Axel D. Renno was born in 1964 in Jena, in Thuringia in the eastern part of Germany. Stimulated by his parents - a chemist and a teacher of optics and physics - he developed a lively interest in 'stones', microscopes and do-it-yourself chemical experiments.
He studied mineralogy and geochemistry at the University of Freiberg and graduated with his diploma thesis in 1990. After finishing his thesis, he worked with colleagues from the Technical University in Berlin and from Egypt on the rare metal granites in the Eastern Desert of Egypt. He finished his PhD thesis on the petrogenesis of albite granites in 1997 at the Technical University of Berlin. Employed at the Institute of Mineralogy in Freiberg, he teaches microscopy, petrology and physical chemistry. His research focuses on decoding the relations between the mineralogical characteristics of rock-forming minerals, the microstructure and the petrogenesis of magmatic rocks. He lives in Dresden with his wife, Andrea, and their two children, Sven and Tina.
Leander Franz was born in Neunkirchen (Saarland, SW Germany) in 1960. He studied geology at the Technical University of Clausthal (Niedersachsen) and completed his diploma thesis (~M.Sc.) on metamorphic petrology in 1988. In 1991, he did his PhD thesis on polymetamorphism in the basement of the Aegean Sea, under the guidance of Martin Okrusch in W?rzburg (Bavaria). After two years on a postdoctoral research project on mantle magmatism in the Gross Brukkaros volcanic field in Namibia, he received a position as a scientist at the GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (Brandenburg) in the research team of Onno Oncken. He investigated orogenic structure, evolution, and geodynamics in the Ivrea Zone and finished his habilitation thesis entitled 'Exhumation and uplift of segments of the Earth's crust and mantle' in 1998 at the University of Potsdam. In the same year, he became assistant professor (head of petrology) at Freiberg University of Mining and Technology (Saxony). There, he concentrated on the petrology and petrogenetic aspects of submarine ore deposits. Leander and his wife Annette have three sons.
Thomas Witzke was born in Finsterwalde, Germany in 1963. He began his studies of mineralogy at the Bergakademie Freiberg in 1985 and graduated five years later with a diploma on minerals formed as a result of self-ignition processes of coal in the D?hlen basin, Saxony, Germany. A general interest in alteration processes and formation of secondary minerals lead to a study of minerals of the hydrotalcite group, including structure modelling and Rietveld refinement, at the Martin-Luther University Halle, Germany. For this work he received the Dr. rer nat. (Ph.D.) in 1995. Further studies at Halle and the Institute of Mineralogy and Economic Geology, RWTH Aachen, Germany, deal with the formation of hydrotalcite group minerals, the fixation of heavy metals in these minerals and synthesis experiments with anorganic and organic cations. The study of alteration processes and products resulted in the discovery and description of several new minerals.
Peter M. Herzig received his PhD in geology from the Aachen University of Technology in 1986 for his research carried out on ancient seafloor in the Troodos Ophiolite on Cyprus. Following an Alexander von Humboldt Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Toronto, he obtained a Research Associate and Assistant Professorship at Aachen and was a visiting professor at the Geological Survey of Canada. From 1993 to 2003, Peter Herzig was Full Professor and Chair of Economic Geology and Petrology as well as Head of the Leibniz Laboratory for Applied Marine Research at Freiberg University of Mining and Technology. He served as dean of the Faculty for Geosciences, Geo-engineering and Mining from 1997-1999. Following a Visiting Professorship at the Southampton Oceanography Centre in the United Kingdom, Peter Herzig became Full Professor at the University of Kiel in 2003 and Director of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences IFM-GEOMAR in 2004. Since January 2004 he is also chair of the German Marine Research Consortium. In November 2004 Peter Herzig was appointed Maritime Coordinator of the State of Schleswig-Holstein at the Office of the Prime Minister. Since 2005 he is President of the International Marine Minerals Society, USA. Peter Herzig has participated in numerous oceanographic expeditions in all oceans, several as chief scientist. He has experience with deep diving and remotely operated vehicles and also sailed as petrologist and Chief Scientist for the Ocean Drilling Program. In 2000, he has received the Leibniz-Award of the German Research Foundation for his work on seafloor hydrothermal systems.