№ 254/2010 from Aug 02, 2010
The Earth scientist Hauke Marquardt, who completed his doctoral dissertation at Freie Universität Berlin, is the winner of the 2010 German Dissertation Prize in the science and technology category. The award is given each year to three scientists or scholars of different fields, whose dissertations are outstanding in their field and are of particular importance for society. Each of the awards is valued at 30,000 euros. The German Dissertation Prizes will be presented during an award ceremony to be held November 23, 2010, at the German Parliamentary Society in Berlin.
Hauke Marquardt wrote his dissertation on the topic “The deep Earth in the laboratory.” It deals with flow movements inside the Earth’s mantle at a depth of 50-2900 km. These dynamics are often responsible for natural disasters. Marquardt simulated the physical properties of mineral samples under the pressure conditions of the mantle – the “deep Earth” – in the laboratory and carried out various calculations. He compared his results with the propagation behavior of earthquake waves. The findings in his doctoral work contribute to a better understanding of the mass movements in the lower mantle. They also lay the foundation for a new thermometer for temperature regulation in these extreme depths.
Irene Nagel was also nominated for the German Dissertation Prize. She currently works as a post doc at Freie Universität Berlin in the field of emotion psychology and affective neuroscience. Along with Hauke Marquardt, Irene Nagel remained in the competition until the final round with 26 nominees. A total of 391 researchers had applied for the awards. Nagel wrote her doctoral thesis on the performance of working memory in old age. She was able to show that differences in working memory are associated with the flexibility of brain activation and come about, about other things, through the complex interplay of genetic factors and neurobiological aging.