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Lanzhou 2015

At the 13th International Symposium in Lanzhou the IPA honoured the following people, for our various awards:

IPA Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

Richard (Rick) Battarbee 

Rick is the world’s leading palaeolimnologist and he has made many major research breakthroughs and contributions as well as being an outstanding research group leader, colleague, international ambassador for environmental science and long-term ecology, and an exemplary role model and devoted mentor for his students and colleagues, past and present. Rick is a most distinguished scientist who, since his earliest research in 1972, has played a major role in developing palaeolimnology from a rather esoteric branch of palaeoecology into a centre-stage subject within pure and applied environmental science. He is a world leader in his science as well as being a most generous and supportive colleague and friend to the palaeolimnology community. His major international palaeolimnological contributions have been on lake eutrophication and lake management; surface-water acidification, critical loads, and lake recovery; climate-change studies; global change and freshwaters; development of new and innovative techniques; research leadership; and research ambassador. He is primarily a diatomist and he has developed approaches in diatom research to address many major environmental problems such as surface-water acidification, lake eutrophication, natural climate variability, freshwater responses to current climate change, biodiversity changes, and lake response and recovery to perturbations He is also an exceptional limnologist with a broad range of expertise in modern limnology and freshwater biology. His many academic honours and prizes include Fellowship of the Royal Society (UK), Foreign Member of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences, Einstein Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Honorary Fellow of University College London, and the James Croll Medal from the Quaternary Research Association. Besides being an outstanding researcher and research leader, Rick has given unstinting and devoted service to the national and international research communities through leading international projects (e.g. PAGES, EU-projects), chairing various associations and councils, editing, translating, and helping colleagues from all over the world. 


Hilary Birks

Hilary is internationally respected as one of the world’s leaders in paleobotany, and especially as this work relates to plant macrofossils and related botanical indicators in lake sediments and peats. She has consistently provided new insights and syntheses to scientifically and socially important questions, such as climate change and related environmental issues. Her strong leadership skills have been shown in a variety of settings, not least of which was the highly successful Krakenes paleolimnology project - but there are many examples.  Her publications have led the field in macrofossil-based paleolimnology. Hilary has been a vital and key addition to the editorial board of the international Journal of Paleolimnology. Hilary is a wonderful person to interact with. The number of younger paleolimnologists that she has mentored is too long to list here.  Her success in this area is a role model for all of us.


Roger Flower

Roger retired in 2014 after 33 years at UCL.  He was one of the founding members of the Palaeoecology Research Unit (PRU) at UCL in 1981, that was later to become the Environmental Change Research Centre (ECRC).  He played a major role in the pioneering lake acidification research in the 1980s. His work on the palaeolimnology of acid lochs in Galloway in the 1980s led to a range of influential papers, including three in Nature,  and he was centrally involved in the Surface Water Acidification Project (SWAP) that brought together palaeolimnologists from Sweden, Norway, the UK and the USA, leading work on diatom taxonomy and diatom-pH transfer functions.He went on to pioneer work on the recent palaeolimnology of Lake Baikal, showing the lake not to be suffering from serious pollution as previously supposed, and conducted a range of major palaeolimnological projects in North Africa.  These included work on lakes in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, extensive studies of coastal lagoons in Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt and work with archaeologists in the Nile Valley on Lake Quarun.  He has also worked in the Falkland Islands (resulting in his major authoritative 70-page monograph on the taxonomy and ecology of diatoms in the region published in Diatom Research in 2005) and South-east Asia. He has also been a great inventor, designing a range of diatom samplers, sediment traps and sediment corers that are widely used. Roger has been dedicated to diatom and to diatom-based palaeolimnological research for over 30 years.  Through his work he has contributed significantly to our understanding of lake ecosystem health in different settings around the world, demonstrating the value of palaeolimnological science not only to other ecologists but also to managers and policy makers. 


Piero Guilizzoni 

Piero was a Senior Scientist at CNR-ISE (National Research Council - Institute of Ecosystem Study), Verbania Pallanza, Italy and is now an Associated Researcher at the Institute.  He has made numerous outstanding contributions to paleolimnology since 1978. His work has focused largely on the use of fossil algal pigments, other biological remains, and sediment geochemistry to infer past lake pH and productivity.  During Piero’s distinguished career, he has worked on the paleolimnology of lakes in Italy, Switzerland, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, high mountain regions of Tibet, Patagonia and the Himalayas, and remote sites such as Antarctica and Siberia. Piero has a stellar international reputation and has served the broader paleolimnology community in many capacities. He was the Italian leader of the EUROLIMPACS Project Reference conditions and restoration strategiesand was head of the CNR-ISE Research Group Use of palaeolimnological techniques as a tool for palaeoclimate evolution. He has participated in major international projects dealing with air pollution effects on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, aquatic food chain bio-manipulation and its effects on water quality, and climate and anthropogenic impacts on alpine lakes – always bringing the “paleo” perspective to the table. Piero has served as mentor to undergraduate and graduate students and takes great pleasure in the fact that many have gone on to conduct their own research in Paleolimnology.  

Since 2008, he has been a conscientious and dedicated Associate Editor for the Journal of Paleolimnology.  


Alayne Street-Perrott 

Alayne was Professor of Physical Geography at Swansea University, recently retiring from a remarkable career of research in ‘big picture’ palaeoclimatology. Her long interest in lakes and palaeoclimate began when she returned to Cambridge to work for a PhD on Late Quaternary palaeohydrology of East Africa based on lake-level change in the Ziway-Shala Basin, Ethiopia. During her time at Cambridge, Alayne was also visiting Scholar at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, holder of a Royal Society Leverhulme Studentship and Attachée de Recherche, Laboratoire de Géologie du Quaternaire, CNRS, France. Alayne became Programme Leader in Palaeoclimatology at the Environmental Change Unit in the University of Oxford’s School of Geography and moved to her post in Swansea in 1995. During her career, Alayne has been awarded a wealth of research grants from UK and international funding bodies, authored numerous seminal papers on lakes and palaeoclimate, mentored graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and fellow academics, and has been a tireless champion of innovation, coupled with meticulousness, in palaeoclimate research with a very strong focus on palaeolimnology. In the late 1970s and 1980s, following her revolutionary discoveries about East African palaeoclimate, she led the compilation of global records of lake-level variations for the last glacial cycle, leading to the development of the Oxford lake-level databank, initially for tropical regions. This laid the foundations for our understanding of orbital forcing of tropical palaeohydrology and provided the inspiration for similar approaches elsewhere. Palaeolimnological work by Alayne and her students in Central America, East and West Africa has demonstrated the rapidity with which changes can take place in low-latitude regions as well as hypothesizing about their links to North Atlantic ocean circulation. Subsequently she worked on rapid climate change in extratopical regions and extended her focus to problems such as human impacts on lake basins, CO2, climate and vegetation changes and tropical carbon cycling. She has used an impressive array of techniques, including diatoms, stable isotopes and novel biomarkers. Her precious archive of lake sediments from (mainly) low-latitude lakes remains in Swansea and continues to be subsampled by scientists from around the world interested in applying new techniques or approaches to existing material. Alayne has been a prominent player in national and international multidisciplinary research programs including COHMAP, UK-NERC last-glacial interglacial, UK-NERC TIGGER, UK RAPID, UK QUEST and IBiS and she has been an inspiration to numerous research workers.

IPA Outstanding Service Awards

Stephen Juggins

For outstanding service to the paleolimnological community through his generous supply of essential state-of-the-art computer software and his unstinting help to the community through his teaching, advice, and kindly approach to all queries relating to numerical methods.

Richard Niederreiter

For his work as a major developer and supplier of sediment coring and sectioning equipment to the paleolimnological community, and for his skill as a field scientist to assist paleolimnologists in difficult coring operations around the world. 

Springer Student Book Prizes 

The Early Career Representative, Virginia Panizzo organised a judging panel for the Springer Book Prize for the best oral paper and best poster presentation. Thank you to all of the students and Judges that took part. The following were awarded and highly commended at the meeting:

Poster Award
Runners up: Alicja Bonk and Tao Jianshuang


Winner: Yu Chen, Capital Normal University, Beijing
Title: The sedimentary process and mechanism of varves from Kusai Lake in the Hoh Xil area, Northern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

Oral Award
Runners up: Graham Mushet and Yanjie Zhao


Winner: Heather Moorhouse, University of Nottingham
Title: Landscape-scale palaeolimnology in lakes of the Windermere catchment to identify drivers of limnological change from the 19th century

Congratulations to you all! We would also like to thank Springer who continue to support these awards.

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