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Lennart de Nooijer wins International Paul Brönnimann Award

Biogeologist Lennart de Nooijer is given the International Paul Brönnimann Award 2010 by the ‘Fondation Paul Brönnimann’. De Nooijer is the first Dutch scientist to receive the award and he will receive the award for his fundamental research on the formation of calciumcarbonate (chalk) by foraminifers. These unicellular organisms live in all marine habitats and produce minute shells, a process that plays a major role in the Earth’s geochemical cycles.


Tools for paleoclimatologists

The chemical composition of the shells of foraminifers depends on the circumstances in which the foraminifers live. Therefore fossil foraminifers are popular tools to reconstruct the climate of the past. The shells that they produce act thus as a recorder of the environment, for example sea water temperature.


Biological processes revealed

The formation of shells is controlled by biological factors as well as environmental factors. The biological processes that control the formation of calciumcarbonate obscure these chemical-environmental relationships mentioned above. De Nooijer’s work on living specimens has revealed a number of crucial cellular processes and thereby resulted in an improved understanding of calcification by foraminifera.


About the Paul Brönnimann Award

This prestigious award and accompanying 7500 euros is presented every four years to a young scientist for the most innovative and original contribution in the field of research on foraminifera. The focus is on research in the fields of paleoclimatology, ecology and physiology. De Nooijer will receive the award on 7 September during the ‘FORAMS2010’ congress in Bonn, Germany.