• The Dodson prize 2014 is awarded to:

    Dr Oscar Lovera
    University of California, Los Angeles, USA

    Oscar Lovera’s work on conceptualising and quantifying diffusion within natural real samples stimulated much scientific endeavour and thought about diffusion and how it could be measured and modelled. This work was the first serious quantitative divergence from Martin Dodson’s fundamental work in the 1970’s, which introduced the closure temperature conceptualisation of thermochronometry. While Dodson had emphasized bulk closure temperature in his classic 1973 paper, the potential to relate internal argon isotopic distributions imaged via 40Ar/39Ar step-heating experiments with closure theory was tantalizing but limited by the fact that the surface of a cooling solid only closed after infinite time. Oscar recognized the opportunity to use Duhamel's theorem to transcend this problem, leading to his landmark 1989 paper “40Ar/39Ar geothermometry for slowly cooled samples having a distribution of diffusion domain sizes”.
    The significance of this leap in understanding is emphasised by a comment by Martin Dodson himself, who as a reviewer of the paper had been highly critical of the derivation, but later wrote to Oscar saying “I had not recognized professional mathematics when I saw it”. Significantly, Oscar Lovera’s work made a fundamental step forward in experimental design as well as theory through laying the groundwork and logic for the reverse-temperature cycling experiments commonly used to establish diffusion kinetics today. His multi-domain diffusion (MDD) modelling approach, which is considerably grounded in mathematics, has a satisfying resonance with Martin Dodson’s early work and it prompted a resurgence of interest in and the applicability of quantitative thermochronometry. Notwithstanding his other diverse research interests, Oscar Lovera’s work in our field has contributed significantly to modern approaches to conducting thermochronometry analyses and extracting quantitative thermal history information from the data.

    This prize is in honour of, and is named after, Martin Dodson, the pioneer of quantitative thermochronology, who died at age 78 on 27th June 2010. The prize is awarded on behalf of the thermochronology community by the International Standing Committee on Thermochronology to a person who has made an extraordinary contribution, in any way, to the field of thermochronology and/or to the international community of thermochronologists.

    Cliff, B., and M. Wilson (2010), Martin Dodson (1932–2010), Eos Trans. AGU, 91(45), 418–419, doi:10.1029/2010EO450002.

    The Laslett prize 2014 is awarded to:

    Professor Andrew John Ward Gleadow

    University of Melbourne, Australia

    Andrew Gleadow has made an extraordinary contribution to the field of fission-track thermochronology sustained over more than 35 years. Arguably his most fundamental work was that which first recognised, and quantified, the importance of measuring track lengths as the key to understanding the significance of a fission-track age and the thermal history of a sample. He also made major contributions to the early experiments that established the most appropriate and practical system calibration approach and sample preparation protocols. These included the crucial move to using automated stages and microscope systems. He also led and supervised progress with systematic and quantitative laboratory-scale annealing studies in tandem with natural annealing experiments using deeply buried samples from the Otway basin in Australia.
    This pioneering work paved the way for extracting quantitative thermal histories and the introduction of the technique as a routinely used tool within the hydrocarbon exploration industry, which lead to the creation of the first commercial fission-track analysis company. His work has impacted across an extraordinarily broad field including basin analysis, geomorphology, orogenic and extensional tectonics, human evolution and geochronology to name a few. Most recently his work in automation of fission-track data collection has led the way in pioneering new and powerful approaches in thermochronology. He has also been, and still is, tireless in promoting the power, robustness and applicability of the technique and ensuring that it was seen as a reliable analytical methodology, a task that took substantial energy in the 1970-80’s in particular. The many graduate students and postdoctoral researchers that he mentored are widely distributed around the world and most are still active and productive within the field of thermochronology.

    This prize is in honour of, and is named after, Geoff Laslett, a pioneer of quantitative fission-track analysis and an outstanding scientist and statistician, who died on 9th January 2010. The prize is awarded on behalf of the thermochronology community by the International Standing Committee on Thermochronology to a person who has made an extraordinary contribution to the field of fission track thermochronology.