Saturday, February 7, 2009
Prof. Dr. Augusto Gansser-Biaggi
Augusto Gansser-Biaggi was born in Milan in 1910. He studied Geology at Zürich University, and at the age of 24, before having completed his course, he joined a scientific expedition to East Greenland. In 1936 he obtained his geological degree at Zürich and in the same year he took part in the first Swiss geological expedition to the Himalaya and Southern Tibet, including a geological excursion, disguised as a pilgrim, around the sacred mountain Kailas.
An extensive series of scientific journeys was carried out by Dr. Gansser during the years that followed: to the Andes, the Canadian Arctic, the Norhern Ural, Patagonia, Antarctica, the Middle East, Afghanistan, and in Roraima. In 1958 Dr. Gansser obtained a Professorship, and he was appointed Head of the Geological section of the Federal Institute of Technology and the Zurich University. During that period he carried out further explorations in various regions of the Himalaya, Northern Pakistan, Ladakh, Nepal, Southern Tibet, and especially in Bhutan. The results of his researches were retained in a large number of publications. His now classical book Geology of the Himalaya earned him the Award of the Patron's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society London.
Professor Gansser is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), as well as the Academia Nazionale dei Lincei (Rome). Amongst other honours which he has received Augusto Gansser was awarded the title "Baba Himalaya" (father of the Himalaya) by the University of Peshawar (Pakistan).
Augusto Gansser now lives in Lugano, which is his home town.