It is a great pleasure to provide the citation for the awarding of the 2022 Paul Niggli medal for a young, outstanding earth scientist in Switzerland to Prof. Juliana Troch. Juliana started her undergraduate studies at the University of Kiel investigating volcanic deposits in Southern Chile for her bachelor thesis. In 2012, Juliana came to ETH Zürich to continue as a master student in Olivier Bachmann's group constituting part of the nucleus of this new research group in volcanology. She conducted a master thesis with Olivier and Ben Ellis on magma reservoirs connected to the Yellowstone hot spot track. Juliana evidently liked the topic and the environment and continued at ETH with a PhD under the supervision of Oliver, Ben and myself combining geochemistry, volcanology and experimental petrology to unravel the origin and enigma of low δ18O rhyolitic magmas at Yellowstone and worldwide. After successful completion of the PhD in 2019 that was recognized with the ETH silver medal and resulted in 5 publications, Juliana moved to Brown University in Providence (US) working as a postdoc with Chris Huber. There, she added yet another flavour to her already impressive set of skills and tools she was mastering, namely numerical modelling of igneous processes. In 2020, she continued her postdoctoral research at the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC conducting multi-disciplinary research including experimental studies on magmas, melts and fluid controlling ascent and eruption of magmas at the Earth surface and fluid-mediated processes associated with them. In September 2022, Juliana started as tenure-track professor at the RWTH (Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule) Aachen in Germany on a chair entitled “Petrology and fluid processes”.
The short biography presented above clearly highlights that Juliana is a particularly talented and successful young researcher. Juliana is among the rare species of petrologist / volcanologist who not only masters a large number of different methods and techniques ranging from field studies to petrology and geochemistry to experimental petrology and numerical modelling, but Juliana is a very creative and imaginative scientist who explores new avenues of research to target imminent questions in petrology and volcanology such as the recent topic of late stage magmatic fluids that have direct impact on hydrothermal ore forming processes.
Juliana’s main interests are the fundamental understanding of how magmatic systems work in particular how volcanoes form, operate and impact on the surface and the habitability of our planet. She is an excellent teacher able to motivate students through field work and excursions putting the hands on the material the Earth is composed of and leading them through careful analysis and experiments to interpret the rock record and derive the fundamental processes, rates and time scales that control igneous and hydrothermal material cycles in the interior and the surface of the planet.
As a former mentor, active collaborator and friend, I would like to congratulate Juliana Troch for the very well-deserved 2022 Paul Niggli medal and wish her all the best for a successful and most satisfying academic and non-academic career and future!
Peter Ulmer (ETH Zürich)