Marine scientist Prof. Dr. Jörg-Olaf Wolff passed away unexpectedly and too early on August 20 at the age of 64. Prof. Wolff was a university lecturer for "Physical Oceanography" at the Institute of Chemistry and Biology of the Sea (ICBM) at the University of Oldenburg since 1999.
Jörg-Olaf Wolff studied oceanography, meteorology and physics at the University of Hamburg, where he received his PhD in physical oceanography in 1990. Until 1992 he worked as a research associate at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg. From 1993 until his appointment at the University of Oldenburg, he conducted research at the Cooperative Research Centre for the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Environment in Hobart, Australia. From 2009 to 2012, Jörg-Olaf Wolff was "Adjunct Professor" (Associate Professor) at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba. In 2016, he was again awarded this title by Shanghai Ocean University for his commitment to the exchange between with the University of Oldenburg.
For 20 years - from 2001 to 2021 - Jörg-Olaf Wolff was the responsible editor of the international scientific journal "Ocean Dynamics", which grew strongly in importance under his leadership. In this context, he coordinated for many years the awarding of the "Georg Wüst Prize", which is awarded every two years to eminent mid-career scientists. He was also one of the advisors of the book series "Springer Briefs in Earth Sciences" and was (vice) chairman of the German Society for Oceanography for several years starting in 2001. His research focused on numerical modeling of ocean currents, ocean-atmosphere interactions, and coastal oceanography. In this context, his interests included sea state modeling and sediment dynamics on structured and unstructured grids. He coordinated the research network "Macroplastics in the Southern North Sea" from 2016 to 2020, in which an interdisciplinary team investigated sources and dispersal pathways of plastic debris and determined the best strategies to reduce its input to the sea.
In recent years in particular, Prof. Wolff and his research group have conducted research on the current issue of long-lived plastic waste in the oceans and achieved important, highly regarded findings on its dispersal pathways and pollution areas. Within the joint project CARBOSTORE, Jörg Wolff coordinated the modeling activities in the German Bight and the Wadden Sea at the University of Oldenburg in the area of "Predictions and Sensitivity Studies".
Jörg-Olaf Wolff was an outstanding scientist, a universally loved and appreciated university lecturer and colleague with unique communication skills and a sharp mind. We lose a professionally and humanly highly valued member of our research community.
Link zur Universität Oldenburg (externer Link)