Ecological and Environmental Change Research Group

Lifetime Achievement Award

Professor Emerita Hilary Birks received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Paleolimnological Association on 4 August 2015. She was given the award during their international symposium in Lanzhou, China.

Hilary Birks receiving her Lifetime Achievement medal from John Smol at the International Paleolimnology Symposium
Hilary receiving her Lifetime Achievement Award from John Smol at the International Palaeolimnology Symposium in Lanzhou, August 2015
John Birks

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The President of the IPA, Professor John Smol (Queen's University, Canada) introduced Hilary with the following words:

"Hilary is internationally respected as one of the world’s leaders in palaeobotany, and especially as this work relates to plant macrofossils and other botanical indicators in lake sediments and peats.

She has consistently provided new insights and syntheses to scientifically and socially important questions, such as climate change and related environmental issues.

Her strong leadership skills have been shown in a variety of settings. Hilary’s publications have led the field in macrofossil-based palaeolimnology.

Given her international standing in the scientific community, I was honoured to have her on the editorial board of the international Journal of Paleolimnology. Her critical but always positive and constructive comments were exemplary. She was a vital and key addition to our board, and to the larger palaeolimnological community.

As so many of you know, Hilary is a wonderful person to interact with.

The number of younger (and sometimes not so young) palaeolimnologists that she has mentored is too long to list here.  (This dedication clearly continues into retirement; for example Hilary was one of our mentors in our Early Career Workshop that successfully was undertaken on Monday).

Her leadership in research, in teaching and mentoring, and in service to our paleolimnological community, as well as to the public-at-large, is a role model for all of us."

Congratulations to Hilary on her thoroughly deserved award.