NESSC-researcher Appy Sluijs is one of the eight winners of the Ammodo KNAW award 2017. Sluijs receives 300.000 euro for his climate research to be used over the coming years to explore new areas of fundamental research.
Prof. dr. Appy Sluijs (36), professor of Paleoceanography at the Earth Sciences Department, studies geological periods in the history of the earth characterized by high or rapidly increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Specifically, he investigates a period about 56 million years ago when, during a couple of thousand years, the amount of CO2 increased sharply and the mean global temperature on earth rose at least with five degrees Celsius.
This prehistoric heatwave, dubbed the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), caused dramatic changes on earth. Warming oceans rose and spread at the expense of land. Plant and animal species began to drift or grew extinct, while other species managed to develop further. These consequences are comparable to the expected changes caused by the warming world of today.
Climate researchers like Sluijs therefore investigate the PETM to be able to predict consequences of the current climate change. Sluijs examines sediments that formed millions of years on the bottom of the oceans. These rocks contain fossil and chemical traces of the dramatic changes which took place during the PETM. These traces are used by Sluijs to reconstruct the interactions between the earth’s atmosphere and the oceans. At NESSC he leads the research group studying the Earth’s climate sensitivity.
Appy Sluijs (1980) studied biology and biogeology in Utrecht and at the University of California at Santa Cruz. After graduating in Paleoecology, he remained as a researcher in Utrecht. In 2014 he was appointed Professor of Paleoceanography. Whilst still a young researcher, he already has a remarkable array of frequently cited publications to his name in leading academic journals, Science and Nature. Sluijs received a Veni grant from the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and a Starting Grant of € 1.5 million from the European Research Council. In addition, he has received prestigious awards, among others the James B. Macelwane Medal from the American Geophysical Union.
About the Ammodo KNAW Award
The Ammodo KNAW Awards were established to encourage particularly talented researchers at a critical advanced stage of their scientific careers. Through the Awards Ammodo and the KNAW wish to encourage original, unfettered scientific research in the Netherlands across the board.