The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize is the highest honor in the German research landscape and is awarded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). This year, ten outstanding researchers were chosen from 134 nominees. Four of the winners are from the humanities and social sciences, four from the natural sciences and the engineering sciences, and two from the life sciences. Each honoree will receive EUR 2.5 million to fund further research. This year’s awards ceremony for the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize took place in Bonn, Germany, on May 12, 2022.
In the field of chemistry, Prof. Dr. Stefanie Dehnen, University of Marburg, Germany, is recognized for her work on the synthesis of novel metal clusters and their application in energy storage and transfer.
The following researchers have received the 2022 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize:
- Prof. Dr. Almut Arneth, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Almut Arneth is recognized for her outstanding research into the interaction and feedback between terrestrial ecosystems and climate change. Her work has contributed significantly to a better understanding of the mutual dependencies between climate change, ecosystems, changes in land use, and regional climate.
- Prof. Dr. Marietta Auer, Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory, Frankfurt am Main, and University of Gießen
Marietta Auer is recognized for her outstanding work in the field of legal theory and legal history, through which she has contributed to the development of a comprehensive legal philosophical understanding of private law in relation to public law.
- Prof. Dr. Iain Couzin, Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, Konstanz, and University of Konstanz
Iain Couzin is recognized for his outstanding work in the field of behavioral biology, which has led to a fundamentally new understanding of collective behavior. Using cutting-edge techniques, including machine learning algorithms and computer-based models, he succeeded in identifying the rules that enable collective behavior such as that exhibited by swarms of insects, fish, and birds.
- Prof. Dr. Stefanie Dehnen, University of Marburg
Inorganic Molecular Chemistry
Stefanie Dehnen is recognized for her outstanding contributions to the synthesis of novel metal clusters and their application in energy storage and transfer. Her work is based on a synthesis concept that enables access to a wide range of novel compounds and materials. For example, she uses binary aggregates of main group elements which are then extended by at least one component, producing novel structures with the best conductive properties known to date.
- Dr. Eileen Furlong, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg
Functional Genome Biology
Eileen Furlong is recognized for her work in developmental biology on functional mechanisms of enhancers in gene regulation. Enhancers are specific sections in eukaryotic DNA that control gene regulation, i.e., the activity of genes.
- Prof. Dr. Peter Hommelhoff, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
Peter Hommelhoff is recognized for his fundamental contributions to electron dynamics driven by strong light fields and the use of optical waveforms of laser pulses to study electrons in a vacuum as well as in solids and at solid surfaces. He was able to develop methods that helped control electron dynamics with light fields on the attosecond time scale, making fundamental contributions to the understanding of electron dynamics in strong fields.
- Prof. Dr. Gabriel Martínez-Pinedo, GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research, Darmstadt, and Technical University of Darmstadt
Gabriel Martínez-Pinedo is recognized for his outstanding work in theoretical astrophysics on the formation of the heavy elements. Heavy elements with atomic numbers beyond that of iron are created in the universe as a result of certain astrophysical processes and require extreme densities of neutrons. He found that it is not the collapse of heavy stars in supernova explosions that is the pivotal process for this but the fusion of neutron stars.
- Prof. Dr. Mischa Meier, University of Tübingen
Mischa Meier is recognized for his groundbreaking work on the history of late antiquity, with which he has left a lasting mark on the field of ancient history and related disciplines, both nationally and internationally. His studies have contributed significantly to an improved understanding of the so-called “long” period of late antiquity, i.e., approximately from the 3rd to the 8th century AD.
- Prof. Dr. Karen Radner, Ludwig Maximilians University Munich
Ancient Oriental Studies
Karen Radner is recognized for her internationally influential research on Assyriology, through which she has investigated and communicated the history and culture of this particular region in an entirely new way. She is considered one of the world’s leading experts on the early history of the Near and Middle East.
- Prof. Dr. Moritz Schularick, University of Bonn
Moritz Schularick is recognized for his outstanding research accomplishment in the field of economics, in particular, the new links he has drawn between macroeconomics and economic history, as well as his insights into the causes of financial crises and the historical development of wealth distribution. He developed a more fundamental understanding of crisis dynamics that could help predict and mitigate future financial crises.
Recent Publications by the Recipients
- Assessing the impacts of agricultural managements on soil carbon stocks, nitrogen loss, and crop production – a modelling study in eastern Africa,
Jianyong Ma, Sam S. Rabin, Peter Anthoni, Anita D. Bayer, Sylvia S. Nyawira, Stefan Olin, Longlong Xia, Almut Arneth,
Biogeosciences 2022, 19, 2145–2169.
- Zum Erkenntnisziel der Rechtstheorie. Philosophische Grundlagen multidisziplinärer Rechtswissenschaft,
Nomos, Baden-Baden, 2018.
- Perspectives in machine learning for wildlife conservation,
Devis Tuia, Benjamin Kellenberger, Sara Beery, Blair R. Costelloe, Silvia Zuffi, Benjamin Risse, Alexander Mathis, Mackenzie W. Mathis, Frank van Langevelde, Tilo Burghardt, Roland Kays, Holger Klinck, Martin Wikelski, Iain D. Couzin, Grant van Horn, Margaret C. Crofoot, Charles V. Stewart, Tanya Berger-Wolf,
Nat. Commun. 2022.
- Local Structure of Amorphous Organotin Sulfide Clusters by Low‐Energy X‐Ray Absorption Fine Structure,
Jens R. Stellhorn, Shinjiro Hayakawa, Benjamin D. Klee, Benedict Paulus, Jonathan Link Vasco, Niklas Rinn, Irán Rojas León, Stefanie Dehnen, Wolf-Christian Pilgrim,
Phys. Status Solidi B 2022.
- Simultaneous cellular and molecular phenotyping of embryonic mutants using single-cell regulatory trajectories,
Stefano Secchia, Mattia Forneris, Tobias Heinen, Oliver Stegle, Eileen E.M. Furlong,
Dev. Cell 2022, 57, 496–511.e8.
- Atomic real-space perspective of light-field-driven currents in graphene,
Yuya Morimoto, Yasushi Shinohara, Kenichi L. Ishikawa, Peter Hommelhoff,
New J. Phys. 2022, 24, 033051.
- Structure Calculations in Nd III and U III Relevant for Kilonovae Modelling,
Ricardo F. Silva, Jorge M. Sampaio, Pedro Amaro, Andreas Flörs, Gabriel Martínez-Pinedo, José P. Marques,
Atoms 2022, 10, 18.
- Das Ende des weströmischen Kaisertums – ein Ereignis der chinesischen Geschichte? Auswirkungen von Mobilität in eurasischer Perspektive,
Hist. Z. 2020, 311, 275–320.
- Neo-Assyrian Royal Monuments from Lake Zeribar in Western Iran,
Karen Radner, Mohammad Masoumian, Hassan Karimian, Eghbal Azizi, Kazem Omidi,
Z. Assyriolog. Vorderasiat. Archäolog. 2020, 110, 84–93.
- Zombies at Large? Corporate Debt Overhang and the Macroeconomy,
Òscar Jordà, Martin Kornejew, Moritz Schularick, Alan M. Taylor, Ralph Koijen,
Rev. Financ. Stud. 2022.
Also of Interest
Video: I Love Complicated Questions,
Stefanie Dehnen about her research, networking, how to run a successful research team, and the self-image of chemists
Video: Stefanie Dehnen on the Fascination of Cluster Chemistry,
Stefanie Dehnen, University of Marburg, Germany, explains her research focus
Event: Celebration of the Best in Chemistry and Materials
May 19, 2022
Talks from Lei Jiang, Ben Zhong Tang, Markus Antonietti, Fraser Stoddart, Zhenan Bao, Stefanie Dehnen