Othon Leonardos Receives Prestigious Brazilian Award

Othon Leonardos

RTE would like to congratulate Professor Othon Henry Leonardos, for his recognition as a researcher and pioneer of remineralization in Brazil. Through Othon’s pioneering research and projects with Suzi Huff Theodoro in the Quilombola communities and his work with indigenous communities, he has been dedicated to sustainability for many decades.

Professor Suzi Huff Theodoro and Embrapa lead researcher Eder De Souza Martins who also continue to lead remineralization research and projects in Brazil, were his students.

For myself, it has been a wonderfully personable experience to interview Othon through the years for RTE, from meeting him and Suzi at natural foods restaurants in Brasilia to visiting his beautiful sustainable house on a mountainside overlooking the city. The house is nestled amongst the woods with its verdant and productive remineralized gardens with a tremendous diversity of fruits and vegetables.

Othon has been a great inspiration for me through the years and deserves much recognition for his accomplishments in leading the way for his groundbreaking remineralization research in Brazil – the country which has come to be the emerging leader of remineralization in the world from research and policy making to its careful future implementation.

He was chosen to receive the title of Researcher Emeritus of the National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). The honor is awarded annually to researchers with relevant contributions to research in the country.

Othon Leonardos began his career at the University of Brasilia (UnB) in 1974 as head of the Department of Geosciences. He has a PhD from the University of Manchester (1972), a master’s degree from the University of California (1966), is a geologist from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and a full member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. In 2013, Othon Leonardos received the title of Professor Emeritus of UnB.

He is the author of more than two hundred publications and supervisor of dozens of theses and dissertations and monographs.


Working with sustainable development in indigenous communities

Othon Leonardos surrounded by his former students, Suzi Huff Theodoro and Eder De Souza Martins at the recent Third Rochagem Congress in November, 2016.

As a geologist he has also worked very closely with indigenous communities and sustainability. In this area, he acted as coordinator of the professional master’s degree in Sustainable Development with Peoples and Indigenous Lands, offered by the Sustainable Development Center of UnB (CDS). Today retired professor of the University, he continues acting as a collaborator on projects of research, stalls and seminars.

Always willing to talk about science, Othon Leonardos resists when the subject pertains to his legacy. As far as the recognition granted by the CNPq, the researchers told us that when opening the envelope, he did not believe that it was for him. He thought it was a mistake. “It’s a big surprise, I was at a loss for words. I did not expect anything else and then I received this award,” said the emeritus.

The UnB’s director, Márcia Abrahão, the researcher’s colleague, received the news of the award with joy. “Othon is a brilliant teacher ahead of his time who has contributed a lot to the training of hundreds of students, including myself,” he said.


The CNPq Award

The title of researcher emeritus is granted by CNPq to Brazilian or foreign researchers residing in Brazil for at least 10 years who have made important contributions to the promotion of research in the country.

The award takes into account the researcher’s reputation with the scientific community and his scientific-technological accomplishments, composed of articles, books, book chapters, postgraduate courses, participation in national and international academies, registered patents and awards.

Please take a look at this great video Fertilização da Terra pela Terra | Earth Fertilizing Itself, which has wonderful interviews of Othon Leonardos and Suzi Huff Theodoro.


University of Brasilia News



Joanna Campe is founder and executive director of Remineralize the Earth.

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