Professor Donald Canfield ForMemRS

Don Canfield received his Bachelor's degree in chemistry (1979) from Miami University, Ohio, and a PhD in Geology from Yale (1988). For his PhD, Canfield unraveled the coupling between the iron, sulfur and carbon cycles in modern marine sediments, while developing an interest in the evolution of atmospheric and ocean chemistry. Thus, Canfield developed his basic approach of exploring modern ecosystems and organisms to interpret geochemical signals from the geologic record.

With 3-years at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, Canfield further developed his microbiological interests. From Bremen, Canfield moved to the University of Southern Denmark (1996), where he continues to explore the physiology of modern organisms to reveal the interplay between life’s evolution and the evolution of Earth’s surface environments through time.

Canfield is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Societies of Denmark and Sweden. He has received the Vladimir Vernadsky Award, the Urey Prize, has an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Poitiér and is Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog.

Professional position

  • Professor, Department of Biology, University of Southern Denmark

Subject groups

  • Earth and environmental sciences

    Chemical oceanography, Geochemistry

  • Anatomy, physiology and neurosciences

    Experimental psychology

  • Organismal biology, evolution and ecology

    Ecology (incl behavioural ecology), Evolution