At the 15th International Symposium in Bariloche the IPA honoured the following people, for our various awards:
Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients
Professor Mark Brenner’s paleolimnological research can be described as highly influential and wide ranging but perhaps the niche he is most famous for is his work that blends modern limnology and paleolimnology with archaeological approaches, especially in Latin American. Particularly of note is his work on Peten Itza, Izabel, and Titicaca, where Mark has worked alongside leading anthropologists to demonstrate the significance of paleolimnology to the histories of ancient cultures. His pioneering work on lake records in the Maya lowlands of Mesoamerica was fundamental to (1) understand the interactions among climate, environment and humans and (2) generate first limnological data for several Mesoamerican lakes of socio-economic importance. It is this knowledge that contributes to the management and conservation of freshwater ecosystems in regions which are facing serious problems of accelerated eutrophication due to warmer temperatures and human pressures. Mark’s contributions to paleolimnology go much farther than his publication record. He has been an outstanding teacher and mentor, with many of his mentees already well-established and/or up-and- coming paleolimnologists and a particularly wonderful role model for many Latin American young scientists. Mark’s influence extends beyond the classroom and laboratory, as he continues to do outreach for paleolimnology in many ways. Importantly, Mark has worked tirelessly as the Co-Editor-in-Chief of IPA’s official journals, Journal of Paleolimnology, since 2007. He stepped down from this role at the end of 2022.
Professor Steve Juggins has an international reputation as a leading researcher and scholar in environmental change and quantitative paleoecology and has made substantial contributions to paleolimnology and the wider field during his long academic career. In 2015 the significance of his service to the field was recognised by an IPA Outstanding Service Award, which highlighted his generous supply of essential state-of-the art software and unstinting and kindly help to the paleolimnology community. His early work on human and climate impacts on aquatic systems included extensive field and laboratory work on freshwater and saline lakes and coastal systems in the UK, Spain, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, Russia and Kazakhstan. This research focussed on problems of acidification, eutrophication, and sea level and climate change, and received substantial funding from NERC and the EU. A central theme of this, and subsequent research, has been the quantification of environmental change and he has been instrumental in the development and application of quantitative methods in paleolimnology and paleoecology and has established a global reputation for this work. This is evidenced in his papers on method development and application which have been highly influential and have helped steer the discipline from a qualitative, descriptive subject to a quantitative, analytical one.
Professor emeritus Anson Mackay (retired 2022) has been the Principal Investigator on over 30 projects and published over 160 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, working papers and more. He has used his expertise to promote the use of paleoecology and paleolimnology in conservation ecology and climate change science, embracing some of the world’s most iconic – and vulnerable - ecosystems, including the Aral Sea in Central Asia and the Okavango Delta in southern Africa. The topics examined at these sites range from climate-driven changes in lacustrine processes to using algal proxies to define community stability and biogeochemical cycling – attesting to the breadth and depth of his knowledge. However, Anson’s greatest impact has been on Lake Baikal (Siberia) – the world’s oldest and most voluminous lake – on which he has continuously published since 1993. His work has been instrumental in leading international efforts to understand the lake’s ecology, its functioning across Quaternary timescales and its vulnerability to human disturbance. More broadly, Anson has constantly strived to push the paleo-community to address new challenges (e.g. as co-organizer of 50 Priority Questions in Palaeoecology). He is a strong advocate for open science practices, including promoting the EarthArXiv preprint server and was the founding Co-Editor of ‘Geo: Geography and Environment’, a fully open access journal that covers the spectrum of geographical and environmental research. His outreach and advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community and other underrepresented groups in science and society has seen him lead correspondence to Nature Ecology & Evolution on the ‘straight-washing’ of science, whilst the sharing of his personal experiences via blogs and social media has highlighted the importance of creating an open and inclusive environment in science.
Nora I. Maidana
Dr. Nora Maidana has been a leading scientist in phycological studies in South America and has been the key individual in creating a modern foundation for diatom-based paleolimnological studies in Argentina and other parts of South America, building on the historic legacy of Joaquin Frenguelli. Nora and her students and colleagues have published over 100 papers and several books on diatoms in different ecoregions of Argentina, from the Pampas to Patagonia to the Andes; ranging from dilute freshwater to saline environments; and including lakes, rivers, and wetlands. In these studies, she has made major contributions to past, ongoing, and future paleolimnological studies by carefully describing many new taxa and by documenting the floras of an enormous range of different habitats and systems. She also has been the lead diatomist in many paleolimnological studies throughout Argentina, including the large ICDP drilling project on Laguna Potrok Aike in Patagonia (PASADO), which has documented the climatic and volcanic history of Patagonia over the last glacial cycle. In addition, Nora has been a major contributor to South American paleolimnology through her teaching and training of students in continental diatom studies and phycology more generally.
John P. Smol
Professor John Smol has been a tireless advocate and promoter of paleolimnology for decades, helping to move our field into the mainstream, founding our major journal (Journal of Paleolimnology), and supporting the careers of countless individuals in varied ways. John's research focusses on disentangling natural and human-induced environmental change with key themes including acid rain, heavy metal pollution, climate change and nutrient enrichment. Much of his research has focussed on Arctic and alpine environments, which are particularly sensitive to such drivers. While John's early work examined the use of diatoms to trace such ecological shifts in lake systems his large breadth of interdisciplinary research has seen this expand to ever increasing holistic and multiproxy ecosystem approaches. John has trained hundreds of students in his Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Laboratory (PEARL) lab and internationally, many of whom have gone on to distinguished careers of their own. He also has been an active supporter of policies and legislation that protect the environment, particularly lake ecosystems which have seen him be awarded countless awards including the 2020 Massey Medal (from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society) and he current presides as the President of the Academy of Science of the Royal Society of Canada. In addition to his ongoing leadership in the international scientific community, he has maintained a vigorous research career of fieldwork and publishing, making major contributions in documenting recent environmental change in the Arctic and in assessing the legacy of pollution and its impacts, particularly in Canada.
Outstanding Service Awards
Dr. Melanie Riedinger-Whitmore voluntarily served for 10 years (from 2012 to 2022) as the Managing Editor for the Journal of Paleolimnology (JOPL), the official journal of IPA. During that time, Melanie screened all incoming JOPL manuscripts for their suitability and format structure, and she corresponded with the authors, chief editors, and Springer Publishing to help correct any issues. Melanie assigned incoming manuscripts and revisions and balanced the workloads for 15 associate editors and 2 chief editors, which kept the operation organized and running smoothly. Melanie coordinated the workflow through all stages of submission and revision for nearly 1000 JOPL manuscripts during that 10-year period, which involved record keeping and movement of nearly 3000 assignments.
In addition to her substantive scientific contributions in paleolimnology and paleoclimatology, Professor Barbara Wohlfarth has worked tirelessly to enhance diversity in geosciences. Over the last two decades, she has served on multiple committees, both at her university in Stockholm and nationally, to help recruit women to the faculty and develop programs to ensure equal opportunity. She also served as Vice Dean and Dean of Earth and Environmental Sciences for a number of years, and one of her main foci was equity and diversity. At least half of her graduate students and postdoctoral trainees have been women, including many who have gone on to well- recognized scientific careers in academia, government, or public service. She also has been a strong and active advocate for supporting young researchers in emerging nations, specifically in Southeast Asia. Starting in ~2007, Barbara initiated research in Thailand using lake and wetland sediments to reconstruct the history of Asian Monsoon variability. In addition to pursuing key scientific questions, she used this research to help develop human infrastructure for long-term research in paleolimnology and paleoclimatology in Thailand.
Early Career Awards
Dr. Katherine Hargan is an emerging leader in paleolimnology championing the combined use of traditional proxies (e.g. diatoms, invertebrates, pigments from her graduate work), isotopes (from her post doc), with novel molecular biomarkers to answer pertinent research questions about the development (degree of resiliency and adaptability) of ecosystems over hundreds to thousands of years, particularly when exacerbated by anthropogenic disturbances. She has adopted her paleolimnological approaches to all aquatic habitats, from ponds and wetlands, to lakes, and estuaries. The diversity of her studies and approaches is truly impressive. Completing her PhD in 2015, she already has a proven track record of publishing in high impact interdisciplinary journals (e.g., Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, Science Advances) and focused applied journals (e.g., J. Applied Ecology, J. Paleolimnology, Polar Biology).
Dr. Simon Belle has a PhD from the University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté (2015) and has since published more than 30 papers in the high-ranked interdisciplinary peer- reviewed journals (e.g. Scientific reports, Freshwater biology, Quaternary Sciences Reviews) among which 23 have been first-authored. These publications have given him more than 440 citations so far. Major strengths of Dr Belle are his unique ability to bring quaternary sciences into current-day ecology and environmental sciences, as well as his capability to think outside conventional toolboxes. These creative approaches have provided novel and complementary insights into the response of invertebrate and algal biodiversity to changing environmental conditions, with a strong emphasis on climate change.
Springer Student Oral Paper Awards
IPA Award: Camperio G, Molecular traces of human arrival in Remote Oceania.
IAL Award: Paula A. Vignoni, Geochemistry of a high-altitude hypersaline Andean lake and associated carbonate deposits (Laguna del Peinado, Southern Puna Plateau, NW Argentina)
Springer Student Poster Awards
IPA Award: Ingrid Costamagn, Identifying the influence of environmental drivers throughout the 20th - 21st centuries in the paleolimnological record of a Pampean lake (Argentina).
IAL Award: N Losano, Event stratigraphy along Las Piedritas watershed, northern Patagonian Andes, Argentina
John Glew (1942-2019)
John had remarkable skills in both science and instrument development, having been a tool and dye maker in Sheffield before he immigrated to Canada in 1968. In his 40s, John began working with John Smol and colleagues at the young PEARL lab, designing and building specialized equipment and is best known for his various Glew corers (originally designed for the early acid rain work), which are now used on all 7 continents. In addition to his technical and creative skills, John was an accomplished artist, and has illustrated all of John Smol’s books. He was an inaugural winner of the International Paleolimnology Association Service Award, which was presented in Glasgow in 2012 for “dedicated work in developing and improving new corers and samplers used by paleolimnologists worldwide”.
Eric Grimm (1951-2020)
Eric began his career at the Illinois State Museum as the Curator of Botany, rising to become the Director of Sciences in 2013. He helped lead the Landscape History Program and was internationally known and respected for his studies of fossil pollen and research documenting long-term changes in vegetation and climate. He developed the North American Pollen Database, which was used to refine climate models to predict future climate change and to understand how species adapt to changing climates. Eric was famously the author of TILIA, a programme for analysing and plotting stratigraphic data especially pollen data. He was a kind and generous person and worked tirelessly helping people in many countries to enter data into the global databases. Among his many honors, he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2002, received the Outstanding Service Award from the International Paleolimnology Association in 2012, and awarded the 2015 Distinguished Career Award by the American Quaternary Association.
Roger Yates Anderson (1927- 2021)
Roger was an emeritus professor in the department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, where he taught for ~40 years. He was an incredibly creative scientist, devoted to understanding the origin of varves and the role of the sun in climate change. He held several patents on sediment traps and devices he called “intervalometers,” which were mounted in the traps to dispense teflon powder at user-specified intervals.
In addition to his pioneering work on seasonal sedimentation, Roger was one of the first people to adopt a multi-proxy approach to studying lake sediments. With graduate students such as Douglas Kirkland, J. Platt Bradbury, and Walter Dean, he examined not only the mineralogy and grain size of sediments, but also the stable isotope content of carbonates and the pollen, diatoms, ostracods, fish fossils, and plant remains that revealed the changing climate over time. Roger also became an early adopter of the use of spectral analysis on paleoclimatic time series. In addition to his research on the Castile and Elk Lake in Minnesota, Roger is perhaps best known for his work on Pleistocene pluvial Lake Estancia in central New Mexico, another multi-decade effort that continued well beyond his retirement.
Walter (Walt) E. Dean (1939-2021)
Walter was a long-time United States Geological Survey (USGS) research geologist and emeritus and well-known sediment geochemist, paleolimnologist, and paleoceanographer. Walt joined the USGS in 1975 after a post-doc at the University of Minnesota and professorship at Syracuse University. Walt’s prolific scientific contributions in the realm of lacustrine and marine sediment geochemistry, evaporites, carbonates, and paleoenvironment, paleoceanography and paleoclimate span an impressive range of space and time. Walt also developed an extensive array of research using late Pleistocene and Holocene sediments from the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York and throughout Minnesota; Bear Lake (ID-UT); the Black Sea; the Gulf of California; and the Gulf of Alaska. Walt was the recipient of the Department of Interior Meritorious Service Award (2006) and the International Paleolimnological Association Lifetime Achievement Award (2009). His work leaves a lasting legacy in the fields of multiple proxy high-resolution lake and marine sediment studies of paleoclimate.
Michael Rosen (1961-2021)
Our friend and colleague Michael Rosen, Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Limnogeology (IAL) passed away on April 27, 2021 from complications after surgery related to pancreatic cancer. Michael was a Research Hydrologist at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and Water Quality Specialist for Research with the California Water Science Center. Michael worked on both groundwater and surface water quality. He also studied paleoclimate, paleohydrology, and playas (seasonal lakes in desert regions). In addition, Michael was adjunct faculty at the University of Nevada, Reno’s Global Water Center. In 2010 Michael was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. He was author or co-author of numerous scholarly papers in his field of limnogeology, including most recently a book of essays he co-edited, Limnogeology: Progress, Challenges and Opportunities (Springer 2021), which was published two days before his death. He was a steady captain of the IAL since its foundation. A geologist enamoured of lakes, a musician, and a knowledgeable birder, he was always ready to help the lake community stay connected and move forward together. His life and science were celebrated during the IAL-IPA conference in Bariloche.
Gunnar Digerfeldt (1932-2022)
Gunnar was one of the big pioneers within paleolimnology/Quaternary Sciences. He grew up in a teaching family in Gothenburg, Sweden with a great interest in nature. During the summer holidays, he participated as an assistant in Quaternary geological fieldwork under the direction of Professor Magnus Fries. Gunnar's doctoral thesis in 1971 examined the postglacial development of Lake Trummen and its ecosystem; it was exemplary in its analysis and synthesis and is internationally regarded as a pioneering paleolimnological work and laid a scientific foundation for lake restoration in general. The old photo here, sent to me by Rick Battarbee, was taken in 1972 and shows Gunnar with his famous square piston corer retrieving a varved sequence. Gunnar was appointed Associate Professor of Quaternary Geology in Lund University in 1972 and together with Professor Sven Björk, Gunnar became the driving force behind many lake restoration projects including in Jamaica, Tunisia and Tibet. Gunnar was a role model for many of us, as a scientist, a dedicated and extremely curious field worker and as a humble, humoristic, charming and optimistic person.
Luc Ector (1962-2022)
Luc will be remembered as a leading figure in diatom research. As a Senior Researcher at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), he dedicated his professional life to diatom taxonomy and has been one of the world’s most prominent specialists of freshwater diatoms in recent decades. As an active reviewer and diatom contributor, Luc described hundreds of diatom species in more than 300 publications and collaborated with more than 400 researchers worldwide. He also generously ran diatom training courses from which many young scientists have benefitted over the years. His diatom taxonomy has made a strong impression on many of us working in the field of paleolimnology.