The 2021 Jean Baptiste Lamarck Medal is awarded to Andreas Strasser in recognition of his contributions to the study of shallow-water carbonates and for his success at merging carbonate sedimentology with cyclo- and sequence stratigraphy.
Andreas Strasser has been a professor of sedimentology at Université de Fribourg, Switzerland for almost thirty years. Since 2012 he has been an emeritus professor at this university. Strasser completed his undergraduate studies in geology at ETH Zürich in 1972. After years of world traveling, he was accepted as a PhD candidate in 1976 by eminent ETH professor Rudolf Trümpy. Strasser completed his PhD on Cretaceous shallow-water carbonates in the Helvetic Alps, with a focus on carbonate microfacies and on stratigraphy, in 1979. He then left ETH Zürich for the French part of Switzerland, where he first worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Université de Genève. From Geneva, he moved in 1984 to Fribourg University.
During his research career, Strasser made numerous and exceptional contributions to carbonate sedimentology, including the description and interpretation of peculiar components in shallow-water carbonates, like black pebbles, microbialites in coral reefs, and different types of ooids. In his research, Strasser integrates field data with carbonate petrography, with palaeoecology, with microfacies analysis, and with high-resolution cyclostratigraphy. He has frequently studied modern carbonate systems as a basis for interpretation of the ancient examples.
Strasser has published more than 100 papers in internationally highly ranked scientific journals, often co-authored by his excellent students. His work demonstrates how a combination of an actualistic approach to carbonate sedimentology with detailed field analysis can result in novel information on depositional systems, including the impact of changing sea level on carbonate systems and the evolution of carbonate environments through time. As a leading authority on carbonate sedimentology, Strasser helped to educate a generation of sedimentologists, stratigraphers, and also geomicrobiologists throughout Europe. He supervised 18 PhD theses and is known as a gifted teacher who has succeeded in motivating young researchers to be enthusiastic about a variety of aspects of sedimentology, including field work in the Alps and in the Jura Mountains. Andreas Strasser acted for several years as General Secretary of the International Association of Sedimentologists (IAS), and he served as editor for numerous international journals.
For all of these reasons, Andreas Strasser is a worthy recipient of the 2021 Jean Baptiste Lamarck Medal.