Back to top

Johann Lutjeharms (1944 - )

The Order of Mapungubwe in

Johann Lutjeharms (1944 - ) Awarded for:
His excellent contribution to and achievements in oceanographic science.

Profile of Johann Lutjeharms

Professor Extraordinarius Reinder Erlers Lutjeharms has for years led the way in ocean research. This has involved deep-sea study, coastal challenges and the link with weather and climate. In the process, this encouraged interest in the southern Africa region and explains the collaboration with Lutjeharms from 23 other countries.

He was born in the Orange Free State in 1944 and studied at the universities of Cape Town and Washington, receiving a Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Science Honours, respectively. For his work, such as at Port Alfred and Agulhas Bank and describing and naming the Delagoa Bight, he won honorary degrees from the universities of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Rhodes.

In his current position at the University of South Africa and in his previous positions as visiting scientist and visiting researcher, he has managed to initiate investigational programmes to study the role of the adjacent ocean on South Africa’s rainfall. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Utrecht, Universidad de Concepción, PP Shirshov Institute of Oceanology and Gothenburg University. His work in establishing yardsticks in observational oceanography has placed South Africa at the centre of world excellence and encouraged research visitors to our shores as well as countless postgraduate students who have been fortunate enough to benefit from his expertise.