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Professor François Morel awarded Carnegie Mellon Dickson prize

Francois Morel Portrait

The 2013 Carnegie Mellon Dickson prize has been awarded to Geosciences professor François Morel. Carnegie Mellon University annually presents the award to individuals who make outstanding contributions to sciences on behalf of a fund endowed by Dr. Joseph Z. Dickson, a Pittsburgh physician, and his wife, Agnes Fisher Dickson. Morel will receive this award for his contributions to understanding the biological and chemical processes that influence marine ecosystems. More specifically his research explores the interactions between the chemistry and microbiology of aquatic systems, focusing particularly on the transformations, bioavailability and biogeochemical roles of trace metals such as iron, zinc, cadmium and mercury.


Morel earned both a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics and a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Grenoble in France. In 1971, he obtained a Ph.D. in engineering sciences from Caltech. He spent 20 years at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT before coming to Princeton’s Geosciences department in 1994.  Morel also teaches in the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Chemistry. He is on the executive committee at the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) and is among  the faculty members participating in the Grand Challenges Program, a novel program that seeks to integrate research and teaching to address complex environmental challenges with scientific, technical, and policy dimensions.

The award will be presented to Professor Morel at the annual Dickson Prize Lecture on Monday, March 4, 2013 at Carnegie Mellon University, McConomy Auditorium, starting at 4:30 p.m.  Morel will discuss how the acidification of seawater that results form the dissolution of anthropogenic CO2 can affect marine organisms and ocean ecosystems.


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