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.
The Muse Prize is awarded to an individual in the fields of Antarctic science or policy who has demonstrated potential for sustained and significant contributions that will enhance the understanding and/or preservation of Antarctica.
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. A recent interview with Dr Rintoul about his research showing continuing deep ocean change Southern Ocean can be seen here.
Dr Rintoul will be awarded the Prize and will deliver the Muse Prize Lecture at the SCAR Open Science Conference in Portland, Oregon in July 2012.