German Environment Prize awarded to Ernst-Detlef Schulze

October 06, 2006

Springer author and editor Prof. Ernst-Detlef Schulze (65) from Jena in Germany is one of the two winners of this year's German Environment Prize. With prize money of 500,000 euros, it is Europe's most lucrative environment prize and will be awarded by German President Horst Köhler on 29 October in Dresden. Professor Schulze has been given the prize for his pioneering research into the causes of global climate warming, one of today's biggest environmental problems.

Ernst-Detlef Schulze's work is particularly important in connection with the Kyoto Protocol, because his CarboEurope project allows reliable data to be gathered for the first time on the life cycle of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, replacing the rough estimates that had to be used before. The aim is to calculate the carbon cycle more accurately by means of detailed analyses. These results can then be used to fill gaps in the protocol to counter global warming.

Professor Schulze is the author of the Springer textbook Plant Ecology, co-author of Springer's Atlas of Woody Plant Stems, editor of the Springer book series Ecological Studies and a member of the editorial board of the Springer journal Oecologia. He has published a total of more than 400 works, reflecting the breadth of his research.

Ernst-Detlef Schulze was born in Berlin in 1941. He studied forestry science in Göttingen and Munich and has a Master's degree in Botany from the University of California in Los Angeles. After writing a doctoral and post-doctoral thesis in Würzburg, he became Professor of Plant Ecology at the University of Bayreuth in 1975. He has been director of the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena since 1997, and an Honorary Professor at Jena University since 1999. As a member of the Academic Advisory Board for Global Environmental Issues, he also advises the German Government.

The German Environment Prize was set up in 1993 and is awarded each year by the German environment foundation DBU. The award is given in recognition of achievements that make a sustainable contribution to protecting the environment and are of an exemplary nature. A project's practical feasibility is one of the key criteria in the selection process. The prize is primarily awarded for interdisciplinary and partnership-based projects but also for a researcher's "life's work".
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