Faculty of Chemistry

Awards and Distinctions

Scientists from our Faculty regularly receive national and international distinctions and acclaim for their work. Thus, in 2015 one of the most prestigious and, at 2.5 million euros, also one of the most valuable international research awards, the Advanced Grant of the European Research Council (ERC), was awarded to, among others, Prof. Rainer Meckenstock from our Faculty's Biofilm Centre. Thanks to the ERC grant, which is also referred to as the EU's "Nobel Prize", the research group led by Rainer Meckenstock can carry out intensive research in the coming years into how oil is biodegraded. Previously, it was assumed that oil in deposits could only be degraded on direct contact with water. Prof. Meckenstock has refuted this dogma and has shown that degradation processes can also take place from within by special micro-organisms that can live in tiny water inclusions in the oil. The ERC research project will now investigate whether life in oil is a general property of crude oil resources and how much the quality of the oil is thereby influenced over the passage of time.