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Professor Bo Barker Jørgensen honoured for his life's work within geochemistry: "I’m overwhelmed, grateful and very happy".

The H. C. Urey Award is awarded to researchers who have made an outstanding contribution to geochemistry. The award is one of the most prestigious within the subject area. Bo Barker Jørgensen from the Department of Biology receives the award for his revolutionary impact on biogeochemistry and geobiology.

Photo: Lars Kruse

The European Association of Geochemistry has just named the 29th recipient of the prestigious H. C Urey Award: Professor Bo Barker Jørgensen from the Department of Biology at Aarhus University.

The award is presented each year to researchers who have made an outstanding contribution to geochemistry during their career. The criteria include both scientific expertise and a broader influence, for example through the supervision of early-career researchers, promotion of diversity and inclusion in the world of research, or extraordinary editorial contributions.

"I never imagined that it’d happen to me. I’m overwhelmed, grateful and very happy that someone considers my life's work to be so important," says Bo Barker Jørgensen, who is the second Danish researcher to receive the award in the 33 years of its existence.

The professor is well known for his research into the ecology of marine microorganisms from microscale to global perspectives. Through new methods and painstaking experiments and observations, he has shown how microbes living in seawater and sediments both react to, and control their chemical environment.

This is just one of the reasons why Bo Barker Jørgensen was nominated for the award by his peers, and after this he was selected by the committee as this year’s recipient.

"I received an email from the European Association of Geochemistry a few days ago, with the news that I had received the award. How are you supposed to react? It's a huge honour to receive the Urey Award, and my immediate reaction was that it was far too much," says Bo Barker Jørgensen, laughing.

The award ceremony will be held at the European Association of Geochemistry’s Goldschmidt Conference in Lyon in July.

Professor Bo Barker Jørgensen

  • Born on 22 September 1946 in Copenhagen.
  • MSc in biology from AU in 1973. Subsequent PhD from the same place in 1977, and he received his higher doctoral degree in biology in 1979.
  • Member of the teaching staff at Aarhus University since 1973.
  • Set up the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, Germany, 1992 and was director from 1992-2011.
  • Head of the Centre for Geomicrobiology, Aarhus University 2007-2017
  • Professor at Aarhus University since 2011.
  • Member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA.

Read more here: https://www.eag.eu.com/awards/urey-award/#open