Professor Alayne Street-Perrott receives Lifetime Achievement Medal

Professor Alayne Street-Perrott, Department of Geography, has been awarded an IPA Lifetime Achievement Medal (in absentio) at a ceremony for the International Paleolimnological Association in Lanzhou, China.

Professor Street-Perrott’s career began in the mid 1970’s when, as a curiosity-motivated PhD student, she focused on the Late Quaternary lake-level changes of the lake Ziway-Shala system, Ethiopia. This, and subsequent research led to the beginnings off the Oxford lake-level data bank. 

During the 1980’s, Alayne’s interest turned to Central Mexico where she studied the red volcanic soils which support pine-oak forests looking for evidence of anthropogenic disturbance. In collaboration with Sarah O’Hara, the findings of their research challenged the contemporary view that indigenous cultures had a minimal impact upon the environment.

Throughout the 80’s and 90’s, Alayne continued her research into lake-level fluctuations which highlighted that these fluctuations coincided with large injections of fresh water feeding into the northern North Atlantic Ocean.

From the 90’s onwards, Alayne’s expertise continued to contribute to our understanding of the environment, for example, her investigation into the link between tropical lakes and the global carbon cycle in the late Quaternary.

Professor Street-Perrott’s early inspiration came from Peter Birkeland (University of Colorado) and Dick Grove (University of Cambridge), neither of whom are palaeolimnologists.  

Lifetime Achievement Medal AlayneProfessor Jonathan Holmes (Geography, UCL), a former PhD student of Professor Street-Perrott, read the citation and collected the medal on her behalf.