The 2001 Fridtjof Nansen Medal is awarded to Jürgen Willebrand for his pioneering work in the understanding of the dynamics of the circulation of the oceans.
Jürgen Willebrand has been Professor for Oceanography at the University of Kiel since 1983. His research career has focused on the use of numerical experimentation to elucidate fundamental aspects of the circulation of the ocean. His has a world-wide reputation for the care and imagination he applies to problems. Of particular note are his insightful contributions to the understanding of the stability and multiple equilibria of the thermohaline circulation. Recently he headed the DYNAMO project, an intercomparison of a number ocean models. The success of the project in unraveling a number of scientific issues is due in great measure to Jurgens stewardship.
Finally Jürgen has always demonstrated a keen interest in the development of young scientists. His approachable manner and support have benefited many in the development of their careers.