Professor Pierre Friedlingstein has received a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award.

Exeter Climate Scientist secures distinguished national science award

A world-leading climate scientist from the University of Exeter has been honoured with a prestigious national science award.

Professor Pierre Friedlingstein, from the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences has been bestowed with a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award.

He is one of just 14 scientists nationwide to be awarded the honour, in recognition of his outstanding research entitled Earth System biogeochemical feedbacks, climate targets and emissions mitigation.

Professor Friedlingstein, from Exeter’s Mathematics department, said he was “privileged, flattered and thrilled” to be given the influential award. He said: “I am delighted and feel extremely honoured to receive such a prestigious award from the Royal Society.”

Professor Friedlingstein is Chair in Mathematical Modelling of Climate Systems, and his research focuses on the field of global carbon cycle and global biogeochemical cycles. More specifically, he is interested in the interactions between the climate system and the biogeochemical cycles over time scales ranging from glacial interglacial to future IPCC-like projections.

The research for which he received his award  focuses on biogeochemical feedbacks and how they will affect carbon emission reduction needed to keep future global warming at no more than two degrees Celsius. This target is now almost universally accepted as a safe limit.

Professor Friedlingstein is the third University of Exeter mathematician to secure a Wolfson Merit Award this year, alongside Professor Peter Cox and Professor Geoff Vallis.

Professor Ken Evans, Dean of the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences said: “I am delighted that Pierre has been bestowed with this honour, it is richly deserved. It reflects not only Pierre’s continued, outstanding work into the crucial area of climate research, but also the world-class research taking place within the College.

“Pierre is the third colleague in this year alone to have been given a Wolfson Merit Award, which is testament to the work we do here as a team.  We are all delighted that he has received this considerable honour.”

The Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award is jointly funded by the Wolfson Foundation and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

It aims to provide universities with additional support to enable them to attract science talent from overseas and retain respected UK scientists of outstanding achievement and potential.

The newly appointed award holders are working on a wide range of projects including medical imaging, climate change and string theory.

The Wolfson Foundation is a grant-making charity established in 1955. Funding is given to support excellence. More information is available from its website.

Date: 29 August 2014

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