International prize for Antarctic research

Scientia Professor Matthew England from the University of New South Wales has taken home the prestigious Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica this year. The annual US$100,000 international prize, awarded by the Tinker Foundation and administered by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, is designed to honour an individual whose work has enhanced the understanding and/or preservation of Antarctica.

Matthew england
UNSW Scientia Professor Matthew England

According to the Tinker-Muse prize citation, Professor England has ‘consistently shown a rare ability to translate global issues to local impacts, and in and engaging and accessible way to the general public’.

He was honoured with the award primarily for his ‘sustained and seminal contribution to Antarctic science through profound insights into the influence of the Southern Ocean on the continent and its role in the global climate change system’.

The award also recognised his significant leadership roles in several international programs where he has demonstrated a strong commitment to collegiality, capacity building and the global impact of Antarctic Science. 

Professor England said: “I am delighted to receive this award and I wish to pay tribute to my research team and collaborators – past and present – for inspiring my work in Antarctic and Southern Ocean science.

“Antarctica plays a crucial role in regional and global climate. This award will further focus my efforts to better understand Antarctica’s climate as well as the ocean circulation around the continent, aiming to improve our knowledge of the region’s vulnerability to climate change.

“Preserving the Antarctic environment requires limiting carbon emissions to keep global warming below 1.5–2 degrees Celsius. We need to ensure this commitment is met. Every fraction of a degree of warming poses a greater risk for Antarctic ice sheet stability and catastrophic sea-level rise.”

According to the Australian Academy of Science, Professor England is ‘Australia’s leading ocean modeller and the world’s foremost authority on the modelling on the Southern Ocean’. His research spans a huge range of topics including oceanography, climate dynamics, atmospheric processes, climate variability, paleoclimate and ice-ocean interaction. His most recent post with UNSW has seen him establish the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre in 2007 which became the host institution for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science in 2011.

Throughout his career and his time at UNSW, Scientia Professor England has been active in teaching, research supervision and media and outreach as well as lecturing students and supervising projects for more than 50 PhD candidates.

The prize will be officially presented at the 12th International Conference for Southern Hemisphere Meteorology and Oceanography to be held at UNSW Sydney, Australia from 5 to 9 February 2018. 

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