Professor Dr. Friedemann Schrenk, born in 1956 in Stuttgart, studied geology, paleontology, zoology, anatomy, and anthropology in Darmstadt, Johannesburg, and Frankfurt. After receiving his doctoral degree in 1987 and his postdoctoral lecturing qualification in 1994, he was, among other things, head of the Paleontology Department at the Hessisches Landesmuseum in Darmstadt (1989-1999) and its Deputy Director (1992-1999). Since 2000, Schrenk has been Professor of Paleobiology at the Institute for Ecology, Evolution, and Diversity at Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main and head of the Paleoanthropology division at the Senckenberg Research Institute. His research has focused on the paleoanthropology, biogeography, and evolutionary ecology of Plio-Pleistocene Africa (with field work in Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda), evolutionary and functional morphology of mammals, uplift of the Rwenzori Mountains, and climactic impacts on the evolution of the Homo species.
Friedemann Schrenk is a member of the Board of the Center for Interdisciplinary African Studies (ZIAF) at Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main and the Review Board Geology and Paleontology of the German Research Foundation (DFG). He is Chair of the Board of the Uraha Foundation Germany, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Uraha Foundation Malawi. Friedemann Schrenk received the German Donors' Association's Grüter Prize for Scientific Communication (1999), the Research Award of the Collège de France, Paris (1997), and the Communicator Award from the Donors' Association (2006).
"Friedemann Schrenk is an outstanding researcher and one of the leading German scientists in the field of paleoanthropology," explains Peter Radermacher, Chair of the sponsoring Association of Friends of Mainz University. "Besides his research achievements, Professor Schrenk set up the Museum and Research Center in Malawi and initiated the Hominids for Schools program to promote African-German dialog between European and African pupils and teachers. With these communicative initiatives, which are unique in the realm of science, Friedemann Schrenk has by all means fulfilled the requirements of the Johannes Gutenberg Endowed Professorship at Mainz University."