New Scientific Director Susanne Buiter welcomed at the GFZ

A warm welcome to our new Scientific Director of the GFZ! Prof. Susanne Buiter introduced herself to the staff on Tuesday, May 17, with an outdoor Q&A on Telegrafenberg.

The new Scientific Director of the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Prof. Susanne Buiter, introduced herself to the staff on Tuesday, May 17.

Outdoor between the stone columns on the Telegrafenberg, transmitted via live stream, she welcomed the new colleagues and answered questions – among others about her main focus: "I am looking forward to further developing the GFZ together with you as an excellent place to work, where we pay attention to diversity and sustainability, enable good career paths and where we enjoy coming every day. It is important to me that we – within the framework of our research program "Changing Earth – Sustaining our Future" – link basic research with what society needs. You can't have one without the other, and we have to find a good balance here. We can't solve the challenges posed by climate change without the geosciences. To do so we need data, raw materials, underground storage – the GFZ has to play an important role here which is also an opportunity for our science," said the Dutch geophysicist. She also noted that “we are increasingly seeing a critical attitude in society toward science. We need to gain people's trust and make our work transparent by saying what we do and why, and how we do it."

Congratulations from Brandenburg's Minister of Science Manja Schüle.

In a press release from Brandenburg's Ministry of Science and Culture, the minister Dr. Manja Schüle congratulated: “I am convinced: as an excellent researcher and experienced science manager, Susanne Buiter will contribute with the team at GFZ to developing ideas on how we can preserve our habitat Earth.”

About the person

Susanne Buiter (51) comes from Drenthe, a province in the Netherlands. She studied geophysics in Utrecht and received her PhD with a thesis on surface deformation resulting from tectonic processes ("Surface deformation resulting from subduction and slab detachment"). Stages in her career have taken her to Bern, Switzerland, Canada, and Trondheim, Norway, where she led various teams at the National Geological Survey NGU and taught at the University of Oslo. Since 2020, she has been a professor of tectonics and geodynamics at the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen. At the GFZ, she succeeds Niels Hovius, who had led the GFZ as acting Scientific Director since November 2020.

Scientific contact:

Prof. Dr. Susanne Buiter
Scientific Director
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
14473 Potsdam
Phone: +49 331 288-1000


Media contact:

Josef Zens
Head of Public and Media Relations
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
14473 Potsdam
Phone: +49 331 288-1040


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