Professor Maren Voss recieves Baltic Sea award for her pioneering research

The first ever Björn Carlsson Baltic Sea award, "Björn Carlssons Östersjöpris", will be awarded to Professor Maren Voss from Germany for her groundbreaking research on the role of nitrogen in the eutrophication of the Baltic Sea. On Friday, June 3, professor Voss will receive 3 million SEK in a ceremony at at the Baltic Sea Science Center at Skansen.

Professor Maren Voss Foto: Privat.

The "Björn Carlsons Östersjöpris" is intended to recognise valuable contributions to improving the Baltic Sea environment, by researchers or other individuals.

Professor Maren Voss from the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research in Warnemünde, Germany, is the very first prize winner.

– The foundation is very pleased to have found such a worthy first laureate of the award, says Ragnar Elmgren - one of the board members of the Björn Carlsons Östersjöpris. I am also very pleased, since she has collaborated with so many researchers at Stockholm University.

Early on professor Voss realized the connection between nitrogen emissions and nitrogen runoffs, and the eutrophication of the Baltic Sea. She was the first in the Baltic Sea region to decipher processes and identify the origin of nutrients by measuring stable isotopes in water and organic matter.

A well deserved award

One of the research colleagues who have worked with professor Voss is Christoph Humborg, scientific director of the Baltic Sea Centre at Stockholm University.

– I am so happy to hear that Maren Voss received this prize! It is very well deserved. She and I held a course together at the Askö Laboratory in 2001. Maren arrived to Askö with the German research vessel R/V Prof. Albrecht Penck, filled with students. And I had brought students from the Department of ecology, environment and plant sciences at Stockholm University, says Christoph Humborg.

– The course became a success and we continued to give the course togehter for many years. Maren has also held courses for the Department of environmental science and the Department of geological sciences here at Stockholm University, about how to use stable isotopes within ecology and geology. She has participated in several of our EU BONUS projects and her isotope laboratory has validated our Baltic Nest model simulations of nutrient flows.

The prize money will go to research on the Baltic Sea coastal areas

– I am extremely honored, completely surprised and, of course, very excited, says professor Maren Voss. She would like to put the prize money into further work on the  coastal filter of the Baltic Sea and investigate how many nutrients from land are removed by filtering organisms and how this works.

– I would also like to cooperate with my Swedish and Finnish colleagues who have just started a big project in the shallow coastal areas with a main focus on carbon – and potentially complement it with my nitrogen research, says Maren Voss and continues:

– Another idea, that I would like to fulfill, is bringing young scientists together with well-known and experienced scientists in an international workshop that focuses on material fluxes in coastal areas. Because the problems that the Baltic Sea has are also global problems, and work is being done all over the world on how to protect coasts better and use them sustainably. I think that such an exchange can bring many new impulses for all those involved.

The prize will be presented by HRH The Crown Princess Victoria during an award ceremony at the Baltic Sea Science Center on Skansen, third of June.

Read more about the prize

Read more about professor Maren Voss' research

Text: Annika Tidlund