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2012 Muse Prize Fellow to give S.T. Lee Lecture

Dr Steve Rintoul, who was awarded the 2012 Muse Prize for his work on Southern Ocean circulation, will give the 2015 S.T. Lee Lecture in Antarctic Studies at the Victoria University of Wellington on Tuesday 15 September.

The S.T. Lee Lecture in Antarctic Studies was established by Singaporean philanthropist Lee Seng Tee. This high-profile lecture series, held annually, is designed to recognise and bolster the University's strong contribution to Antarctic research.  Previous lecturers include Muse Prize Fellows Prof Steven Chown and Prof Martin Siegert.

Dr Rintoul's lecture is entitled The Fate of the Antarctic Ice Sheet: Lessons from the geological past and how they are informing future predictions.  More information on the lecture is available from the S.T. Lee Lecture website.

Dr Valérie Masson-Delmotte awarded the 2015 Martha T Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica

Dr Valérie Masson-Delmotte has been awarded the 2015 Martha T. Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica for her work on the characterization, quantification and understanding of past changes in climate and water cycle, translating the isotopic data to paleo-temperature records.

Dr Masson has used combinations of the water isotope data to interpret the transport route for the moisture reaching Antarctica and elevation changes of the deep drill sites in Antarctica.  She has an interdisciplinary profile in isotopic geochemistry, glaciology, climate modelling and paleoclimatology. She has also contributed to the paleoclimate chapters of two IPCC reports: as Lead Author of IPCC AR4 and as Coordinating Lead Author of IPCC AR5. Her leadership roles in major international Antarctic collaborations include the IGBP-PAGES International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences (IPICS) and with the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS). Her research prizes include the prestigious 2013 Prix Irène Joliot Curie for “Scientific woman of the year” and she was recognised as “Highly cited scientist” by Thomson Reuters (2014).  She is currently head of the scientific and technical council of LSCE (Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement) at CEA (Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives).  Dr Masson would like to acknowledge her research on Antarctic ice cores could not have been possible without the support of the French Polar Institute (IPEV).

The Prize Ceremony will be held at the PAGES Antarctica2K meeting in September.


Muse Fellows Colloquium videos online

Video recordings of the first Martha T. Muse Fellows Colloquium, held on 22 April in Queenstown, New Zealand, are available to view online through YouTube.


Professor Tim Naish awarded the 2014 Martha T Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica

Professor Tim Naish has been awarded the 2014 Muse Prize, for his outstanding research in understanding Antarctica’s response to past and present climate change and the role of Antarctica’s ice sheets in global sea-level change through time.  He led the first season of the ambitious and highly successful Antarctic Drilling Program (ANDRILL) where his international team pioneered innovative drilling technology to obtain sedimentary records of the past 13 million years, paving the way for further successful drilling in previously inaccessible ice-covered areas.  As Chair of the ANDRILL Steering Committee, he continued to be actively involved in overseeing the programme, including securing funding for the next phase.  More recently, he has played an influential role in the process of translating science into policy as a lead author on the Paleoclimate chapter of the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  He is currently Director of the Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, which continues to develop and has more than trebled its capacity under his direction.

The Prize Ceremony will be held at the SCAR Open Science Conference in Auckland in August.


The 1st Martha T. Muse Fellows Colloquium -  April 22, 2014; Queenstown, NZ
"What will Antarctica and the Southern Ocean look like in 2065?"

Many forecasters and futurists tell us that in 2065:
- the world’s human population will be 8.5 billion,
- atmospheric CO2 levels will exceed 650 ppm under a business as usual scenario,
- the Arctic ocean will be ice free in August and September,
- average global temperature will 4°C warmer than in 2000,
- ocean pH will be less than 8.2, and
- sea level will be ~26 cm higher than in 1990.

What will these dramatic changes to Planet Earth mean for the world’s last great wilderness and a bellwether of global change – Antarctica and the Southern Ocean? To speculate about this future world and the ramifications for human societies, the “1st Martha T. Muse Colloquium” will convene a panel of the Martha Muse Prize Awardees and Guests to address the topic ““Beyond the Horizon – Antarctica and the Southern Ocean 2065” in Queenstown, NZ on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. The Colloquium is part of the “1st SCAR Antarctic and Southern Ocean Horizon Scan” ( that is assembling ~80 of the world’s leading Antarctic scientists, policymakers, and logistics science funders to develop a collective community view of the most timely, urgent and compelling scientific questions that need to be addressed in the next two decades.

The Colloquium panel will include Marta T. Muse Prize Fellows Steven Chown (terrestrial ecologist and policy adviser), Monash University, Melbourne, AUS; Helen Fricker (glaciologist and satellite observational specialist), University of California, San Diego, USA; José Xavier (marine biologist ecologist and marine mammals expert), University of Coimbra and the British Antarctic Survey, Portugal/UK; Steve Rintoul, (physical oceanographic modeller and observationalist) CSIRO, AUS; and Martin Siegert(glaciologist and geologist), University of Bristol University, UK. The Muse Fellows will be joined on the panel by Neil Gilbert (policy adviser and Antarctic governance expert) Antarctica New Zealand, NZ and Gary Wilson (marine geologist and geophysicist and paleoclimate expert) Director of the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute (NZARI), NZ. The panel will be moderated by public NZ personality or popular news scientist to be named. The Muse Colloquium will be made widely available via the web, details to follow.


Obituary: Martha T Muse

SCAR and the Selection Committee for the Martha T Muse Prize for Antarctic Science and Policy join the Tinker Foundation in mourning the passing of Martha T Muse on 9th February 2014. Martha was a founding director of the Tinker Foundation. She served as its president for 27 years and its chairman for 33 years, retiring in 2008. It was under her direction that the Foundation became a leading funder of Latin American-related activities, providing support for educational, environmental, security, economic, legal and governance issues. One of her final directives to the Tinker Foundation was incorporating Antarctica-related subjects under its funding mandate. Her passion for Antarctica was recognised with the Tinker Foundation establishing the Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica, an award for mid-career Antarctic scientists and policy makers, recognised as leaders of tomorrow. The First Martha T Muse Fellows Colloquium will be held in her honour, in conjunction with the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Horizon Scan, in April 2014 in New Zealand.

Martha received her undergraduate degree from Barnard College in 1948 and a master's degree in political science from Columbia University in 1955. In 1981, she received an honorary doctorate from Georgetown University. She was the first woman elected as a trustee to Columbia University and was among the first women named to the Board of the New York Stock Exchange and the Council on Foreign Relations.

A memorial service will be held in New York City in the late spring. Letters of inquiry and condolence may be sent to the Tinker Foundation, 55 E. 59th St., New York, NY 10022.

For a detailed obituary, please see the New York Times website.

Prof Martin Siegert awarded the 2013 Martha T Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica

Professor Martin Siegert of the University of Bristol has been awarded the 2013 Muse Prize for his innovative research on Antarctic subglacial lakes and the reconstruction of Antarctic glacial history. His research in this field is multidisciplinary and collaborative, and has received significant world-wide attention, which Siegert has cultivated to promote public awareness of Antarctic earth and environmental sciences. He has maintained a successful and diverse research programme, involving multiple multidisciplinary international collaborations. His work has supported the development of early career scientists (e.g. his airborne geophysics research, and his convening of major international meetings), international collaborations (e.g. the ICECAP and subglacial lakes activities) and the public understanding of science (through outreach work on subglacial lakes, and in international symposia). Full press release available here.

The prize will be awarded at the Cryosphere Reception, 2013 Fall AGU, San Francisco. We hope you will be able to join us there!

Dr Stephen Rintoul awarded the 2012 Martha T Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica

Dr Stephen Rintoul, a physical oceanographer from CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research in Hobart, Australia, has been awarded the prestigious 2012 Martha T. Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica for his outstanding research on the Southern Ocean. Dr Rintoul is also affiliated with the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre and with the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research.

The Muse Prize is awarded to an individual in the fields of Antarctic science or policy who has demonstrated potential for sustained and significant contributions that will enhance the understanding and/or preservation of Antarctica.

Dr Rintoul's research has made a profound contribution to our scientific understanding of the Southern Ocean and of Antarctica’s role in the global system. His work has provided new understanding of the structure, dynamics and variability of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the largest ocean current on Earth. He has also shown how the Southern Ocean circulation links the shallow and deep layers of the ocean to form a global network of ocean currents that strongly influences climate patterns. His research has provided new insights into the nature, causes and consequences of Southern Ocean change. Dr Rintoul’s leadership has been critical to advancing coordinated international investigation of the Southern Ocean and to promoting long term Southern Ocean observing systems. A recent interview with Dr Rintoul about his research showing continuing deep ocean change Southern Ocean can be seen here.

Dr Rintoul will be awarded the Prize and will deliver the Muse Prize Lecture at the SCAR Open Science Conference in Portland, Oregon in July 2012.

José Xavier awarded the 2011 Martha T Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica

Dr. José Xavier from the Institute of Marine Research of the University of Coimbra in Portugal and the British Antarctic Survey in UK has been awarded the prestigious 2011 Martha T. Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica ( Beginning with his doctoral research (Ph.D. Cambridge University, 2003), Dr. Xavier has conducted outstanding research on the predator-prey dynamics that sustain populations of albatrosses, penguins and other top predators in the Southern Ocean. One example of his leadership in this field is his recent publication of a comprehensive monograph on the prey of top predators that will be a great aid to many researchers. The Selection Committee of leading Antarctic scientists and policy makers also cited his leadership in the establishment of a new and thriving Antarctic research program in Portugal during the International Polar Year (IPY, 2007-2008) and in launching a highly successful educational program, LATITUDE 60! during the IPY.

The award ceremony will be held at the World Conference on Marine Biodiversity, Aberdeen (26 - 30 Sept, 2011).

Associate Professor Helen Fricker awarded the 2010 Martha T Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica

An outstanding glaciologist, Associate Prof. Helen Fricker from Scripps Institution of Oceanography of the University of California-San Diego has been awarded the prestigious 2010 Martha T. Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica ( Professor Fricker is widely recognized for her discovery of active subglacial lakes, and she has shown that these lakes form dynamic hydrologic systems, where one lake can drain into another in a short period of time. She is also known for her innovative research into Antarctic ice shelf mass budget processes such as iceberg calving and basal melting and freezing. The Selection Committee of leading Antarctic scientists and policy makers cited her leadership in the application of remote sensing techniques using laser altimetry to detect current changes in the Antarctic ice sheet in response to rising sea level and climate variability and her individual activities promoting educational outreach about ice sheets of Antarctica.

Professor Fricker will be awarded the Prize and deliver the Muse Lecture at the American Geophysical Union meeting to be held in San Francisco in December 2010.

Professor Steven Chown awarded the first Martha T Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica

An outstanding researcher and world renowned advisor to the Antarctic Treaty System, Professor Steven Chown of Stellenbosch University, South Africa, has been named the inaugural recipient of the prestigious Martha T Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica. Professor Chown is a widely published and cited authority on invasive species and the effect of climate change and human interactions on Antarctica. The Selection Committee of leading Antarctic scientists and policy makers cited his outstanding contributions to both science and policy in Antarctica. Professor Chown plays a critical role in Antarctic policy by leading the delegation of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) at the annual Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings (ATCMs). His advice and leadership has been pivotal in advising policy makers in a wide range of environmental stewardship issues before the ATCM's Committee on Environmental Protection.

Professor Chown will be awarded the Prize and deliver the Muse Lecture at the Oslo International Polar Year Conference in June 2010 and will also be a guest of honour at the SCAR Open Science Conference in Buenos Aires in August 2010.


30th July 09: Nomination packages can now be saved and edited for later amendments


Renate Rennie, president of the Tinker Foundation, officially launched the Martha Muse Prize at the Antarctic Treaty Meeting in Baltimore, USA. The first Prize winner will be announced at the Antarctic Treaty Summit in Washington, USA.