Monday, July 26, 2021

2021 Division Awards for outstanding geobiologists

Every year the GBGM executive committee selects exceptional scholars to receive awards for their accomplishments in research, education/mentoring, and service in geobiology. This year we had an exceptional list of nominees so thanks to all those who nominated someone!

We are pleased to announce that the 2021 awards go to Kim Lau (pre-tenure), Phoebe Cohen (post-tenure), and Frank Corsetti (distinguished career). Please check out their brief biographies below and explore their websites for further details about their research.

Pre-Tenure Award Recipient: Kimberly Lau (Pennsylvania State University)

Dr. Kim Lau is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geosciences at the Pennsylvania State University. Her research focuses on reconstructing biogeochemical changes in Earth’s past and specifically the causes and consequences of redox changes in ancient oceans using a combination of lab, modeling, and field methods. She is interested in major perturbations throughout Earth history and how these events are recorded geochemically in the sedimentary record. Her approach includes better understanding the sedimentary geochemical and isotopic proxies that geobiologists can employ to constrain past environmental change.

Post-Tenure Award Recipient: Phoebe Cohen (Williams College)

Dr. Phoebe Cohen is an Associate Professor in Geosciences at Williams College. Phoebe is a paleontologist who uses a wide array of microscopic, microchemical, and geochemical techniques, in combination with field-based stratigraphy and sedimentology, to reconstruct ancient organisms and ecosystems. Her current work focuses on the evolution of eukaryotes in the Proterozoic and the microfossil record of the end-Devonian mass extinction. She is also actively involved in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion work in the geosciences. 

Distinguished Career Award Recipient: Frank A. Corsetti (University of Southern California)

Dr. Frank Corsetti is a Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Southern California.  He studies the co-evolution of the Earth and its biosphere from a geobiologic/sedimentologic perspective, searching for traces of life in deep (and not so deep) time.  Key topics of study include the identification of biosignatures (in particular, those left behind by microbes), unraveling the diagenetic alteration of biosignatures, mass extinctions, the environmental setting for the emergence of animals, and the search for life beyond Earth.  Frank co-directed the International Geobiology Summer Course from 2010-2016.  He is a fellow of the Geological Society of America, recipient of the SEPM Dickinson Medal, the 2019 James B. Thompson Distinguished International Lecturer, and a recipient of the Mellon Mentorship award for mentoring graduate students.

Please join us in congratulating these exceptional scientists at the 2021 GSA (hopefully) in Portland; the awardees will be giving invited talks in our "New Voices in Geobiology" and "New Advances in Geobiology" sessions! The Geobiology Division Award Presentation (a.k.a. the GBGM Lunch) will be held virtually since this year's meeting will be offered in a hybrid format with limited in-person attendance.

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