Ammodo Science Award 2021 for Christian Lange and Walter Immerzeel


Two researchers from Utrecht University win an Ammodo Science Award for fundamental research 2021. Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies Christian Lange won an Award in the Humanities category and Professor of Mountain Hydrology Walter Immerzeel won an Award in the Natural Sciences category.

The researchers receive a prize of 300,000 euros. They can use this money in the coming years to explore new paths in fundamental research.

Prof. Walter Immerzeel

Walter Immerzeel

Professor of Mountain Hydrology Walter Immerzeel studies the effects of climate change in Asian mountain regions. Immerzeel has led numerous research expeditions to the Himalayas, where he was the first to map the water cycle in the high mountains. In the coming years, he wants to research how natural disasters in mountain areas are related to their location and extreme weather. He focuses in particular on landslides, avalanches and glacial lakes. He is also investigating the consequences for water availability for millions of people living downstream.

"It is a great honour to win the AMMODO science award. The award provides an excellent opportunity and the freedom to initiate new research on, for example, the effects of climate change on natural disasters and extreme weather in the Himalayas".

Future natural disasters

His findings can help to better anticipate future natural disasters. Immerzeel's awards include a Veni and Vidi grant from the Dutch Research Council, and an ERC Starting Grant. In 2018, he received the prestigious Macelwane medal and became a fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

Prof. dr. Christian Lange
Prof. Christian Lange

Christian Lange

Islamologist Christian Lange studies classical Arabic and Persian literature and is a pioneer in the field of Arabic digital humanities. His innovative analysis of digitised historical texts has yielded innovative insights, for instance into how Islamic criminal law was actually applied and how the five senses were thought about in different intellectual Islamic traditions throughout the centuries.

Lange's work has been translated into Arabic and awarded with two ERC Grants (2010 and 2016), the British-Kuwait Friendship Society Prize (2016) and the World Award for Book of the Year of the Islamic Republic of Iran (2017).

"It is very nice that a rather small cultural science discipline such as Islamology has won an award, and it is also great that the kind of 'fundamental research' I stand for is given space at the university. This is a great incentive for me to continue to dedicate myself to Islamological research and to our study programme in Utrecht."

Five senses

In the coming period Lange wants to delve deeper into the history of the senses in Islamic culture, by asking how Muslims use their senses and bodies in their daily interaction with each other and with non-Muslims. Lange also wants to investigate how the five senses were viewed in different epistemological Islamic traditions.

Ammodo Science Award

The Ammodo Science Award for fundamental research is intended for outstanding, internationally recognised mid-career scientists working in the Netherlands and who have been awarded a PhD no longer than 15 years ago.