Emeritus Scientific Members
The institute's high standing is due in no small part to its renowned Emeritus Scientific Members. Albrecht Hofmann, Meinrat O. Andreae and the Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen are still active researchers.
Meinrat O. Andreae, Director of the Biogeochemistry Department from 1987 until 2017
Born on May 19, 1949 in Augsburg. Study of mineralogy/geochemistry Karlsruhe and Göttingen Univ., doctorate in oceanography at Scripps Inst. of Oceanography (1977), Assistant Professor of Oceanography (1978-1982), Associate Professor (1982-1986), Professor of Oceanography Florida State Univ. (1986-1987), Director and Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry (1987 - 2017).
Albrecht W. Hofmann, Director of the Geochemistry Department from 1980 until 2007
Albrecht W. Hofmann (born in 1939) was appointed Director of the newly founded Geochemistry Department in 1980. His department researches large-scale geological processes, such as the formation of continental and oceanic crusts, the chemical differentiation of the Earth's mantle and the circulation of present-day and former oceans. The department uses mass spectrometric measurements of isotopic abundancies to determine the absolute age of rocks. It also uses isotopic abundancies and trace element contents to determine the origin of volcanic lava from the Earth's mantle or crust and studies the long-term processes used by the Earth's mantle to recycle old crust. The department also performs experiments to study the pressure, temperature and other physical-chemical properties in fusions and mineral transformations that take place deep inside the Earth. Albrecht Hofmann retired in 2007.
Paul J. Crutzen, Director of the Atmospheric Chemistry Department from 1978 until 2000
Paul J. Crutzen (1933-2021) succeeded Christian Junge as Director of the Atmospheric Chemistry Department in 1980. This department performs laboratory experiments to determine the absorption of UV and infrared radiation by atmospheric trace elements, as well as the speed at which elements react in the atmosphere. In order to better understand the formation of holes in the ozone layer above the Arctic and Antarctic, processes were simulated on stratospheric particles in the laboratory. The department also performs measurements of the trace elements present in our atmosphere around the world. Mathematical models, into which the data recorded is input, are being developed to describe meteorological, climatic and chemical processes. These models can be used to estimate the possible climatic consequences of a nuclear war and the influence of human activities on the ozone and climate. Paul J. Crutzen was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1995 together with M. Molina and F. S. Rowland. Paul J. Crutzen retired in the year 2000.
Günter W. Lugmair, Director of the Cosmochemistry Department from 1996 until 2005
Günter W. Lugmair (1940-2021) succeeded Heinrich Wänke as Director of the Cosmochemistry Department in 1996. The department's activities continue to focus on researching meteorites and processes in the early solar system, studying the effect of cosmic radiation on meteorites and age dating. It also conducts studies on the isotopic composition of interstellar grains of dust. This research allows us to draw key conclusions about where they originated from and the nucleosynthetic processes in these stars. The department is also working extensively on developing experiments on board space probes which research the planets in our solar system, particularly Mars. Günter Lugmair retired in 2005.