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New head of the Department of Geoscience: "Now my experience will benefit the whole department"

On 1 June, Professor of Marine Geology Marit-Solveig Seidenkrantz will start as the new head of the Department of Geoscience. She brings with her international focus and many years of experience with research and education at the department.

Photo: Marjun Danielsen

Marit-Solveig Seidenkrantz (61) is a professor of marine geology and micropalaeontology at Aarhus University, and she will be taking over management of the Department of Geoscience from Jan Piotrowski on 1 June.

This will give the department an ‘insider’ with an international outlook, extensive research and teaching experience, and a large network of collaboration partners and research relations.

Throughout her life as a researcher, Marit-Solveig Seidenkrantz has travelled in harsh and challenging environments to study seabed sediments and cores in order to understand the climate of the past and learn more about the climate of the future. She worked at universities in Canada and France before being employed as an associate professor at the Department of Geology in Aarhus in 2000, continuing in 2013 as a professor at the same department, which has since been renamed the Department of Geoscience.

Birgit Schiøtt, dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, is looking forward to welcoming Marit-Solveig Seidenkrantz as a head of department:

"Marit-Solveig is a highly competent professor and research director, with internationally oriented focus and a large range of personal experiences that give her the best possible starting point for becoming an accomplished strategic head of the Department of Geoscience. I'm very pleased that she has agreed to take on the task," says Birgit Schiøtt.

Among other things, the dean highlights that Marit-Solveig Seidenkrantz has extensive international experience from employment at foreign universities, from leading research expeditions, and in research-policy contexts, where she has represented Aarhus University and Denmark. Examples include as a council member of FNU, a member of the ERC panel, participation in the European COST network, and as an advisor to Ministry of Higher Education and Science regarding Horizon Europe.

"There’s also Marit-Solveig's commitment to communicating the research that the department's researchers help create. Geological history and knowledge about the climate are important in the public debate on climate change, and Marit-Solveig fully understands that, as a researcher, she has to contribute with her knowledge," says Birgit Schiøtt.

Wellbeing for employees and students

Marit-Solveig Seidenkrantz is looking forward to working with personal management, education and the research that has been the focal point of her own working life.

"I have considerable experience, which will now benefit the whole department. I hope that I can inspire others to find ways to even further strengthen our research and teaching," says Marit-Solveig Seidenkrantz, who will also have focus on the work environment.

"There's a lot of talk about stress and poor wellbeing in our society, and my aim is to make employees and students at Geoscience feel happy at work. From my point of view, it’s important to create stability and a clear direction. This shouldn’t be interpreted as meaning that we need to work harder. I just think work should be more targeted. A good work and study environment also improves research and educational results. There’s no doubt that climate change, environmental problems, greater needs for clean water and other raw materials, as well as the need for solutions to the other challenges facing society, will mean significant continuing demand for our knowledge and expertise," says Marit-Solveig Seidenkrantz, referring to the great interest from the media and professionals in the department's researchers and their knowledge about climate, carbon storage, soil types and not least soil conditions after the recent landslide in the village of Ølst.

"I’m looking forward to helping the department to continue its strong development, which over the years has provided me with many good opportunities. My ambition is to create an even stronger research and teaching environment, so I'm looking forward to getting started," Marit-Solveig Seidenkrantz says.


Bonus information

Marit-Solveig Seidenkrantz was born in Sønderborg, and in her own words she is a second generation immigrant (German mother and Danish father). She speaks fluent German and English and can manage a taxi conversation in French.

More about Marit-Solveig Seidenkrantz

Master of Science in geology from AU in 1989, PhD in natural science from AU in 1992.

In 2018, she received the Danish Geology Award for her major contribution to palaeoclimate research. She was made Knight of the Order of Dannebrog in 2023.