Research

Mountain range

An integrated approach towards understanding the Earth

The Earth Sciences are a multidisciplinary science in which the principles and methods of other disciplines are integrated: e.g., physics, chemistry, geology, biology, mathematics, and computational sciences.

We specifically develop new scientific hypotheses, methods of data analyses, and experimental and observational techniques that enable us to reconstruct and predict the interactive behaviour of the solid Earth, the biosphere, the hydrosphere, and the atmosphere, on scales ranging from seconds to billions of years, and from nanometers to the entire globe.

Earth’s challenges

As a part of this, we train the next generation, i.e. educate undergraduate and graduate students and guide early career scientists, not only in performing and advancing sciences, but also in disseminating and utilising Earth Sciences to address societal challenges. System Earth is, as a result of human and natural influences, under increasing pressure, making it ever more difficult to achieve a sustainable society and to maintain it for future generations. Climate change and geo-hazards, scarcity of raw materials and natural resources, the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, sustainable soil and water management, and sustainable food production are challenges that can only be engaged with contributions from Earth Sciences. Advancing the knowledge of our planet will help us to find hidden geo-resources and enable us to improve predictions of future change. This is required to manage (future) global environmental changes, to use our planet’s resources sustainably, and to mitigate risks posed by natural hazards such as earthquakes and volcanism.

Four major aspects

Our research is rooted in the core Earth Sciences disciplines of geochemistry, geology, geophysics, (marine) biogeosciences and hydrogeology. Crossing these boundaries, our main focus is on four major aspects of the natural Earth: