The European Geosciences Union (EGU) has named journalists Sybille Hildebrandt and Chelsea Wald as the winners of its 2014 Science Journalism Fellowship for projects on palaeontology, geochemistry and the origin of animal life, and on soil sciences and forensics, respectively. Hildebrandt will receive €3,500 to join a research team travelling to the Canadian Rockies, and Wald €1,500 to cover expenses related to a trip to Scotland.
Sybille Hildebrandt's proposal focuses on the recent discovery of a fossil mine near the Burgess Shale that has an abundance of early animal fossils that can provide important clues to solve the mystery of the origin of animal life. She will be accompanying a Danish team on a summer field trip to the mine where researchers will study the fossils and harvest geochemical samples.
Chelsea Wald proposes to report on a story that shows how soil science techniques can help in solving crimes. She will be travelling to Scotland where she will follow soil scientist Lorna Dawson of the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen and colleagues as they test new methods at a mock crime scene.
Hildebrandt is a freelance journalist and press consultant based in Copenhagen, Denmark. She previously worked as a journalist for the Danish science website Videnskab.dk and as an editor at the popular science magazine Science Illustrated. Wald is a freelance science, health and environment writer based in Vienna, Austria. Her stories have appeared in Science, New Scientist, and Nautilus, among other renowned publications.