On 12th March 2014 the Bremen marine biologist Nicole Dubilier was presented with the Leibnitz Prize in Berlin. She receives the coveted and generously endowed prize for her research on the symbioses between micro-organisms and marine animals. Nicole Dubilier is Professor for Microbiellen Symbiosis in the University of Bremen’s Faculty of Chemistry. She is also Director of the Bremen Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, where she leads the symbiosis department. In addition to this, Nicole Dubilier works as project leader at MARUM, the Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen. The renowned marine microbiologist’s special research interest lies in investigating processes of ecological and evolutionary adaptation in bacteria and invertebrate marine life.
The University Rector, Professor Bernd Scholz-Reiter, commented the award with the words: “I’m not only pleased that yet another Leibniz Prize has gone to Bremen researcher: It’s especially gratifying that as result of the excellent cooperation with a non-university institute such an eminent scientist is also able to teach at the University of Bremen and pass on her pioneering knowledge to our students”. Nicole Dubilier is the fourth Bremen researcher to be awarded the Leibnitz Prize. Other persons who brought the prize to Bremen are the geochemist, Kai-Uwe Hinrichs (2011), marine biologist, Antje Boetius (2008), and production engineer, Ekkard Brinksmeier (1999). They all received this very special honor for their outstanding contributions to research.
After obtaining her doctorate in Biology, in 1992 Nicole Dubilier first went to Harvard as a post-doc before coming to the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Marine Microbiology in Bremen and also accepting a visiting professorship in Paris. In 2013 she was awarded an ERC Advanced Grant from the European Research Council.