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Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal: Annie Kersting

by Linda Wang
January 4, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 1

Sponsor: Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal Endowment

Citation: For seminal contributions to understanding radionuclide behavior in the environment, mentoring students and postdocs, and developing successful education programs in nuclear forensics and environmental radiochemistry.

Current position: director, Glenn T. Seaborg Institute, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Education: B.A., geology and geophysics, University of California, Berkeley; M.S., Ph.D., geology and geophysics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Kersting on her role model:“One of my favorite role models is Marie Curie. She was an amazing woman, and is an inspiration to many scientists, not just women scientists. She was a brilliantly creative scientist, who, through her accomplishments, broke down many barriers for women and made it possible for my generation to have opportunities in science. Her accomplishments were far reaching. She was the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize; she was the first scientist to win two Nobel Prizes; and she also was the first person to win two Nobel Prizes in two different fields, chemistry and physics. Through her accomplishments, she showed us that gender should not limit one’s ability to achieve. She was fearless in her pursuit of scientific discovery; her life has inspired many.”

What her colleagues say:“Dr. Annie Kersting is internationally recognized for research on the fate and transport of plutonium and other actinides in the environment. Her research has transformed our fundamental chemical understanding of migration of plutonium and other contaminants in the biosphere. Specifically, she showed in her seminal paper (Nature 1999, DOI: 10.1038/16231) that plutonium is not immobilized as originally thought, but can be transported on small particulates or colloids.”—Darleane Hoffman, University of California, Berkeley

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