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Fellows Directory

Albrecht Hofmann

Albrecht Hofmann

Professor Albrecht Hofmann ForMemRS

Foreign Member

Elected: 2018


Albrecht W Hofmann, born in 1939 in Germany, studied geology and geochemistry initially in Freiburg, Germany, and received his Ph.D. degree at Brown University, Providence, R.I. After working at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C., he was appointed Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany, in 1980, to lead the new Department of Geochemistry. He has been Emeritus in Mainz and Visiting Senior Research Scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University since 2007.

He uses trace elements and isotopic compositions of basalts to study the composition and evolution of Earth’s mantle. He recognized “canonical” trace element ratios as tools to distinguish recycling processes of ancient oceanic and continental crust through the mantle and showed that the chemical heterogeneity of the mantle is dominated by recycled ocean crust.

Among the awards he received are the Goldschmidt Medal of the Geochemical Society, the Hess Medal of the American Geophysical Union, and the Harold Urey Award of the European Association of Geochemistry. He is a Foreign Associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Professional positions

, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
Emeritus, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Earth and environmental sciences
    • Geochemistry, Geology


Evolution of mantle and crust, geochronology, Isotope and trace element geochemistry, volcanology

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