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The following medals are due to be presented at Goldschmidt2020.

V.M. Goldschmidt Award 2020 (GS)

The V. M. Goldschmidt Award is made for major achievements in geochemistry or cosmochemistry, consisting of either a single outstanding contribution, or a series of publications that have had great influence on the field. The award will normally be given annually at the V. M. Goldschmidt Conference. More info

Richard Carlson Awarded to: Richard Carlson
Abstract: The Impact of Early Earth Differentiation on the Modern World
Medal lecture in:
Session 02c in Room 1, Goldschmidt2020 - Virtual Venue on


Citation: Rick Carlson was brought into the world of Nd isotope geochemistry by Günter Lugmair at Scripps, himself a Goldschmidt medalist. In many ways, neodymium isotopes have revolutionized planetary and especially terrestrial geochemistry because of the robustness and geological-memory-preserving properties of the Sm-Nd decay system, and Rick has been a leading neodymium isotopicist from the day one. As a Ph.D. student, he did some of the first lunar and terrestrial Nd isotope analyses back in 1978. This work established the age of the lunar crust at about 4.4 billion years, a value that has pretty much stood the test of time, though some people now claim that the lunar crust may be as old as 4.5 Ga. Also, quite early on, he did definitive work on the American type locality of continental flood basalts, the Columbia River basalt. He showed that crustal assimilation played a decisive role in the chemical evolution of these flood basalts, and they cannot simply be derived from a primitive mantle reservoir.
He came to the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism of the Carnegie Institution Washington in 1980, just after I left to go Germany, and he proceeded to build a world-leading isotope geochemistry group there that is now going as strong as ever. I will jump to the year 2005, when Carlson with his postdoc Maud Boyet dropped a veritable bombshell on the community: They showed that the atomic abundance of 142Nd, daughter of the “short-lived” parent nuclide 146Sm (T1/2 ≤ 100 Myr), in all terrestrial rocks differs from that found in chondritic meteorites. This completely unexpected discovery demonstrated that, if Earth has a chondritic Sm/Nd ratio and initial 142Nd atomic abundance, then Earth must have been differentiated permanently into an early “enriched” (i.e. low-Sm/Nd) and an early “depleted” (high-Sm/Nd) reservoir, and this differentiation event must have occurred more than 4.53 Gyr ago. The past fifteen years have seen an enormous research effort directed at trying to understand this dilemma and to sort out the first 500 Myr of Earth-Moon history. Carlson has remained firmly at the forefront of this work. For example, Boyet et al. (2015) found that the 142Nd systematics of the lunar crust is consistent either with a chondritic 142Nd/144Nd ratio combined with an increased Sm/Nd ratio, or alternatively, with the Moon having a chondritic Sm/Nd, but a lower-than-terrestrial 142Nd/144Nd ratio. We may still not know the ultimate solution to these puzzles, but whatever it is, it will have a profound impact on our understanding of the early history of our planet.
For the past several years, Rick and his postdoc Jonathan O’Neil have been leading an effort to unravel Earth’s Hadean history. Hades is the god of the Underworld; its entrance, the 4 billion year age barrier, is guarded by a three-headed dog called Cerberus. It’s hard to get in (unless you are dead!), and it’s even harder to get anything back out of it. You may know what happened to Orpheus! Anyway, rather than trying to decipher ancient zircons from younger rocks, Rick’s group looked at the Nd isotopic composition of the Nuvvuagittuq greenstone belt in eastern Canada, and found that these rocks yield an apparent 142Nd/144Nd vs. Sm/Nd isochron with an age of 4.27 Gyr (O’Neil et al., 2008). Although it is still being debated whether this age dates the actual emplacement of these rocks or the age of differentiation of their mantle sources, this is the first time that the 4 Gyr age barrier has been breached by anything other than the detrital or xenocrystic zircon grains preserved in much younger rocks. Subsequently, O’Neil and Carlson (2017) showed that a large block of Archean continental crust in northeastern Canada has inherited some of this much more ancient 142Nd variability, and this led them to the conclusion that much of this younger Archean crust was generated by remelting of a >4.2 billion year old (“Hadean”) basaltic protocrust having the same isotopic and chemical characteristics as the Nuvvuagittuq greenstone belt they had previously analyzed. Thus, largely as a result of the research of Carlson and his collaborators, the Hadean (> 4 billion year) evolution of our planet is gradually being unravelled.
Rick Carlson has, in my opinion, one remarkable weakness: His fondness of fancy cars and car racing. Before I knew him better, I initially thought this was completely out of character. Why would Rick go out racing some vintage Corvette??? Now that he invited me to take a ride in his Tesla, I think I am beginning to understand. Particularly the part when you call your Tesla from your restaurant table and tell it: “Come and get me!”
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my honor to present Rick Carlson, a scientist nearly at the pinnacle of his career, recipient of GSA’s Day Medal, AGU’s Bowen Award, member of the National Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, director of Carnegie’s Earth and Planets Laboratory, and Tesla driver, to receive the Victor Moritz Goldschmidt Award of the Geochemical Society.
Albrecht Hofmann,
Max Planck Institute for Chemistry
Mainz, Germany

Response: Instead of being able to offer my thanks in front of an assembled group of my geochemical colleagues, I am writing this from home. Our campus has been closed for 12 weeks in response to the coronavirus pandemic. I am grateful that the Carnegie Institution’s first concern when the pandemic arrived was the health and safety of their employees in this time when so many others have lost their livelihoods, if not their lives. Although I would have loved to celebrate this award with colleagues in person at the Goldschmidt meeting in Hawaii, I applaud the Geochemical Society’s bold move to continue with a virtual meeting. These responses to the pandemic well illustrate what drew me into a career in science in the first place. Science uses intellect and data to pursue what is right, whether to answer to a science question or decide on the proper treatment of employees or association membership.

I have already been honored to have a close association with the Geochemical Society throughout my career, so being awarded their Goldschmidt Medal is truly icing on the cake. My nominators, Al Hofmann, Stan Hart, Alex Halliday, and Bernie Wood have been my geochemical heroes for quite some time. I am humbled that they consider me worthy of this award and grateful that they took the time from their busy schedules to nominate me.

The introductory Earth science courses I took at UCSD, taught by Jeff Bada, Jim Hawkins, Miriam Kastner and Doug Macdougall, opened my eyes to the fact that modern Earth science involves the application of cutting-edge chemical and physical approaches to understand the Earth. I was hooked. This was a time when the relatively new theory of plate tectonics was transforming investigations of local geology into a globally connected system of processes driving the dynamics of the whole planet. The Apollo program extended this planetary perspective beyond Earth and opened the opportunity for me to work in Günter Lugmair’s laboratory, an experience I’ll always treasure. I still remember listening to Günter, Kurt Marti, Harold Urey and Hannes Alfven discussing over lunch how the Solar System came to be. I didn’t understand how the analysis of rocks could address topics of this magnitude, but I absolutely wanted to give it a try.

A discussion with George Wetherill convinced me to visit Carnegie’s DTM for a postdoc interview. As job offers were not exactly clogging up my mailbox at the time, I welcomed the invitation. The visit and the encouragement of long-time colleague Bob Stern, who was then a postdoc at DTM, led me to accept the postdoc. This was a time of transition at DTM after Stan Hart and Al Hofmann had left, leaving Louis Brown, Typhoon Lee, Fouad Tera, and eventually me as the geochemists in this department. George Wetherill and then Sean Solomon built up the geochemistry/cosmochemistry group by adding Conel Alexander, Erik Hauri, Julie Morris, Larry Nittler, and Steve Shirey. In my wildest dreams, I could not have wished for a more intelligent, creative, and pleasant group to work with.

After a frustrating but not entirely futile attempt to distinguish crustal contamination from compositional variability in the mantle sources of continental flood basalts, the opportunity presented itself to apply the Re-Os system to study the continental mantle lithosphere, a topic that had intrigued me since taking classes from Tom Jordan at Scripps. Rich Walker, a postdoc at NBS, as it was called then, provided the technique – resonance ionization. Our experience with this technique provides a good example of why geochemistry is such a great field, and why Carnegie is such a great place to work. After having built our own resonance ionization system at DTM, and hiring Rich Walker as a postdoc, before our instrument was productively used, I received a review request from GCA regarding Rob Creaser’s 1991 paper on negative ion analysis for Re and Os. The first read of the paper showed the path forward. After asking permission from Dimitri Papanastassiou, one of the coauthors, the next morning Steve Shirey, Lou Brown, and I converted our home built mass spectrometer to negative ion operation and saw an Os signal orders of magnitude bigger than we would ever achieve by resonance ionization. We, shaking in our shoes, went to Director Wetherill to tell him that we were going to abandon the very expensive laser system that he had just paid for and switch to negative ionization. George’s only response was along the lines “We tried negative ionization in the 1950’s. It creates lots of interferences.” A more prophetic statement was never made. Nevertheless, this technique enabled a variety of studies of the history of the continental lithospheric mantle, many involving Graham Pearson first as a postdoc and then valued colleague, that culminated in a large Continental Dynamics sponsored project in southern Africa. I am most proud of the Kaapvaal Project in the way that it brought together a diverse set of techniques, including the seismology component led by David James, and involved a great group of people from two continents.

My career then took a most rewarding turn thanks to Maud Boyet who was struggling to find variability in 142Nd in terrestrial rocks. After measuring a large number of samples that reproduced the standard very well, we decided that we could make a useful contribution by determining the bulk Earth value of 142Nd/144Nd to high precision by measuring chondritic meteorites. This failed miserably but provided much more interesting evidence for differentiation events that accompanied Earth formation and showed that one could measure nucleosynthetic variability at the planetary scale in elements other than the noble gases. This latter pursuit was continued with Cr by Liping Qin and provided the first glimpse that primitive carbonaceous chondrites likely are not a major component of Earth’s building blocks. The techniques advanced by Maud Boyet were then used by Jonathan O’Neil to discover the first terrane on Earth that displays a range in 142Nd/144Nd likely because it was formed almost 4.3 billion years ago.

My career has been a not entirely random walk through a number of subjects that took advantage of new technique developments to pursue new problems. This to me is the most enjoyable aspect of geochemistry, but a close second is the openness within the geochemical community I’ve worked with. I am extremely grateful that the Carnegie Institution allowed us to keep our laboratory open to visitors so we could share in their creativity and they could benefit from access to our instrumentation and techniques. I have always enjoyed the open discussions about science and techniques with colleagues that include all my nominators along with Francis Albarède, Lars Borg, Catherine Chauvel, Bill Hart, Dmitri Ionov, Günter Lugmair, Graham Pearson, Roberta Rudnick, and Dominique Weis, among a host of others.

In closing, I would like to thank all the people and organizations that made it possible for me to pursue the science that led me to this award. First among these are the Geochemical Society, my nominators, and the many colleagues I’ve had the privilege to interact with through my career, but especially the colleagues and postdocs at DTM who have made it such a great place to work. None of my achievements would have been possible without the financial support of the Carnegie Institution, NSF, and NASA. Finally, I want to thank Sonia Esperança for all she has done to contribute to my life in a positive way, both at work and at home. Being able to share my life with Sonia, whose wisdom and calm demeanor have helped me through the tough times, is something for which I will always be grateful.


F.W. Clarke Award 2020 (GS)

The F. W. Clarke Award is normally made annually at the V. M. Goldschmidt Conference to an early-career scientist for a single outstanding contribution to geochemistry or cosmochemistry, published either as a single paper or a series of papers on a single topic. More info

Daniel Stolper Awarded to: Daniel Stolper
Abstract: An Experimental and Theoretical Calibration of CH4-H2-H2O Hydrogen Isotopic Equilibrium from 3-200℃
Medal lecture in:
Session 06l in Room 2, Goldschmidt2020 - Virtual Venue on


Citation: Daniel Stolper was born and raised in Pasadena, California. He earned an A. B. degree from Harvard, was Fulbright Scholar for a year at the University of Southern Denmark, and did his Ph. D. at Caltech. After a postdoc at Princeton, Daniel moved to the University of California, where he is Assistant Professor at the time of writing. Daniel is a geochemist whose research has 3 broad themes. The first is the isotope geochemistry of methane. Daniel did pioneering work using a reimagined isotope ratio mass spectrometer conceived and developed by his Ph. D. advisor, John Eiler. This instrument enabled the user to determine the abundance of methane isotopologues with 2 heavy atoms, 13CH3D or 12CH2D2. The property of merit is the clumped isotope anomaly, the departure in the abundance of an isotopologue with 2 heavy atoms from its stochastic abundance. Daniel and his collaborators used experiments and theory to determine the temperature dependence of the clumped isotope anomalies in methane. They then showed that many methane sources had a clumped isotope composition at isotopic equilibrium, given their temperature of formation or alteration. They also showed that kinetics induced disequilibrium in biogenic methane sources, especially when methane production was rapid. They developed a concept for classifying methane according to its C and H isotope composition, its clumped isotope composition, and the abundance of methane relative to that of other light hydrocarbons. They also explored the application of clumped isotopes to studies of methane geochemistry in particular deposits. The second theme of Daniel’s research is an investigation of clumped isotope diagenesis in carbonates. With colleagues, Daniel made models of diagenetic changes to clumped isotope abundances, and challenged the models’ simulations with data. Daniel had the deep insight that apparently large changes observed when calcites were first heated could be attributed to isotope exchanges with neighboring calcite molecules. He and his colleagues worked out the roles of diagenesis in the presence and absence of water. They also showed that one could reconstruct environmental information with diagenetic models of calcite recrystallization in deep-sea sediments. The third theme of Daniel’s research is centered around O2, in both geological and biogeochemical contexts. Daniel reasoned that he could use the oxidation state of ocean crust, accessed via ophiolites and island arc volcanics, to determine the oxidation state of the deep ocean. The connection comes from the fact that ocean crust is altered by reaction with seawater. Seawater-basalt exchange then imprints the ocean crust, and eventually arc volcanics, with the oxidation state of the deep ocean. This approach then gave a time of about 400-500 Ma for elevating the deep ocean O2 concentration. Since gases in the deep ocean mix with air over a timescale of ~ 1 kyr, the history of deep ocean oxygenation may be similar for the surface ocean and atmosphere. Daniel has also worked on the more recent history of atmospheric O2. He repurposed a large database of O2 concentration in ice core trapped gases to determine changes over the past 800 kyr. This work showed that the O2 concentration is decreasing at a rate of about 1200 ppm/Myr (out of 210,000 ppm O2 in air). The imbalance is very small, pointing to the role of strong feedbacks in the carbon cycle that remain to be identified. On the biogeochemical side, Daniel characterized oxygen isotope fractionation associated with respiration with exceptional depth. He showed that the fractionation patterns he observed implied a 2-step process for O2 consumption at cytochrome oxidase: a reversible step in which O2 is bound, followed by a kinetic step in which O2 is reduced. He also showed that O2 isotope fractionation at cold temperatures was much smaller than heretofore estimated. This observation accounts for weak O2 isotope fractionation associated with O2 consumption in the deep ocean, solving a mystery going back nearly 50 years. Daniel is a brilliant scholar who takes great joy in the doing of science. He is a wonderful colleague: interactive, stimulating, and deeply knowledgeable about a very broad range of topics. He is hardworking and efficient. He is generous intellectually and personally. Daniel will contribute to the community of earth scientists, and provide leadership in the research, for many years to come.

Response: Thank you Michael and thank you to the Geochemical Society for this honor. Although I am unable to deliver this in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I still take pleasure in being able to commit to words my thanks to the many people who have been instrumental in getting me to this point today both personally and professionally. Receiving the Clarke Medal means a lot to me as many of my heroes, mentors, and friends have received it. My father received this award exactly 35 years ago, and so I feel a personal connection to it. The citation covers various things I have done as student, postdoc, and professor, and I would like to speak briefly about these experiences so as to acknowledge the large roles my mentors and friends played in bringing me here and to suggest a few lessons I have learned along the way.
One of the topics cited is my work on methane clumped isotopes conducted as a graduate student at Caltech with John Eiler and Alex Sessions. I began my PhD at Caltech in 2009 having just completed a Fulbright in Don Canfield’s lab in Denmark and before that, a degree in Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard — not a day goes by where I don’t think about something I learned at all three universities. At Caltech, I began working with John Eiler and, in large part because of John, fell in love with isotope geochemistry. In my early years as a student, there was a palpable feeling of excitement in the air as a special mass spectrometer John had commissioned was arriving and it was expected to be able be able to measure things previously unmeasurable. A primary target was to be the clumped isotopic composition of hydrocarbons, and John was looking for volunteers. I remember thinking about it one day, and I decided that working on this was a risk worth taking. In my opinion, methane was the simplest hydrocarbon to work on and was environmentally important, and, on that limited basis, I decided that was what I should go after. In retrospect, I find it difficult to believe that the whole thing worked out. First, the machine had to work; second, we had to get the measurements working and calibrated; and third, we had to find something interesting in nature. But it all worked out (more or less). What did I learn from this? First, never underestimate the importance of luck and good timing in a person’s career. But it is also important to take on reasonable risks so as to put yourself in a position to get lucky. Second, following on this and using a baseball analogy, sometimes it is OK to walk up to the plate and take your swing without overthinking the problem. Otherwise, you might just convince yourself the problem is impossible or already solved. I thank John for teaching me these lessons. John gave me unbelievable freedom, including the freedom to fail, and thus to learn how to persevere through challenges. At the same time, he was always there when I needed him. More importantly, thank you John being a mensch.
The second part of the citation is for work I did with Michael Bender and John Higgins as a postdoc at Princeton associated with reconstructing past atmospheric O2 levels. When I arrived at Princeton, I went to John and Michael and told them I wanted to try to using previously measured ratios of O2/N2 from ancient air trapped in ice for this purpose. This idea was based on a few papers I had read as a graduate student. I knew next to nothing about ice cores, but John and Michael patiently tutored me on the subject. Both Michael and John were wonderful, kind, and supportive mentors. We had the data set largely assembled in a few months, and it told a coherent story: O2 levels appeared to be declining (slightly) over the past 800,000 years. The next year was spent trying to convince ourselves this was a robust observation. Every time I would go into Michael’s office to look at the data, he would suggest an issue we had to consider. I would go back to my office, think about Michael’s comments over a few weeks, and we would all design a test to evaluate Michael’s challenge. This went on for months, even requiring us to dig up unpublished data from an undergraduate Princeton thesis stored on microfilm or data archived for 20-30 years on Michael’s computer before we finally wrote the paper up. What did I learn from this? Michael taught me that we are in the business of the search for the truth and that a key and often challenging part of this is not only to question and challenge your own work, but to receive, listen, and respond to the questioning from others. Put another way, Michael ingrained in me the importance of rigor. And for that I am immensely grateful.
The final work cited was done at Berkeley on the history of ocean oxygen levels conducted partly with Brenhin Keller now at Dartmouth and partly with Claire Bucholz at Caltech. The idea for this work originated as I was leaving Princeton and I wondered whether or not changes in deep ocean O2 concentrations through time would be reflected in the oxidation state of iron preserved in ancient, hydrothermally altered seafloor basalts and in ancient island arc rocks. When I arrived at Berkeley, it quickly became clear that my lab was going to take a long time to build and that I needed to find something to occupy myself for at least a year. I settled on following up on the iron oxidation state idea. After a few months, I had assembled an initial data set that looked promising. I was down visiting Caltech and mentioned the work to John Eiler. John was reasonably skeptical for a variety of reasons based on his training as metamorphic petrologist. As I had never taken metamorphic petrology (blame Harvard), I was only vaguely aware of the issues he raised. In John’s mind, the question was settled. I should find something else to work on. However, after I showed him the preliminary data set, John recognized that though his criticisms still stood, there was something there worth pursuing. What did I learn from this? First, when you work on problems at the edge of your expertise, do talk to colleagues, but perhaps wait until after you have done a little digging. Otherwise, based on their vast knowledge and your lack thereof, they might just convince you it isn’t worth doing. They might be right, but they might be wrong. Regardless, their thoughts and criticisms will always make the work better. Second, it is critical when moving into new areas to work with generous and thoughtful experts like Brenhin and Claire and I thank them for their exceptional patience and willingness to work with me.
Finally, I wish to comment on my path to geochemistry, as it explains, I think, my somewhat random walk from methane clumped isotopes, to ice cores, to ancient basalts. I went to Caltech largely because of the strength of its program in the area of geobiology. My conversion to geochemistry came later during the final months of my PhD. At this time, I was invited to give a few seminars at Harvard. I remember sitting in Dan Schrag’s office, and him stating that though it didn’t matter to him, he had overheard a discussion about whether what I was doing was really geobiology. At the end of the visit, I made a pilgrimage to Mr. Bartley’s Gourmet Burgers in Harvard Square to get a coffee ‘frappe’ and mulled over Dan’s comment. My thoughts drifted to my intellectual heroes, people like Sam Epstein. I realized that one reason why I admired them is their breadth. They worked on problems from the mantle to the moon. And then it hit me. If you call yourself a geochemist, you have clearance to work on whatever you want. At that moment and on this basis, I started describing myself as geochemist and I haven’t looked back. In my final words, I want to first thank my colleagues at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who have made a wonderful and supportive home for me and my research. From the day I arrived at Berkeley, I have been treated as an intellectual equal and supported by friends and mentors like Don DePaolo, David Shuster, Nick Swanson-Hysell, and Seth Finnegan. I also wish to thank my nascent group at UC Berkeley including Andrew Turner, Daniel Eldridge, Daniel Ibarra, and Max Lloyd.
Finally, I want to thank my family. I want to thank parents for their unending support throughout my life. Last of all, and because this is the most important position, I wish to thank my wife Leslie for her love, friendship, and support over the years from those early days of weekend lunches next to the mass specs in the basement of North Mudd at Caltech to starting a family together in the Bay Area.


C.C. Patterson Award 2019 (GS)

Awarded annually for a recent innovative breakthrough in environmental geochemistry of fundamental significance, published in a peer-reviewed journal. More info

Barbara Sherwood Lollar Awarded to: Barbara Sherwood Lollar
View recipient's web page
Abstract: Quantification of Transformation and Transport Across Biogeochemical Boundaries by Multi-Element CSIA
Medal lecture in:
Session 13h in Room 4, Goldschmidt2020 - Virtual Venue on


Citation: I take great pleasure that the Geochemical Society is honoring Professor Barbara Sherwood Lollar with the Clair C. Patterson Medal and Award. As graduate student I learned of the incredible science that Clair Patterson contributed to society and geochemistry. The debt we owe to those like Clair, Barbara, and others – who develop useful high-level science, execute it, and use it to reveal critical features of the environment we inhabit and point the way for change – is clear. Barbara has done this perfectly, her work not only lays the critical foundation of isotope effects but it uses this to develop applications of isotope (Compound Specific Isotope Analysis- CSIA) and to provide a guide and monitor for bioremediation of contaminated groundwater sites. She is a leader in the study of methane and alkane chemistry and of cycling of halogenated organics. She is also a role model for the community holding key appointments in our Societies and research community, allowing her to guide our directions in highly significant ways.
Professor Sherwood Lollar record includes an impressive collection of now classic foundational geochemical and isotopic studies that document abiogenic pathways of formation for methane and longer chain hydrocarbons and that link the formation of deep methane with hydrogen and deep abiotic chemistry. Her work demonstrates how relationships between isotopic 13C content and chain length of C1-C4 alkanes support abiogenic synthesis originating from methane and progressing to longer chain alkanes. Her work with others including Guiseppe Etiope and Ed Young, studies kinetic processes where activation barriers are overcome to form products with unique and potentially diagnostic isotope signatures reflective of rate enhancements for hydrogen that manifest in some of the rarest, doubly-substituted, methane isotopologs. The existence of striking isotopic signatures for methane with multiple isotopic substitutions 13CH3D and 12CH2D2 in these deep abiogenic methane sources will surely lead to novel ways to probe methane formation and to trace the sources of these gases extending deep into the silicate Earth. The work in CSIA is one in particular area where Prof. Sherwood Lollar’s contributions have brought useful science to bear on aspects of the environment that are relevant to us. Compound Specific Isotope Analysis of halogentated organic compounds, such as chlorinated alkenes (PCE, TCE, DCE, and ethylene chloride), alkanes and aromatics (including BTEX compounds) have had a monumental impact on organic environmental geochemistry and remediation practices for contaminated sites. The development of CSIA techniques applies the foundational research calibrating metabolic and abiotic kinetic isotope effects (KIE) to support novel field studies that document processes occurring in contaminated groundwater systems. The roots of this work are deep and have been shaped by her earlier studies on carbon isotope fractionations associated with microbial metabolic transformation of chloroethylene compounds as well as on more recent work examining other pathways that influence these same compounds and expand to other compounds such as the fuel additive MTBE, chlorinated alkanes and aromatics. These studies in sum, form a portfolio of environmental research contributions that fit the definition of useful, high-level science that help us address critical environmental issues.
Prof. Sherwood Lollar has made the point that isotope signatures are critical for understanding processes in nature. With CSIA she has demonstrated the power of isotopic information using examples and applications that solve problems uniquely and lay the groundwork for present and future applications of CSIA and with bioremediation. Her voice in the community has been strong, clear, and compelling when making the case for the value of CSIA approaches to tackle important environmental issues correctly and effectively. The approaches also point the way to methods for demonstrating the efficacy of remediation efforts and guide environmentally-relevant decisions in with a much greater level of certainty than was previously possible. An example of this that I particularly enjoyed learning about, examined the role of reductive dechlorination at the Dover Air Force Base.
To wrap up, Prof. Sherwood Lollar has shaped the field through her research. She is sought as a colleague and collaborator on a spectrum of scientific efforts of our community. Her contributions range from fundamental to applied, are useful, and motivate countless other studies. New applications of related techniques continue to develop from the foundation she has built and will inform understanding of critical environmental issues in groundwater chemistry and organic compounds in the foreseeable future. These broad contributions and are the reason we honor her with the Geochemical Society’s 2019 Clair C. Patterson Medal and Award.

James Farquhar – University of Maryland

Response: Thank you to the Geochemical Society, President Vickie Bennett and the Patterson Medal Selection Committee, and particularly to the colleagues who generously led this nomination. I am very pleased to accept this on behalf of the team of students, postdoctoral fellows and colleagues whose joint work and inspiration contributed to the research honored here. My University of Toronto colleague Dr. John Polanyi tells a wonderful story which I am sure we can all identify with. In his words “it is at these moments, looking out at one’s research team, that one sees a quizzical expression on their faces that must be akin to that on the face of the race horse - who having just successfully run the race - watches the cup being handed to the jockey”.
In all seriousness, it is with feelings of immense pride and privilege that I share this recognition of research in environmental geochemistry with the list of outstanding colleagues who have received the Patterson Medal since its inception. Clair Patterson represents a pinnacle of achievement in our community in so many ways. His work on uranium-lead and lead-lead dating provided, among other fundamental insights, one of the first accurate ages for the Earth. He pioneered work on escalating lead concentrations in the environment, atmosphere and the human body. His career demonstrates the arbitrariness of subdividing our discipline into supposed “low temperature and high temperature” or “soft rock and hard rock”. The list of past Patterson Medalists continues to reflect this vision of great minds working across the breadth of science, with contributions that inform processes that govern earth and planetary science systems and integrate discovery in geosciences, chemistry, biology physics, and more. Clair Patterson’s legacy of applying scientific discovery and data-based decision-making to enact change in society, influence public policy, and protect human health and the environment, resonates more today than ever.
We all stand on the shoulders of giants. I had the immense privilege of working as a young scientist with Dick Holland, Peter Fritz, and Keith O’Nions, and benefiting from more informal but invaluable early support from Chris Ballentine, Kate Freeman, Peggy Ostrom, Steve Macko, Ursula Franklin, Derek York, Michael Whiticar, Warren Wood, and others too numerous to mention. I had the pure good fortune to begin my own academic career at a time when the genius of John Hayes, Willi Brand, and others had translated their discoveries in continuous flow mass spectrometry to commercial instruments that young scientists such as myself could build a new generation of laboratories around. Their insight and work changed the fabric of environmental geochemistry for organic compounds. Continuous flow compound specific isotope analysis for the first time raised sensitivity by up to 5 orders of magnitude, thereby reducing sample size requirements to a level compatible with field investigations where groundwater samples might only be available in milli-liter volumes, and dissolved concentrations of priority pollutants therein are in the range of ppb-ppt. Prior to that time one “could” measure a carbon isotope value dissolved organic contaminants in an aquifer – but their instrumentation breakthroughs provided the first ability to measure at a spatial and temporal scale that was meaningful in the context of contaminant remediation.
The early 90’s were a time of blistering excitement as we seized this technological opportunity and began to explore compound specific isotope analysis, first for chlorinated solvents such as trichloroethylene and petroleum hydrocarbons such as benzene and toluene. These compounds, both man-made and natural, have globally impacted our lakes, groundwaters, and soils in both urban and rural settings as a direct result of society’s industrial expansion post-WWII. As many are carcinogens or mutagens, they are harmful even at trace levels. Hence, for organic contaminants such as these “dilution is not the solution”. The challenge was to find a way to scientifically differentiate environments where decreasing concentrations are in fact due to transformation to more benign end-products, and not simply due to dissemination and transport of contaminants, even at trace levels, further into the environment. Working on opposite sides of the ocean and in different laboratories, but always with a collegiality and openness to communication that reflects the highest levels of scientific collegiality, our own work and discoveries in this field at the University of Toronto emerged at the same time as work by Daniel Hunkeler, Hans-Hermann Richnow and Rainer Meckenstock. We were all inspired by the same scientific challenge:
How to make invisible in situ transformation reactions in the environment, visible?
Compound specific isotope analysis—first for carbon, but rapidly expanding to other major elements including hydrogen, chlorine, and nitrogen—provided that insight. Kinetic isotope effects associated with bond breakage provided not only a dramatic signal of transformation of contaminants, but a means of differentiating and identifying competing reaction mechanisms. A day I can remember vividly was our realization that in many cases the changes in isotopic values observed during contaminant transformation could be fit to a Rayleigh model. Surprisingly, despite the complexity and frequent occurrence of multiple steps involved in enzymatically catalyzed reactions, and despite the potential for masking effects in both biologically and chemical catalyzed transformation reaction, we found that isotope fractionation is often controlled by a single rate-limiting step. Understanding this fundamental basis controlling stable isotope fractionation involved in contaminant transformation therefore provided not only a new and sensitive signal of transformation and remediation, but a novel and independent quantification approach based on the Rayleigh model for establishing rates of clean-up and prediction of remediation end-points. These discoveries provided us with the honour and opportunity to work with and learn from colleagues in microbiology and in industry as CSIA provided a novel means of providing quantitative information on the levels of microbial enzymatic activity and rates of reaction controlling bioremediation. While conventional microbiological tools can identify “who is there” (the components of a microbial population and ecosystem), CSIA proved to be a powerful tool in the arsenal to identify “who is active” (i.e. what microbial processes are active and at what rates and levels of enzymatic activity). These isotopic principles provided vital information to evaluating and optimizing in situ bioremediation potential.
Compound specific isotope analysis is now a mature and global research discipline, continuing to extend applications to novel groups of contaminants including fuel additives, pesticides, and atmospheric greenhouse gases such as CFCs. We have been privileged to be part of that journey as the legacy of John Hayes and Willi Brand’s work has been built upon to establish the fundamental principles and applications for new “natural tracers”. The naturally occurring stable isotope signatures of dissolved organic contaminants in soils and groundwaters provide signals of unparalleled sensitivity, and an innovative means of establishing in situ reaction rates to the investigation of the transformation of hydrocarbon contaminants in groundwater and the environment (without the cost and regulatory hurdles of adding enriched labels or tracers). We are immensely grateful to the “intellectual venture capital” provided for these foundational studies in the early years by the Natural Sciences Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), to ongoing support from industry partners and collaborators, and more recently to the CIFAR program in Earth 4D – Subsurface Science and Exploration.

Barbara Sherwood Lollar CC FRS FRSC FRCGS University of Toronto


C.C. Patterson Award 2020 (GS)

Awarded annually for a recent innovative breakthrough in environmental geochemistry of fundamental significance, published in a peer-reviewed journal. More info

Naohiro Yoshida Awarded to: Naohiro Yoshida
View recipient's web page
Abstract: Frontier Modes of Light Element Isotopic Substitution as a Key for Origin Studies
Medal lecture in:
Session 14h in Plenary Hall, Goldschmidt2020 - Virtual Venue on



Robert Berner Lecture (GS & EAG)

Presented by a mid-career scientist on a topic associated with elemental cycling at the Earth's surface. More info

Andreas Andersson Awarded to: Andreas Andersson
Abstract: Berner Lecture: How Will Anthropogenic CO2 Affect Shallow Water Calcium Carbonate Sediment Dissolution?
Medal lecture in:
Session 12c in Plenary Hall, Goldschmidt2020 - Virtual Venue on



Endowed Biogeochemistry Lecture (GS)

Presented by a prominent scientist who is making cutting-edge field-based measurements or laboratory measurements on field samples in the area of biogeochemistry. More info

Samantha Joye Awarded to: Samantha Joye
Abstract: Novel Approaches Reveal Unexpected Biogeochemical Dynamics in Extreme Environments
Medal lecture in:
Session 14e in Plenary Hall, Goldschmidt2020 - Virtual Venue on



Paul Gast Lecture (GS & EAG)

Recognizes a mid-career scientist for outstanding contributions to geochemistry. More info

Jochen Brocks Awarded to: Jochen Brocks
Abstract: Lost World of Complex Life: Molecular Traces of our Deepest Eukaryotic Ancestors
Medal lecture in:
Session 00a in Plenary Hall, Goldschmidt2020 - Virtual Venue on

Session 00a in Plenary Hall, Goldschmidt2020 - Virtual Venue on



F. Earl Ingerson Lecture (GS)

Open for any topic within geochemistry that has broad appeal to Goldschmidt attendees. More info

Christian France-Lanord Awarded to: Christian France-Lanord
View recipient's web page
Abstract: The Carbon Budget of the Himalayan Orogeny from Source to Sink
Medal lecture in:
Session 10f in Room 3, Goldschmidt2020 - Virtual Venue on



H.C. Urey Award 2020 (EAG)

The Urey Award is bestowed annually by the society for outstanding contributions advancing geochemistry over a career. The award is based solely on scientific merit. More info

Jill Banfield Awarded to: Jill Banfield
Abstract: Microbial Mediation of Watershed Biogeochemical Cycles
Medal lecture in:
Session 10f in Room 3, Goldschmidt2020 - Virtual Venue on


Citation: It is my distinct pleasure and honor to introduce Jillian Banfield, the 2020 recipient of the Harold Urey award from the European Association of Geochemistry (EAG). Our paths first crossed in Wisconsin in the early 1990s, when I was a Professor at the Center for Great Lakes Studies in Milwaukee and she was a recently hired assistant Professor at UW-Madison. From the beginning it was clear she was a fine scientist, and much different from any of my microbiology colleagues. Since these early days, I have enjoyed many interactions with her (and her students and postdocs): as a colleague, collaborator, and friend for nearly thirty years. We have served on student committees, written proposals, edited books, run workshops, and published papers, while all the time searching for a common ground in the growing field of geobiology. With this perspective in hand, I feel at ease talking about the accomplishments, and the transformative work that Jill has produced, as well as the immense impact that she has had in areas of geochemistry, geology, geobiology, and as of late, environmental molecular biology.
In the early Wisconsin days, Jill’s interests were in mineral transformation and weathering, and her approaches were both ultrastructural (transmission electron microscopy) and geochemical, with no hints of the importance of biology. This excellent work provided a baseline for abiotic reactions: something that is not easy for a non-geologist to comprehend. By the mid-1990s, Jill had become immersed in the microbial world, using her analytical and observational expertise to assess the impact of microbes on the dissolution and formation of minerals in ways that had not been previously done. One of her great assets is that she finds good colleagues and interacts with them, as in 1997, when she co-organized a workshop entitled: Geomicrobiology: Interactions between Microbes and Minerals, Reviews in Mineralogy Volume 35. It introduced the world of geomicrobiology to the geological world via a legitimate and visible publication, and it put many of the leaders in the field in touch with each other. I mention this because it has been one of the very strong features of Jill Banfield – utilizing a truly interdisciplinary approach that has yielded substantial success for a field that was virtually unknown to anyone except the practitioners at the time of the workshop. A few years later, when the impact of molecular biology was being felt, Jill co-organized another workshop entitled Molecular Geobiology: Reviews in Mineralogy, Volume 59. It should be obvious from this discussion that Jill has an almost uncanny ability to attract, train, stimulate, and support students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and colleagues. Not only does she have a cadre of postdocs who keep her at the forefront of fast-moving fields, but she takes care to help both students and postdocs in their careers. She is already, at a comparatively young age, one of the leaders in the area of geobiology, but I expect her impact to be far greater in another decade, when the many good people she has trained will be seen as a “who’s who” in the field.
Another of Jill’s special abilities is the identification of important problems that are “ready” to be investigated using new methods. For example, when she began her work on the Iron Mountain (acid-mine drainage) site, it became clear that the microbial diversity was so low that the molecular approaches could be brought to bear on the entire system, leading to major breakthroughs in the application of molecular genetics to field studies of environmental microbiology. This pioneering work pointed the way for many other groups working in more complex systems. The same can be said of her recent work on the subsurface Rifle site, from which extremely interesting data are emerging. But her impact is not on geobiology alone – as these extreme environments have been studied, it has been possible to move from identifying the organisms and their genomes, to transcriptomics (identifying the genes that are activated), to proteomics (identifying the gene products that are produced) and recently, inroads into metabolomics (identification of the metabolites that are produced by the gene products). This groundbreaking work has led the way in many aspects of environmental microbiology, and morphed rather quickly into the study of microbiomes of all kinds, from lakes to oceans, to humans: a remarkable achievement. Through all of this, Jill has maintained a focus on nanoparticles and mineral transformations, never forgetting the questions that brought her into this field. We now see the “Banfield brand” on topics as diverse as “The Tree of Life”, the “Human Microbiome”, “Biofilm Formation and Activity”, and “cryogenic TEM of clay and oxyhydroxide minerals”.
These examples reveal an almost magical mixture of abilities that allows her to think at different levels and from different perspectives – these include both intellectual abilities (a strong knowledge of both geology, microbiology, and molecular biology), and technical abilities (a background in imaging (electron microscopy) and field geology). I can think of no one else who so successfully brings such a combination of talents and skills to the table. I know of no one else who thinks and acts so broadly with such energy, enthusiasm and warmth.
In summary, Jill Banfield is one of the best scientists in the world in the area of environmental geochemistry/geomicrobiology. Her great success comes from seeing which problems are amenable to solution by a clever combination of the latest approaches in microbiology/molecular biology and geochemistry, and combining these insights with a keen eye for the techniques needed to solve them. This has been true for more than 25 years, and I expect it to continue (unabated) for another 20 years with equal success and aplomb. Her contributions are at the basic science level, the teaching level, and the outreach level – making geobiology come alive for everyone.
As I said at the start, I am honored to make this introduction, she is a friend, a colleague, and a great teacher and scientist – a perfect choice for the Urey Award.

Kenneth H. Nealson
University of Southern California, USA

Response: Thank you, Ken Nealson, for leading the effort to nominate me for the Urey award, to others who supported it, and to the committee that made the selection. As a relatively early career scientist who decided to jump into biology with essentially no prior training, Ken was one of my informal tutors. I think there were plenty of times I drove him up the wall with questions – yet he was always patient. He also co-convened two MSA short courses on geomicrobiology with me and played the pivotal role of identifying whom to bring together from the microbiology perspective.
The Urey award is a huge honor, though I must say I do not think it well deserved by me. If there is any credit to be had, it should go to the amazing group of students, postdocs, other lab members and an outstanding set of long-term collaborators, the list for which is too long to include here.
I have been extraordinarily fortunate to have worked in many research fields that are fascinating to me, studying topics ranging from mechanisms of reactions in minerals to microbial evolution and diversity to the assembly of the human microbiome during infant development. I was tremendously lucky early on to have had the mentorship of Tony Eggleton at the Australian National University and subsequently, David Veblen at Johns Hopkins University. These scientists introduced me to the wonders of mineral structure and microstructure and the ways to study them – primarily through high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. It was approaches to understanding atomic structure and microstructure, as well as structure – properties – reactivity interconnections, that led logically (at least in my mind) to study environmental biogeochemical processes by methods founded on genomics. My lab has continued to work on minerals, but with the transition into biology the focus of inorganic research shifted to nanomaterials – including the products of microbial biomineralization, and clay minerals. In this regard, I’d like to acknowledge central contributions of my first Ph.D. student, Lee Penn, my one time lab members and long term collaborators HengZhang and Ben Gilbert, as well as Mike Whitaker, a brilliant current postdoc and early career scientist who is using cryogenic high-resolution electron tomography to provide new insights into the behavior of clays in aqueous solutions.
My lab’s biological research has focused almost entirely on microbial communities in natural environments. We joined the microbiology field as molecular methods, developed for example, by Norm Pace, were growing in prominence and as genomes of isolated microorganisms began to appear. In adoption and development of biological methods in my lab,I’d like to mention the contributions of Phil Bond, who was a postdoc and brought key molecularexpertise, Gene Tyson, a Ph.D. student who was the lead author of the first paper to report genomes reconstructed from microbial community samples (an approach that is now referred to as genome-resolved metagenomics), and Bob Hettich and his lab at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, with whom we took the first steps into community (meta)proteomics.
The geological foundation for our lab led us to study microbial communities of the near-subsurface, such as in aquifers and sediments and ultimately, in soils. Some of this work has been propelled forward by one-time Ph.D. student Ken Williams, who now co-leads a major program related to biogeochemical and physical processes in watersheds (and is now one of my bosses at LBNL!). Aquifers and soils had been little investigated using molecular methods, so we had the delightful experience of discovering group after group of new bacteria and archaea and exploring their lifestyles. Clearly, luck played a tremendous role in our research. Overall, my hope is that by working across many different environments with interdisciplinary approaches, we will uncover general principles related to how microbial consortia function together to modulate Earth’s biogeochemical cycles. We have just taken the first steps and the horizon is broad.
Jillian Banfield
University of California, Berkeley, USA


Werner Stumm Science Innovation Award 2020 (EAG)

The EAG Science Innovation Award recognizes scientists who have recently made a particularly important and innovative breakthrough in geochemistry. The geochemical research must be highly original and contribute in a significant fashion to our understanding of the natural behaviour of the Earth or planets. More info

Kevin Rosso Awarded to: Kevin Rosso
Abstract: Understanding Torque-Generating Forces Enabling Crystal Growth by Oriented Attachment
Medal lecture in:
Session 07c in Room 2, Goldschmidt2020 - Virtual Venue on


Citation: I am delighted and honored to introduce Kevin Rosso as the 2020 recipient of the EAG Science Innovation Award. I would first like to acknowledge Mike Hochella who nominated Kevin for this award, and thank Mike for asking me to write a supporting letter and deliver this citation.
Kevin is a highly innovative experimental and theoretical geochemist and his ability to develop powerful methods in either domain has long been a great personal inspiration. It gives me great pleasure to have the opportunity to acknowledge his forefront work in computational chemistry as well as to note some of the exquisite experimental approaches he developed that have altered our understanding of the molecular structure and reactivity of the natural world.
Although Kevin has made contributions widely in mineralogy, interfacial geochemistry, and biogeochemistry, it is perhaps easiest to summarize his innovations and impacts through his work on iron redox chemistry.
Kevin perceived early on the potential for emerging computational methods to transform environmental redox chemistry. In a series of important papers beginning in 2000, Rosso and co-workers laid the foundation for predicting environmental electron-transfer rates from first principles. Electron transfer is the critical but fleeting step in every redox reaction and Kevin showed that density functional theory methods could be applied to calculate the parameters required in Marcus theory to predict electron-transfer rates. Following initial successes for homogenous outer-sphere electron transfer in simple solutions, Kevin has demonstrated the power of this approach in diverse geochemical and biochemical systems. We now know why aqueous geochemical conditions control the oxidation of ferrous iron in water, and how crystal structure controls the rate of electron transfer in iron oxides, clays and other minerals. Moreover, Kevin’s computational work vividly reveals the energetics and pathways for electron flow through microbial cytochromes—specifically through the iron sites in heme cofactors.
Kevin also understands the central role for observation, and has the imagination and technical skill to design insightful—and sometimes audacious—experiments to test concepts and hypotheses. In a deceptively simply but profoundly important contribution, Yanina and Rosso showed that solid-state electron transfer can link redox reactions occurring on different hematite faces, substantially enlarging our appreciation of the pathways for electron flow in soils and other settings. By painstakingly polishing the tips used in atomic-force microscopy, Kevin and his group were able to quantify the directional forces between mineral surfaces generated by van der Waals forces and by water hydrogen bond interactions. These forces control the stacking or hydrated clay minerals and the oriented attachment of mineral particles.
To summarize Kevin’s career to date, experimental and computational methods have gradually been catching up with the incisive molecular-scale ways that Kevin understands and thinks about mineral, geochemical and biochemical systems, and Kevin has always been at the forefront in applying them to challenging and important questions.
As well as possessing a clear vision for his own research priorities, Kevin is a generous mentor, an effective team leader and a superbly constructive collaborator. In my career, when I knew that molecular simulation was needed to understand the molecular basis for redox reactions, the approach was clear – turn to Kevin, who is always fascinated by new problems and somehow finds the time to develop bespoke calculational methodologies. And now, a cadre of younger researchers trained by Kevin use his methods in my lab and research groups around the world.

I will close on a short statement from Mike Hochella:
“Kevin, you are an exceptionally gifted scholar at an international level.  This is not the first, nor will it be the last great honor that has or will pass your way.  I could not be more proud of you and your achievements.  My life in science has been remarkably brightened by you.  Thanks for everything my dear friend.”
Mike and I are thrilled that Kevin is the recipient of the 2020 Science Innovation Award and we look forward to many more innovations and discoveries to come.

Benjamin Gilbert
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA
Mike Hochella
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA

Response: I am truly humbled and grateful to accept the honor of the 2020 Science Innovation Award of the EAG. It is particularly enriching given its distinguished Werner Stumm Medal namesake, an awe-inspiring giant in aquatic chemistry that I have long admired. This award, I will perennially cherish with amazement.
From my present vantage of 22 years as a professional, what comes to mind is the abundance of influential mentors, colleagues, friends and family that have helped shape my scientific interests and career goals. It is with trepidation that here I attempt with all earnestness to reduce it to its essence, though a woefully inadequate acknowledgement of the breadth of interactions that I have so genuinely enjoyed and benefited from over the years. To put the task into perspective, for example, it was somewhat stunning to discover that my various co-authors now number greater than 500. (Where to begin?)
One of the most prominent attributions I can make for any present success, upon which I increasingly reflect, are the Professors of Geological Sciences at my undergraduate institution, California State Polytechnic University at Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona). Here, near my teenage home at this unglamorous commuter-based institution, one that is dwarfed by a host of prestigious surrounding universities, would I find my calling and passion for science. I entered with an ill-fated vision in the field of architecture; I graduated with bulging sails ahead in Geochemistry. This small underfunded department of about six professors, excited about and dedicated to their small cadre of students, is where my compass needle found strong field lines. Crucial to this, the late David Jessey, my undergraduate thesis advisor, deftly unveiled the field of Geochemistry for me, and rendered clear its evergreen importance to society. On account of him, I often wonder how many other foot-soldiers of science education go unsung while indelibly changing the world.
This catapulted me as a student into the grander halls of forefront geochemistry research in the Department of Geosciences at Virginia Tech. Though I benefited instantly from its diversity of excellent faculty, students, and research, a few key individuals meticulously nurtured into me a solid foundation in geochemical principles. This includes Bob Bodnar, my M.S. advisor who instilled in me the importance of equilibrium thermodynamics as well as equipping me with insightful skills in scientific writing. My horizons grew substantially further under the care of Jerry Gibbs from whom I learned the eloquence of mathematical crystallography and computational mineralogy, the late Don Rimstidt for experimental solid-water interfacial geochemistry, and fellow graduate student Udo Becker for quantum chemistry and molecular simulations. In all such things, however, I obtained a grander view and appreciation of geochemistry and the natural environment from my Ph.D. advisor Mike Hochella, who single handedly walked me into the very large room called nanogeoscience, and set me loose at the nexus of mineral-water reactivity and ultra-high vacuum surface science. This kind of hybrid disciplinary approach was, at the time, just beginning to blossom into the field of molecular interfacial geochemistry.
That educational journey transported me into an early career research scientist position at PNNL in 1998 where my ambitions flourished, immersed with world-class expertise and capabilities in experimental, theoretical, and computational interfacial science. It was a great joy to be taken under the wing of internationally recognized thought leaders like John Zachara, Andy Felmy, Jim Rustad, Michel Dupuis, and Jim Fredrickson, and there be given golden opportunities to pursue a variety of science questions that mostly centered around my personal interests in the kinetics of redox reactions in natural systems. It was there, under stable funding support, encouragement and a multidisciplinary collaborative culture that I was able to deep dive into the chemical physics governing electron transfer reactions, and marry this knowledge with molecular simulations to begin to predict rates of processes that geochemists, environmental scientists, biogeochemists, and material scientists care about. It has also been at PNNL, in its rich and immersive scientific environment, that enabled a host of new science frontiers for me to learn and explore, bolstered and sharpened by the many talented scientists, post-doc’s, and students that have comprised our Geochemistry Group for these two decades.
Finally, I gratefully acknowledge the love of my life, my wife Carolyn Pearce, for her transformational and unabating support, and for the joy that she and my children Ethan and Natalie Rosso continually bring me. I would be not anywhere close to this far without them, and in their presence feel convinced of a bright future ahead.

Kevin Rosso
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA
2020 EAG Science Innovation Awardee


F.G. Houtermans Award 2020 (EAG)

The award recognizes a single exceptional contribution to geochemistry, published as a single paper or a series of papers on a single topic. It is named in honor of Friedrich Georg Houtermans, a Dutch-Austrian-German physicist. More info

Kun Wang Awarded to: Kun Wang
View recipient's web page
Abstract: Isotopic Constraints on the Origin and Evolution of Martian Volatiles
Medal lecture in:
Session 01c in Room 1, Goldschmidt2020 - Virtual Venue on


Citation: It is an immense pleasure to present the 2020 Houtermans Award to Kun Wang. Kun receives this prize in recognition of his contribution to understanding planetary differentiation and the origin of volatile loss among terrestrial planets. I am very proud of Kun’s achievements and that it is now recognized formally by this prestigious award.
Kun started his PhD at Washington University in St Louis under my supervision after graduating from CUG Wuhan (BSc). At that time, we did not have a mass-spectrometer yet and, thinking about it now, it was a risky choice for Kun to join our laboratory… I am not sure I was very clear on this before he joined us! We were lucky to be welcomed by Nicolas Dauphas to his laboratory in Chicago and, without this opportunity, Kun’s PhD thesis would have been quite different. Kun quickly mastered Fe isotope geochemistry and realized a very successful PhD thesis, staying less than 5 years in St Louis, and publishing 6 first author papers. He was my first PhD student to graduate and I learnt a lot with him on how to mentor students, and in some sense, he had to deal with teething problems from me as a supervisor (OK-I admit I had to ask Ed. Inglis on how to say this properly in English as I was going to simply translate the French idiomatic: “to clean up the plasters”). I remember that for his first manuscript I did not really know how to explain how to write a scientific paper, but Kun is such a fast and independent learner that I actually had very little mentoring to do.
I was very proud when he got offered a prestigious Origin of Life fellowship at Harvard University to work with Stein Jacobsen. In Harvard he developed K isotope geochemistry and truly honed his skills as a first-class scientist. His Nature paper on K isotope fractionation in lunar samples and the implications for the origin of the Moon is now a classic and Kun is considered one of the leaders in the field. These new successes lead him to quickly obtain a faculty position back in St Louis.
Since returning to Washington University, he has expanded his work across a diverse range of problems ranging from continental weathering to chondrule formation, and has built a strong group of people, including successful students such as Tuller-Ross and Tian. His reputation appears to precede him as when I am visiting various universities in china I am simply known as "Kun’s supervisor”. This is a real pleasure to follow his success and a delight that this has been recognized today.


Frédéric Moynier
Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris

Response: Thank you, Fred, for your generous citation. Thank you, President Gíslason, the Houtermans Award Committee, and the European Association of Geochemistry for granting me this award. I feel incredibly humbled to receive such an honor as I see the names of so many respected geochemists on the list of awardees. I also feel extremely grateful as this is like a dream that has finally come true. However, I know very well from deep within my heart that I could not have accomplished anything without the sincere help I received from many people over these years. Please allow me to take this opportunity to acknowledge those mentors and role models who have shaped and lifted me through my academic career.
My scientific career started as a student studying geology at China University of Geosciences in Wuhan (of all places. I wish health and safety for all the people living there). I thank all the professors who taught my geology and geochemistry classes, which formed the foundation of my knowledge that I use every single day in my research. I am especially grateful to Rong Liu (刘嵘) who offered me my first research opportunity and helped me to complete my senior’s thesis on “Petrography and Mineralogy Characteristics of Ningqiang Carbonaceous Chondrite”. I thank her for teaching and showing me how to conduct research tasks from a basic literature review, microscopic and chemical analyses, and giving me the opportunity to write my first research paper. Mostly, I thank her for introducing me to the world of meteoritic studies, which has been my favorite area of research ever since.
Upon leaving college, I received a fellowship from my master advisor Weibiao Hsu (徐伟彪) at Purple Mountain Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences. I am indebted to him for teaching me cosmochemistry and everything about Antarctic meteorites, which I started to work on with Weibiao. I am also very glad to have followed in Weibiao’s steps becoming a graduate student in his alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis, where I was fortunate enough to meet my PhD advisor, Frédéric Moynier. Fred has been my biggest supporter since day one. He trained me in the lab, taught me all my clean-lab and mass-spectrometer skills, and how to think independently and build an original scientific project. For five years, he transformed me from a graduate student into an independent scientist. He is also a great role model to me for being creative and extremely hard working, which shaped my work ethic today. Whenever I encounter any difficulties, he is always supportive and available to provide me with reliable advice and encouragement even up to this day. I truly owe all my thanks to you, Fred.
After receiving my degree from Washington University, I was gratefully awarded the Origins of Life Initiative Postdoctoral Fellowship to work with Stein Jacobsen at Harvard University, who I benefited from immensely. During these years as a postdoc, Stein was a father figure to me in both science and daily life. I am so impressed by how deep and broad his knowledge is. I also miss all the weekly reading groups and inspiring discussions with Sarah Stewart, Sujoy Mukhopadhyay, and Charles Langmuir at Harvard.
I would also like to say thanks for the support from my former teachers and current colleagues at Washington University in St. Louis, Slava Solomatov, Frank Podosek, Bob Criss, Randy Korotev, Bob Dymek, Bill Mckinnon, Katharina Lodders, Alian Wang, Jeff Catalano and many others. I am particularly grateful to my faculty mentors Brad Jolliff and Bruce Fegley, who have always provided me with valuable advice. I also want to thank the past and present scientists and students within my lab, Heng Chen, Piers Koefoed, Zhen Tian, Brenna Tuller-Ross, Mason Neuman, and Hannah Bloom. This award is also thanks to you. I enjoy working with you every day and I learn as much from you that I hope you learn from me.
Finally, I wish to thank my parents for giving me everything. They never had any chance to go to college or even high school. However, they worked hard and sacrificed a lot of their own comfort to provide me with the means to go to college and continue my education. I dedicate this award to my parents.
Thank you once more for this honor. This unprecedented year has been difficult, and I wish for everyone to stay safe and healthy. I Hope to see you all at next year’s Goldschmidt conference in person. Thanks!

Kun Wang (王昆)
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences
Washington University in St. Louis


The Geochemical Journal Award 2020 (GSJ)

The Geochemical Journal Award recognizes the most outstanding research paper published in the previous year as evaluated on the originality, quality and advancement of science, and particularly of geochemistry. More info

François-Régis ORTHOUS-DAUNAY Awarded to: François-Régis ORTHOUS-DAUNAY
Abstract: A Sketch for a Photolytic History of Organic Molecules in the Solar System
Medal lecture in:
Session 01c in Plenary Hall, Goldschmidt2020 - Virtual Venue on



The Shen-su Sun Award 2020 (Shen-su Sun Foundation)

The Shen-su Sun Award is to recognize exceptional geoscientists younger than 40 years, who work in mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong in commemoration of late Dr. Shen-su Sun for his pioneering and tremendous contributions to the geochemistry of the solid Earth and mantle dynamics, and for his unselfish and boundless mentorship to younger generations of scientists in the field of Geochemistry. This Award is presented by the Shen-Su Sun Foundation.

Haojia Abby Ren Awarded to: Haojia Abby Ren
View recipient's web page
Abstract: Foraminifera-Bound Nitrogen Isotopes: From Mechanistic Understanding to a Case Study in the Equatorial Pacific
Medal lecture in:
Session 14d in Plenary Hall, Goldschmidt2020 - Virtual Venue on



International Association of Geoanalysts Young Scientists Award (IAG)

The award promotes the careers of young scientists who have either developed innovative analytical methods or provided new strategies to improve data quality as applied to the chemical analysis of geological or environmental samples More info

Jie Lin Awarded to: Jie Lin
View recipient's web page
Abstract: Accurate Analysis of Lithium Isotopic Ratios in Geological Samples with High Precision
Medal lecture in:
Session 06d in Room 2, Goldschmidt2020 - Virtual Venue on


Michael Weber Awarded to: Michael Weber
Abstract: LA-MC-ICP-MS Sr Isotope Analysis of Speleothems – Choosing the Right Reference Material
Medal lecture in:
Session 14d in Plenary Hall, Goldschmidt2020 - Virtual Venue on



Geochemical Fellows 2020 (GS & EAG)

In 1996, The Geochemical Society and The European Association of Geochemistry established the honorary title of Geochemistry Fellow, to be bestowed upon outstanding scientists who have, over some years, made a major contribution to the field of geochemistry. Recipients of the Goldschmidt, Urey, EAG Science Innovation, and Treibs Medals become Fellows automatically. More info