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IAGC - International Association of GeoChemistry
2012 IAGC Award Winners

6 February 2012

The IAGC is proud to announce the recipients of the 2012 Society Awards. Look in future issues of Elements for profiles of all the winners, and see our Awards Pages for descriptions of the awards. Congratulations to all!


Vernadsky Medal

Robert A. Berner - Yale University, USA

Robert A. BernerDr. Berner obtained his B.S. (1957) and M.S. (1958) degrees from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. (1962) from Harvard University working with Professors Ray Seiver and Bob Garrels. He then went to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography as a Sverdrup Postdoctoral Fellow. In 1963 he joined the faculty at the University of Chicago but left that institution to go to Yale University where he was promoted to Professor in 1971. He remains at Yale as an Emeritus Professor after retiring in 2007.

Dr. Berner is a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Among his many other awards are the 1991 Doctor Honoris Causa, Universite Aix-Marseille (France); 1991 Huntsman Medal in Oceanography (Canada); 1993 Goldschmidt Medal of the Geochemical Society; 1995 Arthur L. Day Medal of the Geological Society of America; and 1996 Murchinson Medal of the Geological Society of London.

One of the most internationally recognizable and valuable research accomplishments of Dr. Berner has been as co-founder with Bob Garrels and Tony Lasaga of the now famous BLAG model of atmospheric CO2 variations through Cretaceous geologic time. Dr. Berner has gone on to refine this model extensively going back in geologic time to the beginning of the Phanerozoic in the GEOCARB models. His modeling efforts have been confirmed by various types of proxy information such as the density of stomata in fossil plant leaves. Dr. Berner’s current research deals with computer modeling of the carbon and sulfur cycles, emphasizing their coupling to controls on atmospheric CO2 and O2; the effect of CO2 on paleoclimate and of O2 on biological evolution; the role of plants in rock weathering and their controls on atmospheric CO2 oscillations in the Phanerozoic; and weathering of kerogen in fossil shales as a measure of modulation of atmospheric O2. Much of Bob’s more modern research activities are highlighted in his latest book The Phanerozoic Carbon Cycle. However, over his career Bob has tackled a number of significant problems other than those involving atmospheric CO2 and O2 in (bio)geochemistry and has done so very successfully. These include the kinetic behavior of carbonates in the ocean and experimental studies of the stabilities and kinetics of carbonate minerals and other sedimentary mineral types which formed the basis of Bob’s book Principles of Chemical Sedimentology (1971); field observations of the processes of early diagenesis, which formed the basis of his book entitled Early Diagenesis: A Theoretical Approach (1980); and studies of geochemical cycles, which were the basis of his book written with his wife Elizabeth Berner entitled Global Environment: Water, Air, and Geochemical Cycles (1995).



Susan Brantley - Pennsylvania State University, USA

Susan BrantleySusan Brantley's research has made fundmental contributions to understanding geochemical processes operating within the critical zone.  She received a PhD from Princeton University in 1987, and is presently is Professor of Geosciences at the Pennsylvania State University, Director of the Earth & Environmental Systems Institute and Director of the Center for Environmental Kinetics Analysis at PSU. As one of the leading aqueous geochemists of her generation, Professor Brantley’s research has explored important questions like the chemical weathering rates of silicate minerals, the kinetics of water-rock interaction, soil-forming processes, and the effects of microbial processes on mineral dissolution and soil development.  She is widely published in the top tier geochemical journals, including the association’s journal, Applied Geochemistry.

Norbert Clauer - CNRS, FRANCE

Norbert ClauerNorbert Clauer has been named IAGC Fellow for outstanding research on the geochemistry of clay minerals.  IAGC Member Norbert Clauer received his PhD from the Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, in 1976 and presently is Emeritus Research Director of the French National Research Council (CNRS) and Scientific Director of the French Nuclear Waste Repository National Agency. As documented through more than 170 research publications, Dr. Clauer is a recognized international authority on clay minerals. Over the course of a distinguished research career, he has used the tools of chemistry and isotope chemistry to understand the mechanisms of clay crystallization and recrystallization, behavior of detrital and authigenic clay minerals during deposition, diagenesis, low-grade metamorphism and weathering, and the geochemistry of sedimentary brines.




Distinguished Service Awards

Ernest Angino - University of Kansas, USA

Ernie AnginoErnest Angino is an Emeritus Professor from the Department of Geology at the University of Kansas (USA), where he rose up through the academic ranks to Professor. Ernie's research and teaching are in the area of aqueous geochemistry.  His contributed to a significant understanding of the aqueous geochemistry of trace metals and the chemistries of Antarctic lakes as well as to the development of the important research area of geochemistry and health.

Ernie served as chair of the Department of Geology at KU, during which time he was instrumental in helping to organize the alumni association, which has resulted in significant gifts to the department that continues today. Ernie brought those organizational and management skills to IAGC during his time as treasurer and worked to increase the assets of IAGC, handing to his successor D.T. Long an extremely stable financial state of IAGC. During his tenure as Treasurer, Ernie proved to be an invaluable resource for the President and Secretary of IAGC on matters ranging from negotiations with the publisher of the society's journal (Applied Geochemistry), working with the international collaborators, and in the formulation of the various awards bestowed society.

Luca Fanfani - University of Cagliari, ITALY

Luca FanfaniLuca Fanfani is full professor at the University of Cagliari (Italy), and since 2009 Dean of the Faculty of Sciences. He served as pro-Rector and Director of the Earth Science Department at the University of Cagliari, and as President of the Scientific Committee of the International Institute for Geothermal Research Pisa. Luca is an active Member of the Committee of the Water-Rock Interaction Group and served as General Secretary organized the WRI-10 Conference in 2001. He served as a superior mentor to many young geochemists in Italy and other countries.

He has authored or co-authored more than 60 scientific articles addressing a wide range of issues such as hydrogeochemical exploration for geothermal energy, base metals and gold; arsenic geochemistry; speciation of heavy metals in mine tailings; and geochemical processes at abandoned mine sites in Italy and abroad. Among other achievements, he recognized, long before most of his colleagues, the important connection between geochemistry and mineralogy for understanding the transport and fate of harmful and toxic elements at the near surface environment.

Luca had a strong impact in the foundation of environmental mineralogy and geochemistry in Italy. When he took on his position in the University of Cagliari, he was known for his accomplishments in crystal chemistry (e.g. publications in the Handbook of Geochemistry, K.H. Wedepohl Ed.), but he soon turned his interest to more applied topics, opening up a field that was only at an embryonic stage in Italy. He created practically from zero a research group that grew in the years to become a respected contributor to environmental mineralogy and geochemistry.  This group became a nationwide reference for environmental geochemistry and mineralogy, stimulating the birth and growth of similar groups in Firenze, Genova and elsewhere, producing joint projects, and activities such as Schools and meetings.


Certificates of Recognition

Olle Selinus - Geological Survey of Sweden

Olle SelinusOlle Selinus has received the IAGC Certificate of Recognition for significant contributions to the fields of environmental geochemistry and medical geology.  IAGC Member Olle Selinus is a PhD geologist with the Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU).  During the 1960s and 1970s he worked in mineral exploration and since the beginning of the 1980s his research work has been focused on environmental geochemistry, including research on medical geology. Dr. Selinus has more than 100 research publications in environmental geochemistry and also has served as the organizer of several international conferences in this field and was Vice-President of IGC33, the International Geological Congress in Oslo in 2008. He served as Editor-in-Chief for the book on "Essentials of Medical Geology", and as President of the International Medical Geology Association, which began as an IAGC Working Group. He has received several international awards and has been appointed Geologist of the Year in Sweden because of his work in medical geology.

Suzanne Prestrud Anderson - University of Colorado, USA

Suzanne AndersonSuzanne Anderson has received the IAGC Certificate of Recognition for organizing and leading the 9the International Symposium on the Geochemistry of the Earth’s Surface (GES-9) Working Group meeting Boulder, CO in June 2011.  IAGC member Susan P. Anderson is Associate Professor of Geography in the Department of Geography at the University of Colorado and Fellow in the Institute of Arctic & Alpine Research.  She received a PhD from the University of California – Berkeley in 1995. Dr. Anderson’s research interests are focused on the field-based mechanistic understanding of the chemical and physical processes that shape the Earth’s surface and control denudation rates.



Dra. Neus Otero - Universitat de Barcelona, Spain

Neus OteroNeus Otero has received the IAGC Certificate of Recognition for co-organizing the 9th International Symposium on Applied Isotope Geochemistry (AIG-9) Working Group Meeting in Tarragona, Spain in September 2011.  Dra. Otero received her PhD from the University of Barcelona in 2004 and is currently a tenure-track lecturer in the Department of Crystallography, Mineralogy and Ore Deposits, of the Universitat de Barcelona and coordinator of the environmental projects of the Mineralogia Aplicada i Medi Ambient (Applied Mineralogy and Environment) Research Group.  Her interests are focused on the use of isotopic tools to evaluate the fate of contaminants in the environment, with a special focus on natural and induced attenuation of groundwater pollution.


Dr. Albert Soler Gil
- Universitat de Barcelona, Spain

Albert Soler GilAlbert Soler Gil has received the IAGC Certificate of Recognition for co-organizing the 9th International Symposium on Applied Isotope Geochemistry (AIG-9) Working Group Meeting in Tarragona, Spain in September 2011.  Dr. Soler received his PhD from the University of Barcelona in 1990 and is a full Professor of Mineralogy in the Department of Crystallography, Mineralogy and Ore Deposits of the Universitat de Barcelona.  He is the coordinator of the Mineralogia Aplicada i Medi Ambient research group and his research interests are focused on the use of isotopic tools to identify contamination sources, to evaluate the evolution of the contaminants and to foresee natural attenuation processes.


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