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ECSA Award Winners

ECSA Lifetime Achievement Award 2013

Prof Jiyu CHEN, born in 1921, completed his undergraduate study from 1941-1945 and post-graduate study (equivalent to MSc) in geomorphology from 1945-1947 in the Department of History and Geography at the former National Zhejiang University, China. Subsequently, he worked as a research assistant in the University until 1951. Since 1952 Professor CHEN has been working in East China Normal University.

Professor CHEN led numerous national and Shanghai municipal research projects with over 60 scientific and technical reports submitted to the authorities. He authored 9 books and published more than 140 scientific papers. Due to his outstanding contribution to the country and the estuarine and coastal region, Prof CHEN earned a first grade National Science and Technology Progress Reward. He was elected as a member of International Academy of Sciences for Europe and Asia (IASEA) in 1996 and became an Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering in 1999. He is now also the honourable chair of Chinese Society for Oceanography and Limnology.

Prof Jiyu Chen is recognized as a great pioneer of Chinese estuarine and coastal science. He proposed and established the first Estuarine and Coastal Research Institute in China by the end of the 1940’s. He not only developed estuarine and coastal theory but also converted this into engineering practice, integrating hydro-dynamics, sedimentation and geomorphology. As such, he made great achievements and contributed formidably to the work related to the mitigation of impacts in estuary, coastal engineering, port development, flood disaster prevention and water resources utilization.

Prof. Chen’s scientific achievements were used to solve problems encountered in coastal development of China, especially many large coastal engineering works. As a representative example, he took charge of the development of “Pudong International Airport Relocated Eastwards and Ecological Engineering on Jiuduanshan Shoals” project, and successfully kept the balance between a large engineering construction and the local ecological environment. This project led to markedly social economic benefit.

Also, he was responsible for a project on “The Impact of the Three Gorges Project on the ecological environment of the Yangtze River Estuary”, which is a national key scientific research project. He drew quantitative conclusions on environmental effects and qualitative conclusions on the ecological effects. Meanwhile, he continues to make important contributions to problems related to the Three Dam’s, such as water resource management, tidal reclamation and shore protection engineering.

He analysed the development of the Yangtze River and Estuary and recommended a focus on three key regions for improvement of its watercourse (1) the bifurcation area of south branch and north branch, (2) the bifurcation area of the south port and the north port and (3) the bifurcation area of the south and north channels. In order to stabilize the river and estuary regimes, he proposed the water course improvement principles that integrate the reparation, dredging and reclamation.  He not only provided the theoretical foundation for Yangtze River’s improvement engineering, but also offered feasible instructions to aid the transformation of the estuary into an artificial system.

He has published many influential books, such as “Dynamic Processes and Geomorphologic Evolution of Yangtze Estuary”, “Chinese Coastal Development Process and Evolution”, “Development principle mode of Yangtze in the last 2000 years”, “Processes of Dynamic Sedimentation in the Yangtze Estuary” and “Development of Yangtze Estuary and its Submerged Delta”.

The First Winner of the ECSA Peter Jones Memorial Award is Announced

The Council of the Estuarine and Coastal Sciences Association is pleased to announce that the first winner of the Peter Jones Memorial Award is 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, and her application was based on a paper entitled “Spatiotemporal variability of dimethylsulphoniopropionate on a fringing coral reef: the role of reefal carbonate chemistry and environmental variability”. The paper was published in May 2013 in PLOS One, Volume 8, Issue 5, e64651, which is an open access journal with a 5-year impact factor of 4.24.

Her PhD research concerned the production of dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP) by coralline algal habitats and involved measuring its concentration and distribution. The image shows Heidi placing light and temperature loggers on the Suleman reef in Dahab, Egypt. The image was taken by her PhD supervisor Dr Nick Kamenos, during the field campaign that resulted in her paper. The significance of this research is that DMSP is known to be vitally important in the marine sulphur cycle, which ultimately has an impact on atmospheric processes that control the Earth’s climate. However, very little is known about the contribution to DMSP in seawater by calcifying algae and, consequently, Heidi’s research will add significantly to the wealth of knowledge concerning the factors that regulate the global climate

Heidi has spent most of her career in the field of marine science. She obtained a first class BSc(Hons) in Ocean Science in 2007 followed, in 2008, by a MSc(Distinction) in Applied Marine Science - both degrees from the University of Plymouth. She then moved to the University of Glasgow where she obtained her PhD in Marine Biogeochemistry in February 2013. She is now a Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews where she is sponsored by the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS). Here she intends to pursue her research on the quantification of the sulphur budget in tropical and temperate coastal ecosystems and to develop concepts in the use of coralline algal deposits as palaeo-climatic and palaeo-ecological proxies for climate change.

The ECSA Council send their congratulations to Heidi and wish her the best of success in her future research career.