The Raymond L. Lindeman Award honors a scientist of 35 years of age or less for an outstanding peer-reviewed, English-language paper in the aquatic sciences. The Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography has awarded Dr. Hilary G. Close with the 2015 Lindeman Award in recognition of exceptional paper, “Export of submicron particulate organic matter to mesopelagic depth in an oligotrophic gyre,” published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2013. The award will be presented at the 2015 Aquatic Sciences Meeting in Granada, Spain, February 22-29, 2015.
Based on her work in the North Pacific subtropical gyre, Dr. Close’s paper makes important and novel insights into the export of submicron particulate organic matter (POM) into the deep ocean, and has revealed for the first time the necessity of a pathway for this transfer. These findings provide a fundamentally different mechanism of export than previously appreciated, and suggest that the dynamics of picoplankton-derived POM may be of great importance for the marine carbon cycle. Observations and conclusions from this study are likely to have significant implications for the responsiveness of the global carbon cycle to climate change, especially as the ecosystems dominated by picoplankton are expected to expand with warming ocean temperatures.
“Hilary is a terrific scientist and fast becoming an intellectual leader in our efforts to understand how the vast pool of organic carbon and nitrogen affects the ecology and chemistry of global oceans,” said Peter Leavitt, who chaired the ASLO Award Committee. “As shown by her paper, Hilary will be an integral member of the chemical oceanography community for many years to come.”
Dr. Close received her doctoral degree from Harvard University and later served as a Teaching and Graduate Research Fellow and Postdoctoral researcher. In 2012, she was named a SOEST Young Investigator and NOAA Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Hawaii where she is now an Assistant Researcher.