The 2017 Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica has been awarded to Professor Matthew England of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.
Professor England has made sustained and seminal contributions to Antarctic science through his profound insights into the influence of the Southern Ocean on the continent and its role in the global climate system. He has played significant leadership roles in international programmes such as the Climate and Ocean – Variability, Predictability, and Change (CLIVAR) and Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) projects, demonstrating a strong commitment to collegiality, capacity building and the global impact of Antarctic science. Importantly, Professor England has consistently shown a rare ability to translate global issues to local impacts and, in an engaging and accessible way, to the general public.
He has led the world in championing the importance of Southern Ocean water-masses and circulation in global climate, pioneering our understanding of the Southern Annular Mode and its influence on the coupled ocean-ice-atmosphere system, quantifying rates and pathways of the Southern Ocean overturning circulation, and discovering new insights into the physics of tropical-high latitude teleconnections.
Professor England's homepage at the Climate Change Research Centre of the University of New South Wales.
The 2016 Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica has been awarded to Professor Robert DeConto, University of Massachusetts-Amherst. This recognition comes for his outstanding work on past and future Antarctic climate and for research integrating geological data with modelling to reveal likely consequences for future sea level rise from ice sheet melt.
Rob’s pioneering data-model integration strategy was key to the success of the ANDRILL programme, central to the SCAR Antarctic Climate Evolution (ACE) and Past Antarctic Ice Sheet Evolution (PAIS) scientific research programmes, and eventually adapted by the International Ocean Drilling Program’s (IODP) science plan with an emphasis on the role of the South Polar region in climate evolution and sea level history. Over the last decade, Rob has worked with colleagues to build on this basic methodology in a series of influential papers, incorporating new and significant ice loss processes that provide improved comparisons between model results and geological data, with recent models predicting a doubling in the amount of sea level rise by the end of the century and beyond, compared with the 2013 assessment by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Professor De Conto’s homepage at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA.
Dr Valérie Masson-Delmotte has been awarded the 2015 Martha T. Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica for her work on the characterization, quantification and understanding of past changes in climate and water cycle, translating the isotopic data to paleo-temperature records.
Dr Masson has used combinations of the water isotope data to interpret the transport route for the moisture reaching Antarctica and elevation changes of the deep drill sites in Antarctica. She has an interdisciplinary profile in isotopic geochemistry, glaciology, climate modelling and paleoclimatology. She has also contributed to the paleoclimate chapters of two IPCC reports: as Lead Author of IPCC AR4 and as Coordinating Lead Author of IPCC AR5. Her leadership roles in major international Antarctic collaborations include the IGBP-PAGES International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences (IPICS) and with the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS). Her research prizes include the prestigious 2013 Prix Irène Joliot Curie for “Scientific woman of the year” and she was recognised as “Highly cited scientist” by Thomson Reuters (2014). She is currently head of the scientific and technical council of LSCE (Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement) at CEA (Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives).
Dr Masson would like to acknowledge her research on Antarctic ice cores could not have been possible without the support of the French Polar Institute (IPEV).
Dr Masson-Delmotte’s homepage at Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, France.
Professor Tim Naish has been awarded the 2014 Muse Prize, for his outstanding research in understanding Antarctica’s response to past and present climate change and the role of Antarctica’s ice sheets in global sea-level change through time.
Professor Naish led the first season of the ambitious and highly successful Antarctic Drilling Program (ANDRILL) where his international team pioneered innovative drilling technology to obtain sedimentary records of the past 13 million years, paving the way for further successful drilling in previously inaccessible ice-covered areas. As Chair of the ANDRILL Steering Committee, he continued to be actively involved in overseeing the programme, including securing funding for the next phase. More recently, he has played an influential role in the process of translating science into policy as a lead author on the Paleoclimate chapter of the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He is currently Director of the Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, which continues to develop and has more than trebled its capacity under his direction.
Award Ceremony and Lecture
Professor Naish’s homepage at the Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
Professor Martin Siegert of the University of Bristol has been awarded the 2013 Muse Prize for his innovative research on Antarctic subglacial lakes and the reconstruction of Antarctic glacial history.
Professor Siegert's research in this field is multidisciplinary and collaborative, and has received significant world-wide attention, which he has cultivated to promote public awareness of Antarctic earth and environmental sciences. He has maintained a successful and diverse research programme, involving multiple multidisciplinary international collaborations. His work has supported the development of early-career scientists (e.g. his airborne geophysics research, and his convening of major international meetings), international collaborations (e.g. the ICECAP and subglacial lakes activities) and the public understanding of science (through outreach work on subglacial lakes, and in international symposia).
The Award Ceremony was held during the Cryosphere Reception at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in 2013.
Professor Siegert’s homepage at Imperial College London, UK.
Dr Stephen Rintoul, a physical oceanographer from CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research in Hobart, Australia, has been awarded the prestigious 2012 Martha T. Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica for his outstanding research on the Southern Ocean. Dr Rintoul is also affiliated with the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre and with the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research.
Dr Rintoul's research has made a profound contribution to our scientific understanding of the Southern Ocean and of Antarctica’s role in the global system. His work has provided new understanding of the structure, dynamics and variability of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the largest ocean current on Earth. He has also shown how the Southern Ocean circulation links the shallow and deep layers of the ocean to form a global network of ocean currents that strongly influences climate patterns. His research has provided new insights into the nature, causes and consequences of Southern Ocean change.
Dr Rintoul’s leadership has been critical to advancing coordinated international investigation of the Southern Ocean and to promoting long term Southern Ocean observing systems.
Award Ceremony and Lecture
Dr Rintoul discusses his award and research on Youtube.
Dr Rintoul's homepage at the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre (ACE-CRC), Hobart, Australia.
Biography in 2011
Dr José Xavier from the Institute of Marine Research of the University of Coimbra in Portugal and the British Antarctic Survey in UK has been awarded the prestigious 2011 Martha T Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica.
Beginning with his doctoral research (Ph.D. Cambridge University, 2003), Dr Xavier has conducted outstanding research on the predator-prey dynamics that sustain populations of albatrosses, penguins and other top predators in the Southern Ocean. One example of his leadership in this field is his recent publication of a comprehensive monograph on the prey of top predators that will be a great aid to many researchers. The Selection Committee of leading Antarctic scientists and policy makers also cited his leadership in the establishment of a new and thriving Antarctic research programme in Portugal during the International Polar Year (IPY, 2007-2008) and in launching a highly successful educational programme, LATITUDE 60! during the IPY.
Award Ceremony and Lecture
Dr Xavier's homepage at the University of Coimbra, Portugal.
2017 Biography Update
Dr José Xavier is a Senior Scientist from the Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre of the University of Coimbra in Portugal and an Honorary Fellow of the British Antarctic Survey in UK. Beginning with his doctoral research, José has conducted outstanding research on the predator-prey dynamics that sustain populations of albatrosses, penguins and other top predators, and their prey, in the Southern Ocean. One example of his leadership in this field is his publication of a comprehensive monograph on the prey of top predators that will be a great aid to many researchers (Xavier and Cherel 2009). The Selection Committee of leading Antarctic scientists and policy makers also cited his leadership in the establishment of a new and thriving Antarctic research programme in Portugal during the International Polar Year (IPY, 2007-2008) and in launching a highly successful educational programmes during and after the IPY.
An outstanding glaciologist, Associate Professor Helen Fricker from Scripps Institution of Oceanography of the University of California-San Diego has been awarded the prestigious 2010 Martha T. Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica.
Professor Fricker is widely recognized for her discovery of active subglacial lakes, and she has shown that these lakes form dynamic hydrologic systems, where one lake can drain into another in a short period of time. She is also known for her innovative research into Antarctic ice shelf mass budget processes such as iceberg calving and basal melting and freezing. The Selection Committee of leading Antarctic scientists and policy makers cited her leadership in the application of remote sensing techniques using laser altimetry to detect current changes in the Antarctic ice sheet in response to rising sea level and climate variability and her individual activities promoting educational outreach about ice sheets of Antarctica.
Award Ceremony and Lecture
Professor Fricker’s homepage at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA.
Biography in 2009
An outstanding researcher and world renowned advisor to the Antarctic Treaty System, Professor Steven Chown of Stellenbosch University, South Africa, has been named the inaugural recipient of the prestigious Martha T. Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica.
Professor Chown is a widely published and cited authority on invasive species and the effect of climate change and human interactions on Antarctica. The Selection Committee of leading Antarctic scientists and policy makers cited his outstanding contributions to both science and policy in Antarctica. Professor Chown plays a critical role in Antarctic policy by leading the delegation of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) at the annual Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings (ATCMs). His advice and leadership has been pivotal in advising policy makers in a wide range of environmental stewardship issues before the ATCM’s Committee on Environmental Protection.
Award Ceremony and Lecture
Professor Chown’s homepage at the School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Australia.
2017 Biography Update
Steven L. Chown holds a Professorship in Biological Sciences at Monash University, Australia. He was Head of Biological Sciences from 2013 to mid-2017, during which time he reshaped the School with 16 new appointments and around AU$ 50 M of new investment. Prior to that, he established and was inaugural Director of the South African National Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology (2004-2012). His work covers macrophysiology, community ecology, biogeography and conservation biology. A key part of his research concerns the biological impacts of the major global change drivers, such as climate change and biological invasions.
His work is conducted in many areas of the planet, but has a substantial focus on the Antarctic and on systems in Australasia and Africa. The Antarctic research component of his portfolio has concerned most of the Southern Ocean Islands and the continent itself, and includes terrestrial plants and animals, and marine species. He has more than 30 years’ experience working on the sub-Antarctic Prince Edward Islands, but has also conducted research on South Georgia, Possession, Kerguelen, Heard, Macquarie, Gough and the Falkland Islands. He has guided a range of work on biodiversity and its conservation across the entire region.
Steven has published widely, including more than 380 peer-reviewed scientific papers and several scientific and popular books. He has been Editor-in-Chief of Functional Ecology, and on the editorial boards of The American Naturalist, Diversity and Distributions, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, and the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. Currently he is an editorial board member of Antarctic Science, Biological Reviews, Current Opinion in Insect Science, and Polar Biology.
The outcomes of his work have had substantial impacts on conservation and science policy. Much of this has been delivered through interactions with the Antarctic Treaty System and notably its Committee for Environmental Protection. His work has resulted in policy progress on invasive species, climate change adaptation and conservation management of the Antarctic, and he has spent much time translating science evidence to practicable guidelines for mitigating environmental impacts. For many years, he has represented SCAR at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings, providing scientific advice on a broad range of environmental and science policy.
He has also been Chair of both the South African and Australian National Committees on Antarctic Research, and a Delegate of both countries to SCAR. Currently he serves as a science advisor to EU-Polarnet, the largest association of polar operators globally, and to the Invasive Species Council of Australia. He is also the President of SCAR for 2016-2020.
As a consequence of his science and policy contributions in the Antarctic region, Steven is the inaugural recipient of the Martha T. Muse Prize for science and policy in Antarctica. He has also received the SCAR Medal for Excellence in Antarctic Research, the South African Antarctic Gold Medal, and the Zoological Society of Southern Africa Gold Medal.
Steven lives in Melbourne with his partner, two border collies and six bicycles.