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Geological Society Awards 2016

We are delighted to announce the winners of our 2016 awards, to be presented at President's Day on 8 June.

29 February 2016

The Wollaston Medal, our highest award, is this year presented to Susan Brantley, Distinguished Professor of Geosciences and Director of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute at Pennsylvania State University.

Throughout her career, Professor Brantley has dominated research into fluid-mineral reactions in low temperature environments. Her research has contributed significantly to a wide range of fields, including soil formation, dispersal of pollutants and controls on long term climate change. From atomic scale observation to field based investigations, the breadth and influence of her research is virtually unparalleled.

The Wollaston Medal is presented to geologists whose research has had a substantial impact on pure or applied aspects of geology. It was first awarded in 1831 to William Smith, whose 1815 geological map of England, Wales and part of Scotland - now regarded as 'the map that changed the world' - was the first of its kind.

The winner of this year's Lyell Medal, awarded to geologists whose research has made a significant contribution to 'soft' rock studies, is Professor John Underhill of Heriot-Watt University. As Shell Professor of Exploration Geoscience, Professor Underhill researches the sedimentology, structural geology and stratigraphy of prospective basins.

The Murchison Medal, awarded to geologists who have contributed significantly to 'hard' rock studies, is awarded to Professor Jon Blundy of the University of Bristol. Professor Blundy's research concerns the generation, movement and evolution of magma within the Earth.

The William Smith Medal, awarded for excellence in applied and economic aspects of geology, is awarded to Dr Michael de Freitas of Imperial College. Dr de Freitas studies the application of geology to engineering design and construction in soil and rock, at far-field and near-field scales.

The awards will be presented by Geological Society President Professor David Manning at President's Day on 8 June.


The 2016 Geological Society Awards in full: 

Wollaston Medal: Professor Susan Brantley, Pennsylvania State University

Lyell Medal: Professor John Underhill, Heriot-Watt University

Murchison Medal: Professor Jon Blundy, University of Bristol

William Smith Medal: Dr Michael de Freitas, Imperial College

Coke Medal: Professor Patience Cowie, University of Bergen

Coke Medal: Professor Monica Grady, Open University

Bigsby Medal: Professor Liane G Benning, GFZ, German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany/ University of Leeds, UK

Prestwich Medal: Dr Henry Emeleus, University of Durham

Sue Tyler Friedman Medal: Dr Richard Howarth, University College London

Distinguished Service Award: Dr Catherine Mével, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris 

Distinguished Service Award: Mr Edmund Nickless, retired

R H Worth Prize: Mr Paul Denton, British Geological Society

Wollaston Fund: Dr Mitchall D'Arcy, Imperial College

William Smith Fund: Dr Anja Schmidt, University of Leeds

Lyell Fund: Dr Tracy Aze, University of Leeds

Murchison Fund: Dr Craig Magee, Imperial College