29 October 2009

Professor Dorthe Dahl-Jensen receives 20 million kr. from EU

The champagne corks are popping and the loud congratulations are breaking out in the Centre for Ice and Climate department at the Niels Bohr Institute. Professor of ice physics, Dorthe Dahl-Jensen has good news – she has received 20 million kroner from the European Research Council, ERC, to research the water under the ice sheet on Greenland.

”It is fantastic news, which means that I can pursue a dream to research the conditions under the kilometre thick Greenland ice sheet. When we in the NEEM-drilling project have bored an ice core through the entire ice sheet, we have a unique peephole to the bottom,” explains Dorthe Dahl-Jensen.

The ice melts at the bottom of the ice sheet and the goal is to investigate whether large lakes are possibly formed under the ice as in Antarctica and to find out how the water is flowing and how the ice will behave in the future with global warming. Another large part of the project is investigating whether ancient DNA can be found, which could tell us what kind of life was there before the ice came.

The special ERC Advanced Grand is a very prestigious grant, which is given personally to recognized research leaders. There is very strong competition for the ERC Advanced Grant and the applications are assessed by an expert panel, who stated in the evaluation that ”the research project is flawless”.

The grant means that Dorthe Dahl-Jensen can continue with the NEEM-drilling project on Greenland for an additional field season for new research as well as create 3-5 PhD - and postdoctoral positions.