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Geosciences professor, François Morel, wins Chinese Academy of Sciences Award


On May 18, Princeton University Professor François MM Morel visited the Institute of Urban Environment (IUE), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Yong-Guan Zhu, director of the institute awarded him the “Einstein Chair Professorship.”


Professor Morel expressed his thanks and gave a lecture entitled "CO2 in the Oceans and Atmosphere: Global Processes and Molecular Mechanisms". The talk highlighted various molecular to global scale aspects of the intertwined nature and role of nutrient limitation, iron bioavailability, and the efficiency of photosynthesis and CO2 fixation in controlling the growth of marine phytoplankton in oceanic surface waters, as well as how ocean acidification associated with rising atmospheric CO2 levels may impact these. The talk and subsequent questions from researchers and students were characterized by an atmosphere of enthusiasm and academic exchange. This is the second “Einstein Chair Professorship” of CAS awarded to a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S. through IUE. James Tiedje of the United States was awarded last year.


François M. M. Morel, Professor of Geosciences, is a member of the U. S. National Academy of Sciences. He has received the C.C.Patterson Medal, is a fellow of the United States Guggenheim Foundation, and the American Geophysical Union. He has received the AGU Maurice Ewing Medal, and the European Association for Geochemistry, Urey Medal. This year he also received the award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology from the American Chemical Society, and was elected to the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettre ed Arti. Morel has also served on the editorial boards of internationally famous journals among them; Environmental Microbiology, Biogeochemistry, Geobiology, Aquatic Sciences.


Professor Morel's research focuses on the biogeochemical cycling of trace metals, including the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in metal uptake, utilization, and homeostasis. His work has lead to important contributions in the areas of mercury methylation by bacteria, novel uses of cadmium by marine phytoplankton, and various aspects of biological carbon fixation in the ocean. He has published more than 180 scientific articles and book chapters, including many published in Science and Nature, which have been cited more than 12,000 times in the scientific literature. Presented "Einstein Professorship"certificate

 to François M. M. Morel.