Dr. Oliver Plümper

Vening Meineszgebouw A
Princetonlaan 8a
Kamer 266
3584 CB Utrecht

Dr. Oliver Plümper

Universitair hoofddocent
Structural geology & EM
030 253 1199

ABOUT ME          

My academic pursuits traverse an array of disciplines including fluid-rock/mineral interaction, nano(geo)sciences, mineral physics, and rock deformation. I utilize a multi-faceted approach to address my research inquiries, merging natural observations, experimental techniques, micro and nano-analytics, and numerical modelling to draw meaningful insights.

Would you like to get a general impression of some of the research my team and I do? Please watch the video below.

I also hold a deep-seated passion for open science and open data. I'm thrilled to actively participate in various projects that advocate for open science, emphasizing particularly on the unrestricted access to cutting-edge analytical and experimental facilities. If this piques your curiosity, I invite you to explore the Excite Network and EPOS-NL

Moreover, I contribute to the Utrecht University Electron Microscopy Center, a repository of advanced electron microscopes. If you're inclined towards collaboration, feel free to drop me an email. I'm always open to new opportunities and collaborations.

I'm a firm advocate for transdisciplinary science, which is reflected in the diverse composition of my team. We are a collective of minds from an array of disciplines, such as earth sciences, chemical engineering, mathematics, physics, and chemistry. Together, we spearhead multiple research projects, integrating our varied expertise to push the boundaries of knowledge. You can delve into some of these projects in greater detail in the sections below.

Would you like to learn more about my team and the people I work with at UU? Check out the following profile pages:

Hamed Amiri, Alireza Chogani, Austin Arias, Andrea Billarent Cedillo, Lisa Eberhard, Lotta Ternieten, Markus Ohl, Sebastian Ritterbex, Yuntao Ji, Alissa Kotowski, Martyn Drury, Eric Hellebrand, Hannah Vogel, Geertje ter Maat, Richard Wessels, Ronald Pijnenburg



UIO-UU project "serpAI"

In our latest initiative, I am collaborating with John Aiken (Expert Analytics) and a team from the University of Oslo and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Our goal is to determine the rates of mantle rock alteration by leveraging the power of artificial intelligence (AI) methodologies. Eager to learn more about this groundbreaking research? I encourage you to visit John Aiken's GitHub page for more detailed information.

Serpentinized mantle rock (N-Norway).

ERC Starting grant project "nanoEARTH"

In this particular project, we are delving into the intriguing study of how mineral-water interactions deep within the Earth influence large-scale geological processes. Although these interactions occur at a nanoscale, they exert a significant impact, providing stability to entire mountain ranges. When minerals deep beneath the Earth's surface encounter water, minute transport systems are formed, facilitating the movement of water across extensive stretches of rock.

Enhancing our comprehension of these profound processes bears immense potential for advancements in fields such as geothermal energy, raw material extraction, and the storage of nuclear waste and carbon. To unravel the complexities of these phenomena, our nanoEARTH project harnesses a variety of methodologies, ranging from field observations to experiments, and from electron and X-ray microscopy to numerical modelling and sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI).

Dutch Research Council Vidi project "RELEASE"

While our grasp of carbon and its atmospheric cycle is quite extensive, a crucial segment of this cycle remains hidden within subduction zones. The debate still rages concerning the exact quantity of carbon that is either sequestered deep within the Earth or re-emitted into the atmosphere over the course of millennia. This uncertainty arises due to our limited knowledge about the moments of carbon release and the potential for subduction zones to act as carbon "scrubbers". In our Vidi project, aptly named 'RELEASE', we aim to shed light on these processes. By intertwining geological observations, experiments, and numerical models, we seek to decipher these complex phenomena. We're also thrilled to be joining forces with Andreas Beinlich at the University of Bergen, Norway, in this pursuit. Watch the video below to learn more.



I hold the position of co-Principal Investigator in the community-centric EXCITE Network, a European infrastructure initiative established to support scientists dedicated to deciphering the mysteries of Earth materials. This is accomplished through access to some of the world's premier electron and X-ray imaging facilities. Intrigued to learn more? I invite you to watch the video below and visit excite-network.eu for more detailed information.


UU-NIOZ project "I-NANO"

In collaboration with Peter Kraal (Royal NIOZ), Lotta Ternieten (NIOZ & UU), and Martina Preiner (Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology), we aim to delve into the effects of iron nanoparticles on ocean biogeochemistry through our joint initiative, I-NANO.

While the term 'nanomaterials' often conjures images of advanced technology and industry, these minuscule entities play a pivotal role in shaping the Earth's past, present, and future characteristics and behaviour. Nanomaterials have been an integral part of our planet since its inception. Hydrothermal vent systems are one of the primary sources contributing nanomaterials to our oceans.

The I-NANO project embarks on an exciting journey into unexplored realms, investigating the role of vent nanomaterials, their contribution in supplying key trace metals to oceans, and their potential unique catalytic abilities that might significantly impact biogeochemical processes.

Nanoparticles from the Rainbow vent field.