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ECSA Awards: Previous Award Winners

ECSA Lifetime Achievement Award

James Cook University’s Professor Eric Wolanski has been awarded the first Estuarine & Coastal Sciences Association (ECSA) Lifetime Achievement Award.

Professor Wolanski is an Adjunct Professor in JCU’s School of Marine and Tropical Biology and Principal Research Officer in the Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research.

Professor Wolanski was presented with the award in front of almost 600 scientists from 54 countries at a gala dinner in Mestre, near Venice, during ECSA’s 50th international conference in the Italian city.

The award reflects Professor Wolanski’s achievements in marine science over his lifetime, including seven books, his 12-volume Treatise on Estuarine and Coastal Science, and 350 publications in estuarine and coastal science with co-workers in 13 countries.

The volumes took about four years to complete. Professor Wolanski also officially launched The Treatise at the conference.

Professor Wolanksi said it was a “complete surprise” to receive the award and described the accolade as a “wonderful thing”.

Winner of the ECSA Peter Jones Memorial Award in 2016

Peter Mueller from the University of Hamburg.

Peter began his PhD in 2014, entitled Blue Carbon in the Wadden Sea.

Peter's winning paper is:

Peter Mueller, Kai Jensen and James Patrick Megonigal. 'Plants mediate soil organic matter decomposition in response to sea level rise’ published in Global Change Biology (2016) 22, 404–414, doi: 10.1111/gcb.13082 .

The published study assessed the impact of accelerated sea-level rise (SLR) on the decomposition of soil organic matter (SOM) in tidal wetlands. Tidal wetlands such as mangroves and salt marshes are increasingly recognized as important long-term carbon sinks, sequestering organic matter and thus carbon dioxide at rates exceeding those of most other ecosystem types. The organic carbon sequestered in these ecosystems has been termed 'blue carbon'. Knowledge on the plant and microbial processes that create blue carbon stocks and dynamics has important implications for management policies and may ultimately help to protect these ecosystems. Furthermore, organic matter sequestration is a primary process by which tidal wetlands gain elevation over time, decreasing their vulnerability to accelerated SLR.


Winner of the ECSA Peter Jones Memorial Award in 2015

Dr Heidi Burdett from the University of St Andrews, Scotland.

This annual award is given for the best paper by a current PhD student or an individual who has recently been awarded a PhD.

Heidi obtained her PhD in February this year, from the University of Glasgow.

Her paper is entitled “Spatiotemporal variability of dimethylsulphoniopropionate on a fringing coral reef: the role of reefal carbonate chemistry and environmental variability”. May 2013. PLOS One, Volume 8, Issue 5, e64651.