Philippe Van Cappellen wins prestigious Canadian Geophysical Union Medal

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Philippe Vn CappellenProfessor Philippe Van Cappellen from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and a Canada Excellence Research Chair Laureate in Ecohydrology, has been awarded the J. Tuzo Wilson Medal, the Canadian Geophysical Union's (CGU) greatest honour.

John Tuzo Wilson (October 24, 1908 – April 15, 1993) was a Canadian geophysicist and geologist who achieved worldwide acclaim for his contributions to the theory of plate tectonics. The founder of the CGU, Wilson was a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of the British Empire and a Fellow of the Royal Society, of the Royal Society of Canada, and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Philippe was selected for this prestigious and competitive award as a scientist who has made outstanding, career-long contributions to the advancement of knowledge in earth and hydrologic sciences in Canada. Factors considered in the selection process include excellence in scientific or technical research, instrument development, industrial applications, and/or teaching.

Philippe’s peers staunchly supported his nomination, and the CGU is delighted to recognize his accomplishments.

“I am so grateful to be awarded the 2022 CGU Tuzo Wilson Award, and I want to thank those who made it possible. It means so much to me to carry out this meaningful work and remain dedicated to the science and research,” says Philippe Van Cappellen.

Philippe has made cross-disciplinary breakthroughs in reactive transport modelling and insights into biogeochemical processes in environmental systems.

His impact is demonstrated not only by his extensive publication record (H-index 82, >260 publications, total citations >22,000) but also by the translation of his advances to guide natural resource management and environmental remediation; his contributions to community leadership; and his significant efforts to train and develop the next generation of diverse, interdisciplinary environmental scientists.

Philippe served as co-Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Hydrology and led the International Society for Environmental Biogeochemistry from 2018 to 2020. He has (co-)organized large international meetings, including the 2009 Goldschmidt Conference and the 1st International Conference on Water Security in 2018. He is active on many scientific advisory boards, in Canada, US, EU, China and for UNESCO. Philippe chaired the selection committee for the 2020 Science Innovation Award of the European Association of Geochemistry. In recent years, he has been actively promoting open data in the environmental sciences and enabling citizen scientists and indigenous communities to collect and manage water quality data. 

Philippe holds a PhD in Geochemistry from Yale University, and a BSc and MSc Geology and Mineralogy from Free University of Brussels, Belgium.

The CGU will formally present Philippe with the award during an upcoming CGU annual meeting.