Professor Geoff Gadd, Head of the Geomicrobiology Group, has been recognised twice in recent months through two different awards for research excellence and its contribution across scientific disciplines.
Geoff was presented with the European Mycological Association Prize 2019 for “outstanding work in mycological innovation” at the EMA Congress in Warsaw in September for his work in establishing geomycology. Geomycology is that part of geomicrobiology concerned with fungi and their important roles in the environment such as element cycling, mineral dissolution and formation, and metal transformations. The fundamental mechanisms that underlie such processes have applications in bioremediation, element biorecovery, biodeterioration of cultural heritage and the built environment, and the production of novel nanoscale biominerals, and the Geomicrobiology Group has published extensively in these areas.
Following this award, this month the Mineralogical Society of the UK awarded Geoff the Schlumberger Award for 2020. This is the 150-year old society’s most prestigious research medal, and is made “to recognize scientific excellence in mineralogy and its applications”. It emphasises the cross-disciplinary significance of Geoff’s research that has led to many surprising discoveries about microbe-mediated biomineral formation including novel biogenic minerals that can be produced in nanoscale dimensions, and applications of biomineralization for toxic metal immobilization, biorecovery of valuable elements and the production of electrochemical materials.
Geoff said, “This is good news for geomicrobiology and its importance across disciplines. Geomicrobiology is now recognized as an integral part of Earth Sciences, geochemistry and mineralogy and this has resulted in many dynamic research collaborations.”
Professor Bruce Yardley, President of the Mineralogical Society, said “Opening up the links between mineralogy, geomicrobiology and the environmental sciences more generally is really revitalizing the subject and giving a whole new impetus”.
Geoff will be presented with the Schlumberger medal at an event some time in 2020.