UCL geographer rewarded for outstanding environmental research
19 February 2009
The American Society of Limnology and Oceanography has presented Professor Rick Battarbee (UCL Geography) with the Ruth Patrick Award for outstanding research into the application of aquatic science to environmental problem solving. The award commends exceptional contributions to the reconstruction of environmental change from the biological and chemical records of dated lake sediments.
Prof Battarbee is a leading environmental scientist and has been instrumental in developing new methods, now used throughout the world, to understand the effects of human impact on freshwater ecosystems, especially lakes.
In 1991, Prof Battarbee established the world-renowned UCL Environmental Change Research Centre (ECRC), which is dedicated to the analysis of long-term lake and marine records associated with acid rain, nutrient enrichment, climate change, and other environmental problems. He has published over 200 scientific papers.
The Ruth Patrick Award follows most recently his election as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2006 and recognition as a Pioneer of the Nation by the Queen (2005). He has also been presented with the Royal Geographical Society Back Award (1989); Foreign Membership of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (1991); the Rector’s Guest and Research Medal of the University of Helsinki (1994); the Medal of Moscow State University (1995), and he is an Honorary Professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute for Geography and Limnology in Nanjing.
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UCL Context: UCL Environmental Change Research Centre
Established in 1991, the interdisciplinary centre researches environmental change with an emphasis on aquatic ecosystems. The centre is committed to understanding the interplay between the natural variability of environmental systems and the ever-increasing impact of human activity upon them.
The ECRC is involved in research projects throughout the world and receives external funding from public bodies, such as the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Leverhulme Foundation and the European Union (EU). It currently co-ordinates the EU project ‘Euro-limpacs’, a €20 million integrated project involving 36 partners from 18 European countries on ‘Climate change impacts on European freshwater ecosystems’. In the UK, it advises DEFRA on upland water quality and biodiversity associated with the recovery of lakes and streams from the effects of acid rain and conducts commissioned work on lakes and rivers throughout the country. The group also has a very strong climate change programme focussing on the use of lake and marine sediments throughout the world as records of past climate change.