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ERC grant for research on an enigmatic and dynamic era in the Earth's past

Researcher Mathew Domeier from CEED and the Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo has been awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant for his research project on an enigmatic and dynamic era in the Earth's prehistory. The scholarship from the European Research Council (ERC) gives him the opportunity to build up the research team he needs.

Foto: Mathew Domeier
Mathew Domeier. Photo: CEED/UiO

Mathew Domeier and Trude Storelvmo, both from the Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, were awarded the ERC Consolidator Grant by the European Research Council announced today, March 17, 2022. It is considered an acknowledgment to get through the eye of the needle to receive such grants.

A total of nine researchers at Norwegian institutions received the Consolidator Grant, of which two from the Department of Geosciences,  out of a total of four scholarships that went to UiO.

A dynamic and enigmatic era in the Earth's past is under scrutiny

Researcher Mathew Domeier from CEED and Department of Geosciences receive the grant for his project: Untangling Ediacaran Paleomagnetism to Contextualize Immense Global Change, in short EPIC. 

– Briefly about what the project is about, Mathew ..

– The Ediacaran Period (~635-540 million years ago) was a particularly dynamic interval in Earth’s history, marked by dramatic changes in climate, global geochemical cycles and the biosphere. Understanding the nature and interrelationships behind these changes is important, but at present we have no spatial framework in which to reconstruct and study them. Normally we can use magnetic records from the ancient geomagnetic field to determine the position of the continents in the past, but such paleomagnetic records from Ediacaran exhibit an enigmatic behavior that suggests dramatic changes were possibly occurring in the Earth’s mantle and/or core then too.

The aim of EPIC is to determine the origin(s) of the enigmatic signals in Ediaracan paleomagnetic data, and to use that knowledge to ‘unlock’ global paleogeography at this critical time.

– What does the ERC grant entail for your research?

– My overarching research aim is to understand how the history of tectonic plate motion has influenced Earth’s internal dynamics, climate and the biosphere. However, much of the effort behind this work is necessarily invested into improving our estimates and models of such plate motion through time. Such work involves the collection and analysis of very large and diverse datasets—best accomplished by a dedicated team with complementary expertise. This ERC Consolidator Grant will enable me to build significantly on the existing competence at CEED and GEO, to assemble exactly such a community-leading team. With such a diverse but focused group, we will finally be able to shatter some of the most important bottlenecks towards a fuller understanding of the history of plate motion and how that has shaped the evolution of the broader Earth system.

Mathew Domeier is a researcher at CEED and Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo. He has a research interest in issues within global paleogeography and the kinematic history of the tectonic plates. In 2019 Domeier received the award Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Early Career Scientists (link; EGU).

About ERC Consolidator Grants

The ERC Consolidator Grants are awarded by the European Research Council (ERC) and are designed to support outstanding researchers at the career stage where they can continue to consolidate their own independent research team or program.

The researchers (Principal Investigators) who receive scholarships must demonstrate the pioneering nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal or project. ERC Consolidator Grants are for a maximum of EUR 2,000,000 for a period of 5 years. Read more on ERC's pages for ERC Consolidator Grants.

By Gunn Kristin Tjoflot
Published Mar. 17, 2022 4:48 PM - Last modified June 13, 2022 12:19 PM