ARC researcher won the 2017 Alexander McKay Hammer Award

Nick Golledge

The 2017 Alexander McKay Hammer – the premier award of Geosciences New Zealand – has gone to Associate Professor Nick Golledge for the most meritorious contribution to geology published in the previous three calendar years. During the nomination period of 2014-2016, Nick published 24 papers dealing primarily with modelling of the Antarctic ice sheet, all in quality science journals including Nature, Nature Climate Change, and Nature Communications. The papers’ co-authorships reveal a high level of collaboration that involves local and overseas scientists.

Nick joined the Antarctic Research Centre in 2009, initially on a 3-year Research Fellowship to expand the Centre’s Antarctic ice sheet modelling capability. Nick took up this challenge following his PhD at the University of Edinburgh focused on the glacial history of the United Kingdom, and subsequent years employed as a glacial geologist at the British Geological Survey. He set to work building a high-performance computing capability in the Victoria University’s Faculty of Science and the School of Engineering and Computer Science.

Nick’s science helps fill an important gap in New Zealand’s geoscience. As a nation, we have an excellent record in the international paleo-environmental community. However, we have lacked in applying past environmental reconstructions to improve future projections of change via numerical models. This is where Nick steps in. He provides realistic simulations that employ the paleo–record to help determine future outcomes of prolonged change under natural and anthropogenic forcings. Nick is also a world leader with only a handful of other groups undertaking this type of paleo-calibrated ice sheet modelling world-wide. As well as being remarkably productive Nick also received a Rutherford Fellowship and was an AI on a successful RSNZ Marsden Fund in 2015.