Dr Heiko Pälike of the University of Southampton’s School of Ocean and Earth Science (SOES) based at National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, has been awarded the prestigious Wollaston Fund, presented by the Geological Society, London, the Learned and Professional Society for Geoscientists in the UK.
The fund has been awarded since 1831 to contributors to the Earth sciences under the age of 40 on the basis of noteworthy published research, and recognises Dr Pälike’s activity in the field of Palaeoceanography and Palaeoclimate, as well as his contributions to the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP).
Heiko Pälike’s main research area is the exploration of climate forcing, by variations of the Earth’s orbit on timescales from thousands to millions of years. Achievements include exploiting the fingerprint of this astronomical metronome to gain further insights into the (palaeo-)climate system, by using material available through the IODP. Dr Pälike’s main focus is the Palaeoceanography of the Paleogene, using stable isotope measurements, and investigating the climate driven evolution of the world’s oceans. In 2009, Dr Pälike was co-chief scientist on an IODP Expedition to the equatorial Pacific, reconstructing the workings of Earth's climate machine during the past 53 million years.
Dr Pälike’s additional aim is to advance the detailed calibration of the Geological Time Scale with astronomically driven climate cycles (‘Milankovitch’ cycles). The ultimate goal is a precise timescale for the entire Cenozoic.
Professor Tim Minshull, Head of SOES comments “I am very pleased that Dr Heiko Pälike's excellent research has been recognised by this prestigious award – it is thoroughly deserved.”