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Press Release: Sybille Hildebrandt and Chelsea Wald awarded EGU Science Journalism Fellowship

10 January 2014

Sybille Hildebrandt and Chelsea Wald
Sybille Hildebrandt and Chelsea Wald (Credit: right – Ben Shaw)

The European Geosciences Union (EGU) has named journalists Sybille Hildebrandt and Chelsea Wald as the winners of its 2014 Science Journalism Fellowship for projects on palaeontology, geochemistry and the origin of animal life, and on soil sciences and forensics, respectively. Hildebrandt will receive €3,500 to join a research team travelling to the Canadian Rockies, and Wald €1,500 to cover expenses related to a trip to Scotland.

Sybille Hildebrandt’s proposal focuses on the recent discovery of a fossil mine near the Burgess Shale that has an abundance of early animal fossils that can provide important clues to solve the mystery of the origin of animal life. She will be accompanying a Danish team on a summer field trip to the mine where researchers will study the fossils and harvest geochemical samples.

Chelsea Wald proposes to report on a story that shows how soil science techniques can help in solving crimes. She will be travelling to Scotland where she will follow soil scientist Lorna Dawson of the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen and colleagues as they test new methods at a mock crime scene.

Hildebrandt is a freelance journalist and press consultant based in Copenhagen, Denmark. She previously worked as a journalist for the Danish science website Videnskab.dk and as an editor at the popular science magazine Science Illustrated. Wald is a freelance science, health and environment writer based in Vienna, Austria. Her stories have appeared in Science, New Scientist, and Nautilus, among other renowned publications.

Update (September 2014): Please note that Sybille Hildebrandt initially accepted the fellowship but had to turn it down due to a new job starting at the time she was going to accompany the Danish team on their expedition. As such, Chelsea Wald is currently the only EGU Science Journalism Fellow.

More information

The EGU Science Journalism Fellowship is an annual competition open to professional journalists wishing to report on ongoing research in the Earth, planetary and space sciences. The winning proposals receive up to €5K to cover expenses related to their projects. This support is intended to allow the fellows to follow geoscientists on location and to develop an in-depth understanding of their questions, approaches, findings and motivation.

The European Geosciences Union (www.egu.eu) is Europe’s premier geosciences union, dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in the Earth, planetary, and space sciences for the benefit of humanity, worldwide. It is a non-profit interdisciplinary learned association of scientists founded in 2002. The EGU has a current portfolio of 15 diverse scientific journals, which use an innovative open access format, and organises a number of topical meetings, and education and outreach activities. Its annual General Assembly is the largest and most prominent European geosciences event, attracting over 11,000 scientists from all over the world. The meeting’s sessions cover a wide range of topics, including volcanology, planetary exploration, the Earth’s internal structure and atmosphere, climate, energy, and resources. The 2014 EGU General Assembly is taking place is Vienna, Austria from 27 April to 2 May 2014. For information regarding the press centre at the meeting and media registration, please check http://media.egu.eu.

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