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UJ’s geochemist, Professor Jan Kramers honoured with international Fellowship

UJ’s Professor of Geology is honoured for his contributions to understanding geological events through isotopes.

The Geochemical Society and European Association of Geochemistry have announced this year’s Geochemistry Fellows, among them is Jan Kramers, Professor of Geology at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). Kramers is honoured for being a prominent leader in understanding how the history of the Earth, specifically with regard to the growth of continents and the rise of oxygen in the atmosphere in deep time, can be traced through the isotopic analysis of matter present in rocks and the environment. Jan Kramers is one of 16 researchers from all over the world to receive this distinction in 2021.

The Geochemical Society and the European Association of Geochemistry are the two largest and most important professional associations in this discipline. They established the honorary title of Geochemistry Fellow in 1996. It is bestowed upon outstanding scientists who have, over some years, made a major contribution to the field of geochemistry. By recognising the full diversity of the geochemical community and its many varied contributions the associations hope to provide a wide range of examples that young scientists can strive to emulate.

The A-Rated Researcher’s work has ranged from tiny inclusions in diamonds, which showed these to be billions of years older than the kimberlites in which they occur, to modelling of the origin and chemical evolution of the continental crust. His current main interests include argon geochronology (with many projects involving cooperation nationally and internationally); Uranium-thorium-helium geochronology, which is particularly promising for the dating of fossil-bearing cave sediments, and the carbonaceous stone “Hypatia” from the Western Desert of Egypt, which was shown to be extraterrestrial by its argon isotopes, and which may be the first object found on Earth to reflect the chemistry of interstellar space.


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