Obituary Prof Maarten de Wit (1947-2020)

Professor Maarten de Wit (image from Nelson Mandela University).

ICDP is saddened to hear that Prof Maarten de Wit passed away on April 15, 2020. Maarten de Wit, formerly member of the ICDP Science Advisory Group and Principal Investigator of the Barberton Greenstone Belt Drilling Project, dedicated his life on how the early Earth operated and evolved, including the evolution of Gondwanaland, the origin of continents and hydrothermal systems in the early Earth, but also the modern tectonic evolution of Africa and its relationship to climate and biology. He has been working in the Barberton Greenstone belt since 1978. 

Born in the Netherlands and educated in Ireland, his academic career took him to the Cambridge University in the UK and New York’s Columbia University before he moved to South Africa in 1979. Maarten de Wit was the first Director of the African Earth Observatory Network and Chair of Earth Stewardship Science at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

The Earth Science community at large has lost a great scientist.