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Edwin Baynes (2018)

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The 2018 Dick Chorley Medal and Prize for postgraduate research goes to Dr Edwin Baynes. Edwin was extremely dedicated to his PhD project and showed great autonomy, rigour, initiative and imagination over the full length of the PhD. He did not specialise in one particular aspect of his project but instead thought about the problems he had to solve and shopped around for techniques that could bring answers to the research questions, many of which he was not familiar with. After three field seasons in Iceland and months spent preparing samples for dating at the German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam, Edwin produced very exciting results that featured in the nominated paper (Baynes, E.R.C., Attal, M., Niedermann, S., Kirstein, L.A., Dugmore, A.J., and Naylor, M., 2015, Erosion during extreme flood events dominates Holocene canyon evolution in North-East Iceland. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112, 8, 2355-2360, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1415443112). This contribution is unique as it uses a novel technique (3He concentration in basalt had never been used to date the abandonment of river beds) to highlight the importance and legacy of extreme events in shaping terrestrial landscapes. The paper was highlighted in a series of media outlets: BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-31356229), Science, Wired.co.uk, The Herald Scotland, Phys.org, Science Daily, Earth Magazine and The Weather Channel. Edwin also had a very nice 20-minute interview about his project on Radio New Zealand National.

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