The following outlines the BSG’s annual awards, including past winners.

Do you think you know someone who could be nominated for one of our awards?  Keep an eye out for the nomination window and details of what you need to apply.

Please note, only members of the BSG can nominate a colleague for an award.  Not a member?  Check out the benefits of becoming a member here, and click ‘Register’ to join the society.

 

The David Linton Award

The David Linton Award is given to a geomorphologist who has made a leading contribution to the discipline over a sustained period. The winner will receive a Medal and is invited to present the Linton Lecture, which is one of the central elements of the BSG Annual General Meeting.

Nominations are drawn together for the selection process in January each year and should be submitted by the end of December of the preceding year. In the nomination form you need to include the details of nominee (name, email and institution), a section outlining their key contributions and a statement of nomination (maximum 2000 characters).

Applications are assessed  and ranked independently by the members of the Research sub-committee and  then collectively discussed in the February/March sub-committee meeting to decide which nominations are to be awarded. These are then taken to the Executive Committee for ratification.

Strong applications clearly demonstrate the sustained impact of the applicant on the geomorphological community; this can be based on publications, the enhancement of knowledge, policy or wider outreach activities and/or mentoring and development. Each  application is judged on their individual merit within  the field.

Unsuccessful nominations will be carried forward for a maximum of two further years, if (i) the Research Committee deems them to be of a sufficiently high calibre to be competitive in future years and (ii) the nominee remains eligible for the Award.

Professor Colin Woodroffe

Citation: Described in 2021 by Professor Ted Spencer, Director of the Coastal Research Unit at Cambridge University, as “…the world’s leading coastal geomorphologist”, Colin Woodroffe has published over 265 refereed published papers and published 12 books and monographs including “Coasts: form, process and evolution” (2003), the leading textbook globally in coastal geomorphology (~950 citations, held in 320 UK/USA libraries), “Quaternary sea-level change” (Murray-Wallace and Woodroffe, 2012) and, the widely used, “Coastal evolution” (1994) (Carter and Woodroffe, eds). His diverse research includes barrier islands, volcanic islands, estuaries, mangrove forests, temperate wetlands and coral reefs over globally diverse locations including the Caribbean (the focus of his PhD), Australasia, SE Asia, and Pacific and Indian Oceans, with sea level rise reconstructions over Quaternary and contemporary timescales. His foci have been on northern Australian Holocene ‘big swamps’, mangrove environments, carbon sequestration in wetlands, ‘micro-atolls’ on coral reef platforms for reconstructing recent sea level changes, also leading oceanographic cruises in the Tasman Sea. Following a near-fatal accident in 1994, he reskilled in RS, GIS, LiDAR and UAVs of coastal environments. Colin is also one of only a few geomorphologists to engage with the IPCC directly as a lead author for IPCC AR4, thereby sharing the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize (with Al Gore and the rest of the IPCC members). Awarded the prestigious R.J. Russell Award (for excellence in coastal geomorphology by the Association of American Geographers in 2012) he is currently Chair of the IGU Commission on Coastal Systems and was on the Scientific Steering Committee of Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal zone (LOICZ), a core project of the IGBP. Now a member of the Future Earth Coasts Academy and has convened contributions to the United Nations World Ocean Assessment. Colin has made a sustained and enormous contribution towards the science of coastal geomorphology and is a highly deserving recipient of the Linton Award.

  • Andrew Brook (2022)
  • Lynne Frostick (2021)
  • Ellen Wohl (2020)
  • Tavi Murray (2019)
  • Herve Piegay (2018)
  • Tim Burt (2017)
  • Jean Poesen (2016)
  • Keith Richards (2015)
  • Jonathan Phillips (2014)
  • Gerald Nanson (2013)
  • Angela Gurnell (2012)
  • John Lewin (2011)
  • Adrian Harvey (2010)
  • Andrew Goudie (2009)
  • Tom Dunne (2008)
  • Des Walling (2007)
  • Bill Dietrich (2006)
  • Rob Ferguson (2005)
  • David Sugden (2004)
  • Olav Slaymaker (2003)
  • Athol Abrahams (2002)
  • Michael Thomas (2001)
  • William Graf (2000)
  • Ken Gregory (1999)
  • John Thornes (1998)
  • Asher Schick (1997)
  • Michael Church (1996)
  • Vic Baker (1995)
  • M. Gordon Wolman (1994)
  • Denys Brunsden (1993)
  • Frank Oldfield (1992)
  • C.A.M. King (1991)
  • George H. Dury (1990)
  • Mike Kirkby (1989)
  • E.H. Brown (1988)
  • J De Ploey (1987)
  • Luna B. Leopold (1986)
  • Leszek Starkel (1985)
  • R.J. Chorley (1984)
  • J.R.L. Allen (1983)
  • Stanley Schumm (1982)
  • R.A. Bagnold (1981)

The Gordon Warwick Award

The Gordon Warwick Award is made annually for excellence in geomorphological research by someone within 15 years of being awarded their doctorate (i.e. time since graduation). The winner will receive a Medal and is invited to present the Gordon Warwick Lecture, which is one of the central elements of the BSG Annual General Meeting.

Nominations are drawn together for the selection process in January each year and should be submitted by the end of December of the preceding year. In the nomination form you need to include the details of nominee (name, month/year PhD awarded, email and institution), a section outlining their key publications and a statement of nomination (maximum 2000 characters).

Applications are assessed  and ranked independently by the members of the Research sub-committee and  then collectively discussed in the February/March sub-committee meeting to decide which nominations are to be awarded. These are then taken to the Executive Committee for ratification.

Strong applications clearly demonstrate the impact of the applicant on geomorphological research; this is through both high quality publications and developing understanding in their field of geomorphology. Consideration may also be given to the nominees wider external esteem (such as contribution to expert panels and policy, editor roles, mentorship etc.)..

Unsuccessful nominations will be carried forward for a maximum of two further years, if (i) the Research Committee deems them to be of a sufficiently high calibre to be competitive in future years and (ii) the nominee remains eligible for the Award.

Dr Louise Slater

Citation: Louise is an outstanding researcher who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to the field of geomorphology, revolutionizing our understanding of the critical role of geomorphology in changing flood hazard and risk across rivers in the UK, Europe and the continental United States. As such her work has placed geomorphology ‘on the map’ and has reach that extends beyond geomorphology into hydrology also. Her research focuses on understanding and predicting changes in floods and fluvial systems in the context of shifts in climate and land cover. Her work combines statistical and computational methods in a highly rigorous manner, using data-driven methods to disentangle the different drivers of flooding and fluvial change across a variety of climates and land use types. Using Earth Observation and ensemble Climate Model predictions Louise also develops probabilistic forecasts to assess how floods and fluvial systems change over daily to decadal timescales. She has a keen interest in data science and in developing new, interdisciplinary methods for understanding and projecting fluvial and hydro-climatic change.

Louise would be a worthy recipient of the Warwick Award based only on the outstanding quality of her research, which has real impact in addressing issues facing society today, but she is also an outwards-facing and collegial individual who is also helping to shape her discipline through a number of service roles. She has been the Editor of ‘Hydrology and Earth System Sciences’ since 2017 and was the Outreach Secretary for our British Society for Geomorphology from 2017 to 2020. Louise is also highly regarded for her work as an academic mentor and as a great role model and advocate for women in science. She makes her students feel interested, capable, and appreciated, and always finds time to help others, giving thoughtful, thorough, and insightful feedback.

She serves as an outstanding example of someone who conducts research to the highest standards while simultaneously ensuring that she ‘pays forward’ through her outstanding mentorship of individuals within her group and, as such, is a model recipient of the Warwick Award.

  • Rebecca Hodge (2022)
  • Bethan Davies (2021)
  • Joe Wheaton (2020)
  • Walter Bertoldi (2019)
  • Larissa Naylor (2018)
  • Martin Austin (2017)
  • Doug Jerolmack (2016)
  • Kirstie Fryirs (2015)
  • Simon Mudd (2014)
  • Chris Stokes (2013)
  • Dimitri Lague (2012)
  • Joe Holden (2011)
  • Dan Parsons (2010)
  • Ian Candy (2009)
  • Kristof Van Oost (2008)
  • Niels Hovius (2007)
  • Tom Coulthard (2006)
  • Stephen Tooth (2005)
  • Jo Bullard (2004)
  • David Nash (2003)
  • Andrew Nicholas (2002)
  • David Higgitt (2001)
  • Tavi Murray (2000)
  • John Wainwright (1999)
  • J.J. McDonell (1998)
  • Tim Quine (1997)
  • Gerard Govers (1996)
  • J.R. French (1995)
  • J Best (1994)
  • Mark Macklin (1993)
  • John Dearing (1992)
  • Kenneth Pye (1991)
  • M. Sharp (1990)
  • J.S. Walder (1988)
  • Colin Ballantyne (1987)
  • Bill Dietrich (1986)

The Dick Chorley Award

One of Dick Chorley’s lasting contributions to geomorphology lies in the post-graduate students whom he inspired and guided at the start of their academic careers. Many have gone on to academic careers themselves, and include several of the leading figures in British geomorphology. In recognition of Dick’s commitment to serving the future of the discipline, the BSG has decided to honour his memory by creating the Dick Chorley Medal and Prize (£500) for Postgraduate Research.

The award is made for a published paper based on PhD research, where the nominee is expected to be the first author. Nominees should be within 4 years of their PhD award at the time of nomination. The winner will receive a Medal and is invited to present the Dick Chorley Lecture, which is one of the central elements of the BSG Annual General Meeting.

Nominations are drawn together for the selection process in January each year and should be submitted by the end of December of the preceding year. In the nomination form you need to include the details of nominee (name, month/year of PhD, email and institution PhD was awarded at), details of the nominated publication (included a PDF copy to upload) and a statement of nomination (maximum 2000 characters).

Applications are assessed  and ranked independently by the members of the Research sub-committee and  then collectively discussed in the February/March sub-committee meeting to decide which nominations are to be awarded. These are then taken to the Executive Committee for ratification.

Strong applications clearly demonstrate the geomorphological significance of the nominated paper; the nominee must be the first author of the publication and where there is evidence of the nominee showing research independence and clear leadership of the research will be viewed favourably.

Unsuccessful nominations will be carried forward for a maximum of two further years, if (i) the Research Committee deems them to be of a sufficiently high calibre to be competitive in future years and (ii) the nominee remains eligible for the Award.

Awarded to the paper by Carmine Donatelli:

Donatelli, C., Zhang, X., Ganju, N.K., Aretxabaleta, A.L., Fagherazzi, S. and Leonardi, N. (2020), A nonlinear relationship between marsh size and sediment trapping capacity compromises salt marshes’ stability, Geology, 48, 966-970. (DOI: 10.1130/G47131.1)

Citation: Carmine Donatelli’s paper addresses the important issue of the relationship between marsh size, sediment trapping capacity and marsh stability. Salt marshes offer sustainable coastal protection solutions and several ecosystem co-benefits including carbon sequestration and are increasingly recognized as important environments for the sheltering of coastal communities from storms. A key issue of concern is whether or not salt marshes will survive accelerated sea-level rise with current levels of sediment supply from rivers and the coastal ocean. Unfortunately, previous work considering this issue has not considered the potential feedback between salt marsh extent and the overall sediment availability in back-barrier estuaries, a limitation that is addressed by this work. Dr Donatelli’s work shows the existence of a positive feedback between marsh size and the ability of the whole tidal system to trap sediment inputs, suggesting previous studies overestimate marsh ability to actively resist the deleterious effects of sea-level rise. To make this breakthrough, Dr Donatelli employed a numerical model across six tidal inlet/basin systems in US and an exploratory model approach to unravel the largescale effects induced by salt marsh loss in shallow estuaries. The paper has already been highly cited (as of March 2023 it ranks within the top 10% of all publications in the same discipline and same date of publication, according to SCOPUS, with a field-weighted citation index of 2.17).

  • Zacchary Larkin (2022)
  •  Alvise Finotello (2021)
  • Duna Roda-Boulda (2020)
  • Nico Batz (2019)
  • Edwin Baynes (2018)
  • Virginia Ruiz-Villanueva (2017)
  • Jeremy Ely (2016)
  • Michelle Johnson (2015)
  • Ann Rowan (2014)
  • Victoria Milner (2013)
  • Elisa Vignaga (2012)
  • Ian Thrasher (2010)
  • Tibi Codilean (2009)
  • Alex Whittaker (2008)
  • Keith Richardson (2007)

Fiona Kirkby Award

These awards are made upon recommendation by the BSG’s Journal Earth Surface Processes and Landforms (ESPL) Board as a tribute to Fiona Kirkby, who was the Assistant Editor of ESPL from 1978 to 2019. They recognise outstanding contribution to the journal by reviewers. ESPL is, of course, very fortunate to have an extremely large number of excellent reviewers. But, occasionally, we see reviewers who go the extra kilometre in supporting our authors in publishing the very best geomorphological research and want to recognise this.

This years award winners are:

  • Katy Burrows, Geosciences Environment Toulouse, France
  • Rebecca Hodge, Durham University, UK
  • Evan Miles, WSL, Switzerland
  • Steffen Mischke, University of Iceland, Iceland
  • Annette Patton, University of Oregon, USA
  • Simon Stephenson, University of Oxford, UK
  • Daniel White , Colorado State University, USA
  • Vincent Godard, Aix-Marseille Université, France

2022:

  • Dr. Rachel Bosch, Northern Kentucky University, USA
  • Dr. Christine Fey, University of Natural Resources, Vienna, Austria
  • Dr. Sarah Greenwood,Department of Geological Sciences, University of Stockholm, Sweden
  • Dr. Guillaume Piton, INRAE, University of Grenoble, France
  • Dr. Anne Sofie Søndergaard, Institute of Physics, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
  • Dr. Wei Wang, Institute of Geology, China Earthquake Administration, China
  • Dr. Laure Guerit,Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, France
  • Dr. John Mylroie, Mississippi State University, Geosciences, USA

2021: Jamie Woodward, University of Leeds

2020: Dr. Katie Whitbread, British Geological Survey

Mike Kirkby Award

The Mike Kirkby award is given to the best paper published in the BSG’s Journal Earth Surface Processes and Landforms (ESPL), as decided by the ESPL editorial board. The paper is selected from the volume of the journal for the given year of the Award.

Awarded to the paper by Edwin Baynes:
Baynes, E.R.C., Lague,D., Steer, P., Davy, P., (2022) ‘Dynamic bedrock channel width during knickpoint retreat enhances undercutting of coupled hillslopes”. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.5477.

Citation:The Michael J Kirkby Award 2022 for the best paper published in Volume 47 of Earth Surface Processes and Landforms is made to Dr. Edwin Baynes and colleagues for the paper entitled: ” Dynamic bedrock channel width during knickpoint retreat enhances undercutting of coupled hillslopes ». The coupling between rivers and hillslopes has been a thematic that has long interested geomorphologists. This paper designs and applies a suite of novel physical experiments to show that lateral channel erosion in response to the passage of knickpoints, and not only vertical elevation changes, is a crucial driver of hillslope instability. As such the paper makes a major contribution to our understanding of transience geomorphic response to climate change and tectonics, especially in the context of how feedbacks between hillslopes and rivers moderate the transmission of the signals of external drivers from source to sink.

  • Rebekah Harries (2022)
  • Olivia Steinemann et al (2021)
  • Catriona Thompson (2020)
  • Joanmarie Del Vecchio (2019)
  • Bradley Johnson (2018)
  • Stuart Grieve (2017)
  • Herve Guillon (2016)
  • Liran Goren (2015)
  • Clifford Riebe and Darryl Granger (2014)
  • Sebastian Doetteri (2013)
  • Gary Parker (2012)
  • Peter Haff (2011)
  • Walter Bertoldi (2010)
  • Richard Hindmarsh and Chris Stokes (2009)
  • Paul Bishop (2008)

The Marjorie Sweeting Dissertation Prize

The Marjorie Sweeting Dissertation Prize is awarded annually for the best undergraduate geomorphological dissertation (no higher than Level 6) undertaken at a UK university.

The nomination deadline is September 30th every year.

Entries are invited for this annual competition. Applications are assessed by the BSG Outreach and Education sub-committee.

The award (£200 plus funded attendance at the BSG Annual Conference) is presented to the successful nominee at the Annual General Meeting.

Full details of the nomination criteria can be found here.

Awarded to Tamsin Carpenter for their dissertation: ‘Assessing the response of proglacial channel morphology to glacier retreat at Kötlujökull, Iceland’ completed while at the University of Edinburgh.

Citation: Tamsin’s study evaluates the influence of terminus and thickness changes to Kötlujökull glacier, South Iceland, on morphological evolution of the Sandvatn and Múlakvísl Rivers from 1984-2021. The study found significant decreases in number of active channels and braided morphology with glacier retreat across the study period, indicating the importance of increases in meltwater volume, sediment exposure and associated incisional power, channel transport capacity and distal deposition from Kötlujökull on proglacial channel planform as well as the influence of rocky outcrops and artificial structures. This rich, highly original, well-written and well-illustrated dissertation is a robust and comprehensive analysis of geomorphological change in the study area, and is fully deserving of the award.

  • Tom Cockbain (2022)
  • Jennelle Anderson (2021)
  • Aaron Wyld (2020)
  • Jessica Kitch (2019)
  • Natasha Wallum (2018)
  • Caitlin Curry (2017)
  •  James Cave (2016)
  • Hannah Mallinson (2015)
  • Benjamin Chandler (2014)
  • Emma Washington (2013)
  • Barnaby Bedford (2012)
  • Chris Checkley (2011)
  • Sophie Brown (2010)
  • Alexander Lane (2009)
  • Sally Tyldesley (2009)
  • Ellen Flint (2008)
  • Helen Miller (2008)

Bernie Smith Award for Best Postgraduate Poster and Talk

Bernie Smith’s enduring impact on geomorphology is evident through the post-graduate students he mentored and inspired. In tribute to Bernie’s dedication to fostering the discipline’s future, the BSG has chosen to commemorate his legacy by establishing the Bernie Smith Postgraduate Award linked to the BSG Annual General Meeting every year.

The Bernie Smith Postgraduate Awards are given to the best poster and talk by a postgraduate at the BSG Annual General Meeting.

Want to nominate someone for an award?

Only members of the BSG can nominate a colleague for an award – not a member? Click here, and click ‘Register’ to join the society

All nominees must be in compliance with BSG Conflict of Interest policy outlined here.

Process for nomination:

  1. On the BSG website go into “My Account” and you will see the  “Award Nominations” section listed on the left-hand panel.
  2. Select this and it will show the Awards that are open for nomination.
  3. You will be asked to supply details of the nominee (including their institution and email address) and a 2000 character statement of nomination – specific requirements for each award is detailed in the individual award categories.

The deadline for nominations is 31 December each year.

BSG Awards 2025 nominations now open!

The deadline for nominations for the BSG 2025 Awards is 31 December 2024.

Members please log into the BSG website and go to “My Account” now to nominate someone!