Michael Schindler’s interest in crystallography started as a teenager, when he synthesized copper sulfate crystals with his beginner’s chemistry set. It was no surprise that he later joined the Institute of Crystallography in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, where he learned mineralogy and crystallography under W.H. Baur. In his Ph.D. thesis (1994-1997), he enjoyed synthesizing colourful new vanadium oxide compounds.
Michael never lost his interest in complex oxysalt minerals, especially after being influenced by Frank Hawthorne during his postdoctoral time in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 2000, Michael was awarded the Emmy Noether Fellowship of the German Mineralogical Association and joined the surface-science group of Andrew Putnis in Münster, Germany, in order to explore growth and dissolution processes on the surface of oxysalt minerals. After a one-year contract as an assistant professor at Lakehead University, Michael again combined forces with Frank Hawthorne and is currently working in Manitoba on the surface properties of complex uranium minerals.