Friedhelm von Blanckenburg - Biography#

Friedhelm von Blanckenburg, Dr. (1991) is a Professor of the Geochemistry of the Earth surface at the Freie Universität Berlin and head of section “Earth Surface Geochemistry” at the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences. He is a Geochemist who develops methods in inorganic isotope Geochemistry and mass spectrometry and applies them to Earth surface cycles by means of isotope ratio measurements of the elements involved. By detecting very low concentrations of cosmogenic nuclides in materials of the Earth`s surface and measuring shifts in the relative abundances of metal stable isotopes he is exploring the fundamental processes by which geologic, climatic, and biologic forces act to sculpt landscapes. In addition, a small part of his research is directed at transferring these new methods into the Life Sciences, such as the fractionation of iron stable isotopes during uptake by higher plants and in the human food chain.

He obtained a degree in Geology at the Technical University of Berlin, a doctorate at ETH Zürich, held research positions at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford (1991-1997), and an Lecturer position at the University of Bern (1997-2001). In 2001 he took up a full professorship in the field of Geochemistry at the University of Hannover, and in 2008 in Potsdam/Berlin. In 2009 he was appointed member of the German Academy of Sciences “Leopoldina”, in 2010 he was awarded the Ralph Alger Bagnold Medal for achievements in Geomorphology by the European Geosciences Union EGU, and in 2015 he was appointed member of the prestigious Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

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