Affiliation: Department of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, NL
Keywords: Earth Science, Mineral Physics, Petrology
Oliver Plümper’s research interest spans the fields of fluid-rock interaction, nanogeosciences, mineral physics and rock deformation. He combines these fields to specifically investigates how the fundamental parts of rocks, minerals, respond to changes in their local environment that are caused by the introduction of fluids and stress. Critically, he uses this often nanometer (~100,000 times smaller than the width of a hair) scale information to understand how changing the environment alters the critical properties of rocks. This knowledge allows him to address fundamental earth science questions related to the deep Earth water and carbon cycle as well as topics that we have all come across in the news, including earthquakes and carbon sequestration. Oliver addresses his research questions by drawing upon an interdisciplinary approach, interacting with traditional geoscience of natural observations, with the chemistry of experiments, computational science using numerical simulations and the high-end physics of next-generation micro- and nano-analytics. Specifically, translating new methods and cutting-edge electron microscopy technologies to answer earth science questions is one of Oliver’s greatest passions.
Oliver also has a keen interest in outreach and scientific leadership. He regularly appears in national and international newspapers and popular scientific magazines. Oliver is also actively engaged in coordinating open science efforts within the European Earth science landscape. He as also served as a science advisory officer at the Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology and Volcanology section of the European Geoscience Union and is on the editorial board of “Geology”, one of the leading geology journals. In addition, Oliver has organized numerous scientific symposia and sessions at national and international conferences.
Oliver studied geosciences at the University of Münster (Germany) before he joined the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network “Delta-Min” at the Center for Physics of Geological Processes (PGP), University of Oslo (Norway) in 2008. He completed his PhD at PGP in 2012 and soon after moved to the Department of Earth Sciences at Utrecht University where he has been an assistant professor since 2013. Oliver has been awarded multiple research grants to build his own group, including personal grants from the Dutch Research Council (NWO), the European Research Council (ERC) as well as industry funding. He received the Goldschmidt award from the German Mineralogical Society (DMG) in 2018 and the 2021 Research Excellence Medal from the European Mineralogical Union.