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Bristol academics win Wolfson Merit awards

13 September 2011

Two Bristol academics, in Chemistry and Earth Sciences, respectively, have won coveted Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Awards in the latest funding round.

Professor Rich Pancost, a member of the Organic Geochemistry Unit in the School of Chemistry, has won an award to study ‘The response of hydrological and biogeochemical cycles to past global warming.’ The project will exploit cutting-edge geochemical techniques and build on collaborations across the Faculty of Science and in the Cabot Institute to determine how extreme warmth in the past affected climate and biogeochemical systems. This work will focus on developing new methodologies and applying them to globally widespread sites deposited from 30 to 70 million years ago, but it will also have implications for predicting the impact of future global warming. The project will commence in August and last for five years.

Professor Jon Blundy in the School of Earth Sciences has won an award for a project on ‘Magmatic differentiation in the Earth's crust’. The project will use a combination of fieldwork, geochemistry, geophysics, petrology and numerical modelling to understand the processes and timescales over which Earth’s continental crust has formed. Work will focus on two contrasted modern examples of crust generation: the Lesser Antilles volcanic arc in the Caribbean and the Afar Rift of northern Ethiopia. The project will commence in September and last for five years.

The Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award scheme aims to provide universities with additional support to enable them to attract to this country, or to retain, respected scientists of outstanding achievement and potential. It covers all areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering, but excluding clinical medicine, and is jointly funded by the Wolfson Foundation and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and administered by the Royal Society.

The Wolfson Foundation is a grant-making charity established in 1955. Funding is given to support excellence.

Further information

The Royal Society is the UK’s national academy of science. Founded in 1660, the Society has three roles, as a provider of independent scientific advice, as a learned Society, and as a funding agency.
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