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News Release - Queen's University researcher John Smol earns honours from the Royal Canadian Institute for Science

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

KINGSTON - Queen’s University researcher John Smol has been selected as this year’s recipient of the 2018 Sandford Fleming Medal for outstanding communication of science to the public.

Since 1982, the Royal Canadian Institute for Science has awarded the Fleming Medal to a Canadian who has made outstanding contributions to the public understanding of science.

Dr. Smol has built his career in the sub-discipline of paleolimnology, examining lakebed sediments for a glimpse into the Earth’s past. Within the sediment layers paleolimnologists are able to track the effects of climate change, human impacts, and natural processes long before historic recordkeeping began – all of which may hold the secrets to our environmental future.

Currently, Dr. Smol and colleagues are examining how they can help answer questions posed by conservation biologists, like those focused on vulnerable fish and seabird populations, amongst many other applications.

A main component of the award is teaching science not only to academics and students but to decision makers and the general public, all of whom should be aware of the critically important changes in the world’s environment.

In keeping with that theme, Dr. Smol attributes much of his career successes to younger limnologists and students who have added to his work. “The real credit for this medal goes to an amazing group of current and past students, post-doctoral fellows, and staff” says Dr. Smol. “Over 100 graduates have passed through my lab thus far, and I hope many more still will. I have benefitted greatly from their hard work and ideas, and their successes remain my proudest achievement. It convinces me daily that the future for limnology is very bright.”

For more information visit the website.

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Anne Craig, Media Relations Officer

613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca

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