Issue Date: January 22, 2007
Geochemistry Division Medal Goes to Robert Aller
ROBERT C. ALLER, a distinguished professor at the Marine Sciences Research Center at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, will receive the ACS Geochemistry Division Medal, to be awarded at the society's spring national meeting in Chicago.
Aller is a leader in the field of sediment biogeochemistry. He applies both experimental research and mathematical modeling to the problems of geochemistry and biogeochemistry of sediments. His work emphasizes the importance of sediment chemistry on the global carbon budget and nutrient cycling.
Aller has also been a major driving force in understanding coastal processes and chemical weathering. He has shown how the elemental cycles of carbon, manganese, iron, nitrogen, and sulfur are intimately coupled in a variety of ways. His benchmark work demonstrates that major rivers such as the Amazon provide much reactive iron and silicon to the continental shelf.
He has shown that, instead of classic steady deposition controlling the resulting sedimentary reaction patterns, these regions are characterized by unsteady, mobile muds that extend over 100 to 1,000 nautical miles across and along the continental shelf. This work has major implications for global carbon (organic and inorganic) cycling and reverse weathering reactions.
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