NSU Graduate Receives a Prestigious Grant to Study Deep Layers of the Earth

Sergei Lobanov, a graduate of the NSU Department of Geology and Geophysics received a grant of 1.8 million euros from the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers (Germany) to study the characteristics of poorly known properties of Earth’s mantle and core.


This grant will allow me to create a scientific laboratory, hire several young researchers and financially support the laboratory until 2023, – said the young scientist.

The Helmholtz Research Centers represent the largest scientific research organization in Germany. The objectives of this Association are the achievement of long-term research goals for society, the preservation and improvement of the foundations for human life. Research is concentrated in six areas of science and technology: energy, Earth Sciences and the environment, medicine, aeronautics, aerospace and transport, key technologies, Structure of Matter. Association grants to leaders of young research teams, are among the most prestigious grants for young scientists. The grant amount is 1.8 million euros. This year there were only 16 grant recipients. They represent different fields of science.

Lobanov's team together with other specialists from the Helmholtz Association will be engaged in experimental studies of the physics and chemical properties of minerals and rocks at very high temperatures and pressures similar to those in the mantle and core of the Earth.

To create such conditions in the laboratory, researchers will use unique experimental methods, that, according to Lobanov, were not previously used to solve geophysics problems:

The information we get about the properties of Earth’s mantle and the core will make it possible to create new models for the evolution of the Earth with unprecedented resolution. Our results will help answer some very important scientific questions. For example, the age of the Earth's magnetic field which is necessary for the existence of life on our planet.

Another important issue that the researchers will examine is the thermal interaction of the Earth’s core and mantle. This interaction determines geological activity on a global scale including the continental drift and global long-term climate change.

Lobanov graduated from NSU Physics Department Master's Program in 2007. After this he entered postgraduate studies at the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy SB RAS. Currently, he holds the position of «Assistant Research Professor» at the Stony Brook University in New York State. Prior to that, Lobanov worked for five years in the geophysics laboratory at the Carnegie Institute in Washington.

I would really like to take part in scientific and public- scientific events that are happening at Novosibirsk State University. I follow the development of my native University with great interest and am very glad to see so many positive changes,  – said the grant recipient.