November 5, 2008
Dr. Joern Thiede has a PhD in Geology from the University of Kiel. He assumed the Directorship of the Alfred Wegener Institute in 1997; a position he held until 2007. Thiede, born in 1941, now intends to concentrate further on planning efforts for the European research icebreaker Aurora Borealis. Before his time as director of the Alfred Wegener Institute he was a faculty member at the University of Kiel. From 1987 to 1997, he held a professorship for paleo-oceanology, studying the climate of the past. In 1989, he was awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz prize for his research, associated with the highest endowment for any award in Germany. In addition, Thiede contributed significantly to the establishment of the Institute of Marine Geosciences GEOMAR in Kiel, especially in his capacity as founding director of the new institute. During his directorship of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Thiede participated in many Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. His last voyage in the summer of 2007 took him to the Arctic aboard the research vessel Polarstern. Thiede will continue his involvement with the Alfred Wegener Institute, especially in his capacity on the planning committee of the European research icebreaker Aurora Borealis.