 2019 and on the statements of the UFZ Drought Monitor

KlarText Award in Science Communications of the Klaus Tschira Foundation (links to German website)

Dr. Anja Worrich, Department of Environmental Microbiology, and Dr. Martin Schrön, Department of Computational Hydrosystems, were awarded in the field of biology resp. geosciences for presenting the topics of their dissertations in German texts in an exemplary manner so they are easy to understand by the layperson.

International Journal of Molecular Science 2018 Best Paper Award

The award is presented annually by the editors of the International Journal of Molecular Science for the most outstanding articles. In November, a consortium of authors led by Dr. Regina Stoltenburg (Department of Soil Ecology) and Dr. Beate Strehlitz (Centre for Environmental Biotechnology) received an award for the publication "Development of An Impedimetric Aptasensor for the Detection of Staphylococcus aureus" [Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(11), 2484; doi:10.3390/ijms18112484].

Frederick Buttel International Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Environmental Sociology

Prof. Matthias Groß (Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology) received the award from the International Sociological Association (ISA) at the World Congress of Sociology in Toronto in July. The Buttel Award is presented every four years to a scientist who has published internationally important contributions to research into the relationship between environment and society over the past four years.

UFZ Awards

Research Award
Dr. Martin Drechsler
, Dr. Karin Johst (Department of Ecological Modelling) & Prof. Frank Wätzold (Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg) for the development of ecological-economic modelling

Technology Transfer Award
Dr. Katrin Mackenzie
(Department of Environmental Engineering) for research and development work of Carbo-Iron as in situ agent for environmentally friendly groundwater remediation

Knowledge Transfer Award
Dr. Hans-Hermann Thulke
& Dr. Martin Lange (Department of Ecological Modelling)  for years of model-based policy advice in crisis situations that are caused by the spread of animal diseases and pose risks for humans, the environment and the economy

Communication Award
Dr. Christian Schmidt
(Department of Hydrogeology) for his commitment and the large national and international media echo he caused for his work on the topic "Plastic transport through rivers into the sea"