Medal for Research Excellence 2020

Oliver_Pluemper4The recipient of the 2020 Research Excellence Award of the European Mineralogical Union is Dr. Oliver Plümper from Utrecht University, the Netherlands. He received the award for his outstanding contributions to the mechanics and implications fluid-mineral interactions and for his internationally-collaborative research.

Dr Plümper has established himself as a leading researcher in fluid-rock interaction and its consequences for a wide range of geochemical and geophysical processes in the Earth. His research has had considerable impact in the fields of fluid- mineral/rock interaction, nanogeosciences and mineral deformation. He has shown how chemical reactions at the mineral interface scale are coupled to mechanical deformation to induce large-scale alterations of the oceanic lithosphere. He is also well-known for his contributions to how fluid release initiates in dehydrating systems. With the insights that these results have provided, he has been able to link fluid fluxes in subduction zones to the global water cycle. His research is genuinely trans-disciplinary and characterised by investigations that span the full scale from geological outcrops to nanometer-sized mineral defects. His findings have implications for important societal issues including earthquake triggers and propagation, CO2 sequestration and nuclear waste encapsulation.

His broader activities have marked him out as a leader who will undoubtedly continue to make a major contribution to geoscience research. He approaches mineralogical questions using multi-scale analytical techniques that range from X-ray tomography to transmission electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy. He actively contributes to the trans-national access scheme of the European Plate Observing System (EPOS), which provides access to high-tech facilities and mineralogical expertise across Europe. For his seminal contributions to fluid-mineral interactions as well as his far-reaching interdisciplinary and international collaborative research, Dr Oliver Plümper is a highly deserving recipient of the 2020 Research Excellence Award of the European Mineralogical Union.