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Elite Research Award for SDU researcher with a penchant for microbes

Amelia-Elena Rotaru, professor at the Department of Biology, SDU, is one of five young researchers of outstanding international repute to receive the prestigious Elite Research Award from the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

Amelia-Elena Rotaru fell in love with microbiology at the age of 16 when she read the classic Microbe Hunters containing inspiring stories about great scientists in microbiology.

Today, she is herself one of the world’s leading microbe hunters, and at the Department of Biology at SDU, she has her own research group which explores a special group of microorganisms that can produce the climate gas methane.

These microorganisms, called archaea, play an important role in life on Earth – and have probably done so for billions of years.

Microbes can store green power

The group’s groundbreaking research has generated completely new insight into microbes and their interaction with bacteria, also has the potential to contribute to the sustainability transition.

- There is great interest in using our results, because we now know that microorganisms can store green power. In addition, they can be used in biogas production to convert CO2 into methane, which can subsequently be used for CO2-neutral fuels, she explains.

This afternoon, Amelia-Elena Rotaru will be honoured with one of this year’s five Elite Research Prizes for her outstanding research at an event in Copenhagen.

See more about the Elite Research Award 2024

About Elite Research Award

  • Every year, five of Denmark’s best and most talented researchers are awarded the Elite Research Prize, which is awarded by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.
  • The Elite Research Awards are being presented for the 18th time this year and were first awarded in 2007.
  • Elite Research aims to showcase researchers as role models and to ignite curiosity and enthusiasm for science among students and young researchers. 
  • Each Elite Research Prize amounts to DKK 1.2 million. One million is reserved for the prize recipient’s research activities, and the 200,000 is a personal honorary award.  
  • At the award ceremony on Monday, 18 talented PhD students will also receive travel grants of DKK 200,000 each to help them travel to some of the best research environments in the world.  
Editing was completed: 26.02.2024