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Simon Mudd (2014)

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The 2014 Gordon Warwick Medal for ‘early career’ excellence in geomorphological research is awarded to Dr Simon Mudd (Edinburgh) for his leading role in advancing our understanding of how physical and geochemical processes interact to shape the Earth’s hillslopes, combining insightful theory with carefully designed field studies.

Dr Mudd was presented with his award byBSG President Ken Gregory at the BSGAnnual Conference at the University of Manchester (1st – 3rd September 2014).

Simon Mudd is currently Reader in Landscape Dynamics in the School of Geosciences at the University of Edinburgh following his PhD in 2006 from Vanderbilt University. He has combined admirable spirit and creativity in pursuing, head on, difficult questions concerning how biological and geochemical processes interact with physical processes during the production, transport, and deposition of soil and sediment — including mineral and biotic constituents — on hillslopes, with an overarching theme of revealing how hillslopes and soils record landscape dynamics. His work on this topic was effectively launched with two papers in Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface. The first, in 2004, concerning the influence of chemical denudation on hillslope forms, outlines the first-order effects of chemical losses and concludes that the catena must reflect the combined effects of chemical processes and downslope mechanical transport while, in 2006, he provided a novel formulation of how the coupled physical-geochemical dynamics of hillslopes lead to systematic variations in soil-particle properties, including their composition, age and weatherability. Simon’s subsequent work, now of 34 papers, builds on this theme, and represents an intellectual progression that nicely unfolds the many layers of this problem. Together with colleagues, notably involving collaborations with Kyungsoo Yoo, Simon has brought increasingly sophisticated, and creative, ideas and tools to bear on understanding how physical and geochemical processes interact to shape Earth’s hillslopes and influence the evolution of soil regolith material. He is highly deserving of the Gordon Warwick Medal and is very much the type of geomorphologist who would have been greatly admired by Gordon Warwick.

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