Roland Oberhänsli is the President of the International Union of Geological Sciences. He graduated in Geology in 1973 and earned his Doctor degree in Natural Sciences in 1977 at ETH-Zürich in Switzerland. He obtained his venia docendi in Petrology and Mineralogy in 1986 at University of Bern. During his post-Doctoral time he joined the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris with a Paul Niggli stipend. In 1989 he was appointed professor of geochemistry at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. In 1994 he then was appointed to the chair of Mineralogy at Potsdam University, where Geosciences were installed after the unification of Germany. In addition to these appointments he was teaching at the University of Neuchatel in Switzerland, University of Ouro Preto in Brasil and La Sapienza in Rome. He was awarded the Gay-Lussac – Humboldt prize in 2005. He was Dean of the faculty of science at Potsdam university, elected reviewer of the German Science Foundation (DFG), Chief Editor of the European Journal of Mineralogy and member of the Science Advisory Group of the International Continental Drilling Program (ICDP). He is head of the Senate of Potsdam University, Scientific advisor of the Humboldt Naturkunde Museum in Berlin, President of the sub-commission of magmatic and metamorphic maps of the Commission of the Geologic Map of the World CGMW, member of the review committee of the Humboldt foundation and permanent guest of the German Science Foundation’s Senate Commission of the future in Geosciences.
His research interests encompass high-pressure metamorphism and geodynamics with related focus on the influence of bulk composition on mineral associations, high-pressure metamorphism in granitoid systems and low-grade high-pressure metamorphism of metapelites.