Within the scope of the ‘10th International Symposium on the Cretaceous’ (Vienna, Austria, August 21–26, 2017), Herbert Stradner received the highest award of the Austrian Geological Society (ÖGG) on 21st of August, 2017 – the Eduard Suess-Medal (in German: Eduard-Sueß-Gedenkmünze) – for his life work: outstanding contributions and merits to the Geological Sciences. This award in recognition of the famous Austrian geologist Eduard Sueß (1831–1918) had been first awarded in 1918, and Herbert Stradner is the 28th awardee. The laudation was given by Werner E. Piller (University of Graz, Austria), followed by the award ceremony by the vice-president of the Austrian Geological Society, Peter Krois (OMV, Vienna, Austria), and an acceptance speech by Herbert Stradner himself.
Herbert Stradner was born in 1925 and belongs to the world-renowned pioneers of nannoplankton research (calcareous nannoplankton, fossil silicoflagellates, archaeomonads, diatoms), as Werner Piller pointed out in his laudatory speech. He was the first to realise the significance of calcareous nannoplankton fossils such as discoasters, demonstrated their importance in global correlations and, thus, in many ways became ‘the father of the stratigraphic use of calcareous nannoplankton’. He was one of the founding members of the International Nannoplankton Association and co-organised the first INA conference in Vienna in 1985.
Herbert Stradner had first started to study medicine, then worked as teacher, before he avocationally studied botany to then focus on palaeobotany. In 1956 Herbert Stradner received his doctoral degree based on a thesis on fossil silicoflagellates from the Tertiary of Austria. From 1960 to his retirement in 1990 he was working for the Austrian Geological Survey in Vienna, and had joined the Glomar Challenger team (Deep Sea Drilling Project) as shipboard scientist in 1970, 1978 and 1980. During his distinguished active career spanning almost six decades (1958–2014), he described about 100 new taxa and published nearly 70 research papers. With his works and passion for nature, Herbert Stradner has considerably contributed to the improvement of biochronology and Mesozoic and Cenozoic stratigraphy, and has inspired, encouraged and mentored many young researchers.
Bilder von der Verleihung der Eduard-Sueß-Medaille am 21.8.2017: