The research fields of the winners of the 2005 Bernd Rendel Prize cover various areas of geoscience. Salt structures, the processes affecting oil deposits, glacial runoff, and the vision of fossil vertebrates these are the research areas of the four young scientists who were awarded this prize by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) in Tbingen on 28 April 2006, in recognition of the quality and originality of their research work to date and for future scientific potential. The awards, worth 2,000 euros each, are intended to enable young graduates who do not yet hold a doctorate to participate in international congresses and symposia.
The award ceremony was held as part of this year's Crafoord Symposium in Tbingen. The Bernd Rendel Prize has been awarded by the DFG annually since 2002; the prize is named after Bernd Rendel, a geology student who died prematurely and whose family donated the prize money.
The prizewinners are:
Sofie Gradmann, 25, Geophysics, Dalhousie University of Halifax, Canada
As part of her doctoral research at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, Sofie Gradmann is studying the formation of salt structures with the aid of numerical simulation, taking into account complex material properties. Given the numerous parameters and processes that have to be included, her calculations are extremely complex and detailed, since they have to approximate as closely as possible to the real-life physics of her subject. Salt structures play a significant role in oil and gas exploration and in the assessment of underground waste sites. Sofie Gradmann specialised in this area of research while working on her graduate dissertation "Seismic investigations of salt tectonic structures in the Levantine Basin" at the University of Hamburg.