The Copernicus Medal

The purpose of the Copernicus Medal is threefold:

  1. It recognizes ingenious, innovative work in the geosciences or in the planetary and space sciences;
  2. It recognizes exceptional efforts in the promotion and international collaboration in these disciplines;
  3. It is dedicated to colleagues in the midst of their scientific career (e.g. no later than 20 years after receiving the PhD degree).

Especially the combination of the first two criteria follows the spirit of Nicolaus Copernicus and the dedication of the Copernicus Gesellschaft e.V.

The Copernicus Gesellschaft e.V., the exclusive partner of Copernicus Meetings & Publications, solicits nominations of appropriate candidates from the international geo- and space sciences community. Candidate nominations should be submitted by 15 November. Please provide the following material:

  1. A CV (about 1 page) and a list of up to 10 selected publications;
  2. A concise statement of achievements (e.g. "for his/her pioneering and ground-breaking work on ocean dynamics and his/her excellent leadership in the XYZ Project");
  3. A brief encomium of the candidate and his/her work (1 page).

Please submit your proposals by email to:

The Copernicus Medal is presented annually. All nominations will be evaluated by an international and interdisciplinary committee. The winner will be awarded during a special commemorative ceremony.

Please note that this medal is not in competition with other medals presented by scientific associations and societies collaborating with Copernicus GmbH on conferences or publications.

Antje Boetius – Copernicus Medal 2017

The Copernicus Medal 2017 has been awarded to Prof. Antje Boetius for her pioneering work on the biogeochemistry and microbiology of ocean methane dynamics and the biogeochemical effects of retreating arctic sea ice. The presentation of the medal as well as the medal lecture will take place at the Austria Center Vienna, lecture room E1, on Tuesday, 25 April 2017, 19:00.

Antje Boetius is Professor of Geomicrobiology at the University Bremen, and leader of a joint research group on Deep Sea Ecology and Technology of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research and the Max Planck Institute of Marine Microbiology. She has studied Biology and Biological Oceanography at the University of Hamburg and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Her PhD thesis dealt with deep-sea microbiology and biogeochemistry. She became Professor for Microbiology in 2001 at the Jacobs University in Bremen, and was Group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology from 2003-2008. Antje Boetius is an expert of marine biogeochemistry, biological oceanography, deep-sea biology and microbial of the ocean. She works on polar seas, on chemosynthetic ecosystems and other extreme habitats of the ocean. Antje Boetius has lead or participated in over 45 expeditions, and she has coordinated many national and international research programs. Antje Boetius and her team are renowned for their contributions to microbe-microbe interactions with a focus on the anaerobic oxidation of methane. Key areas of her research include the diversity and function of life associated with seafloor processes such as pelagobenthic coupling, gas seepage and fluid flow, and the structure, function and dynamics of microbial communities of the ocean floor. Current studies of the group include the exploration of Arctic deep-sea life under the ice, and the long-term observation of the effects of global warming on polar ecosystems. Antje Boetius has been awarded with the Medaille de la Societe d’Oceanographie de France, the Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz Prize of the German Science Foundation, the Advanced Grant of the European Research Council among many other honors. Antje Boetius has been elected as an external scientific member of the Max Planck Society, to the German National Academy Leopoldina (Section Geology), and to the Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz as well as two European academies. She is an elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and of the American Academy of Microbiology. Antje engages much in public outreach and transfer of knowledge from ocean sciences. More information can be found on the websites of the MPI Bremen and the AWI Bremerhaven.

Philippe Ciais – Copernicus Medal 2016

The Copernicus Medal 2016 has been awarded to Dr. Philippe Ciais for his outstanding and pioneering work centred on the interactions between the natural carbon cycle, terrestrial ecosystems, and climate change.

Philippe Ciais received a Bachelor degree in Physics and a Master degree in Solid State Physics at Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris. His PhD thesis in Paleoclimate Studies at Laboratoire de Géochimie Isotopique, Saclay, France, is entitled 'Reconstructions of the Past 15000 years Climate Based on Isotope Records from Coastal and Deep Ice Cores in Antartica'. After a post-doctorate fellowship at NOAA-CMDL in Boulder, USA, he has been working at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, France, since 1994. Since 2006, he has been the Associate Director. More information can be found at:

Ulrich Pöschl – Copernicus Medal 2015

The Copernicus Medal 2015 has been awarded to Prof. Ulrich Pöschl for his outstanding and pioneering work on aerosol multiphase chemical processes and aerosol-health interactions as well as his contributions to open science through interactive open access publishing and public peer review. Please watch the medal lecture entitled 'Multiphase Chemistry and Open Access at the Interface of Earth and Life Science' at:

Ulrich Pöschl is director of the Multiphase Chemistry Department at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and professor at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. He has studied chemistry at the Technical University of Graz, Austria, and he has worked as a postdoctoral fellow, research scientist, group leader, and university lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Departments of Chemistry and of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences; at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Atmospheric Chemistry and Biogeochemistry Departments; and at the Technical University of Munich, Institute of Hydrochemistry. His current scientific research and teaching are focused on the effects of multiphase processes in the Earth system, climate, life & public health ( Pöschl is actively engaged in the promotion of open science, and he is the initiator of interactive open access publishing with public peer review and interactive discussion (multi-stage open peer review) as established with the international scientific journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) and the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Corinne Le Quéré – Copernicus Medal 2013/2014

The Copernicus Medal 2013/2014 has been awarded to Prof. Corinne Le Quéré in recognition of her innovative and world leading research on the carbon cycle, her initiative to organize internationally coordinated measurement of carbon in the earth system, and her effective communication thereof to government, industry, and policy makers.

Prof. Corinne Le Quéré is professor of Climate Change Science and Policy at the University of East Anglia and director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. Her research centres on the interactions between climate change, carbon emissions, the natural environment and humans. She was author of the 3rd (2001), 4th (2007) and 5th (2014) Assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 2007. Further information can be found at: