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Published on Jul 22, 2011
Peter Westbroek, Geologist and emeritus professor Geophysiology. Peter Westbroek studied geology and did his PhD in fossil brachiopod paleobiology at Leiden University (the Netherlands). He then had a postdoctoral position at Queen's University in Belfast where he began biochemical research on bio mineralization. In 1970 he started a small group in the Department of Biochemistry in Leiden, with research on 'calcification in the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi', 'immunology of fossil macromolecules' and 'bacterial manganese and iron oxidation'.
Westbroek gave regular lecture courses on the influence of biological systems on Earth dynamics, and wrote the book 'Life as a Geological Force'. He directed the 'Global Emiliania Modeling Initiative' (GEM), an international and interdisciplinary project on the climatic effects of marine phytoplankton.
He is emeritus professor of Geophysiology in Leiden University, is member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences and Arts and occupied the 'Chaire Européenne du Collège de France' in 1996-7. He was the first recipient of the 'Vladimir I. Vernadsky Medal'of the European Geophysical Society in 2003. At present he is writing a book on the emergence of a new worldview, following the imagery of the Earth from space from the 1960s onwards.
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