Leading soil science researcher's European medal honour

College of Science researcher Professor Stefan Doerr has been awarded this year’s Philippe Duchaufour Medal by the European Geosciences Union (EGU), for his distinguished contributions to soil science. The award is given annually by the Union’s Division on Soil System Sciences in honour of Philippe Duchaufour, who is regarded as bringing original and very fundamental contributions to soil science


The award, with special emphasis on his contributions to soil hydrology and erosion, particularly through his research into soil water repellency, was presented to Professor Doerr earlier this month at the EGU General Assembly in Vienna. Professor Doerr, aged 44, who is by far the youngest recipient in the medal's history, has developed a new way to understand how water repellency – including post-fire soil water repellency – affects the soil system, establishing him as a leading scientist in the field of soil hydrology and erosion.

In the award citation, the EGU described him as: “A remarkably energetic, intellectually alert and enthusiastic scientist. His charismatic role in meetings and conferences has been an important driver for the work of other scientists and for soil science.” Professor Doerr, who is Head of the Geography Department at Swansea University and the current Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Wildland Fire, said: “I am surprised, but honoured and delighted to be this year’s recipient of the Philippe Duchaufour Medal.  “I do not consider myself to having contributed nearly as much to soil science as the previous medallists at this point in my career. I am, however, very pleased that not only my published work, but also my efforts in advancing the subject through facilitating international and cross-disciplinary collaboration have been recognised through this award.

“I strongly believe that collaboration is one most powerful drivers for advancing science.”

The European Geosciences Union is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in the geosciences and the planetary and space sciences for the benefit of humanity. Visit http://www.egu.eu/.

This news item has been generated by Bethan Evans, Swansea University Public Relations Office, Tel: 01792 295049 or email b.w.evans@swansea.ac.uk.