Philippe Van Cappellen Named 2021 American Geophysical Union Fellow

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Philippe[WATERLOO, ON] — Philippe Van Cappellen, Professor, Faculty of Science, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Canada Excellence Research Chair Laureate in Ecohydrology, has been elected as an American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) Fellow.

Since 1962, the AGU Union Fellows Committee has selected less than 0.1% of members as new Fellows. The AGU, a non-profit organization that supports 130,000 scientists and enthusiasts worldwide in earth, atmospheric, ocean, hydrologic, space, and planetary sciences, annually recognizes a select number of individuals as part of its Honors and Recognition program. Philippe joins 59 colleagues in the 2021 Class of Fellows.

Philippe was selected as an AGU Fellow in recognition of his outstanding contributions to earth and hydrologic sciences. His work embodies AGU’s vision of a thriving, sustainable, and equitable future powered by discovery, innovation, and action. Equally important is that Philippe has conducted his research and teaching with integrity and respect while valuing collaboration, diversity, and outreach.

“It is a distinct honor to be named American Geophysical Union Fellow,” said Van Cappellen. It only deepens my resolve as a scientist to foster closer public engagement with the grand environmental challenges of our time.” 

Philippe is an exceptionally creative and productive international scholar who has pioneered cross-disciplinary breakthroughs in reactive transport modeling and insights about biogeochemical processes in environmental systems. He is a gifted mentor and teacher and a dedicated citizen of the research community.

His impact is demonstrated not only by his extensive publication record (H-index 79, >260 publications, total citations >20,000), 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 is a pioneer and exceptional leader in the field of ecohydrology. This prestigious AGU Union Fellow award is a well-deserved honor,” said Water Institute executive director Roy Brouwer, professor in the Department of Economics and University of Waterloo Research Chair in Water Resources Economics.

Philippe served for eight years 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 & MSc Geology & Mineralogy, from Free University of Brussels, Belgium.

AGU will formally recognize this year’s recipients during #AGU21 Fall Meeting, 13-17 December 2021 in New Orleans, LA and online everywhere. This celebration is a chance for AGU’s community to recognize the outstanding work of our colleagues and be inspired by their accomplishments and stories. 

AGU ( supports 130,000 enthusiasts to experts worldwide in Earth and space sciences. Through broad and inclusive partnerships, we advance discovery and solution science that accelerate knowledge and create solutions that are ethical, unbiased and respectful of communities and their values. Our programs include serving as a scholarly publisher, convening virtual and in-person events and providing career support. We live our values in everything we do, such as our net zero energy renovated building in Washington, D.C. and our Ethics and Equity Center, which fosters a diverse and inclusive geoscience community to ensure responsible conduct.

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