About the H.C. Urey Award

The Urey Award is bestowed annually by the society for outstanding contributions advancing geochemistry over a career. The award is based solely on scientific merit and is presented at the V.M. Goldschmidt Conference. The award consists of an engraved medal, an honorarium (1000 Euros), a certificate and inclusion as a Geochemical Fellow.

It is named in honor of Harold Clayton Urey, an American physical chemist whose pioneering work on isotopes earned him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1934 and later led him to theories of planetary evolution.

Recipient of the 2020 Urey Award: Jillian Banfield

University of California, Berkeley, USA

Dr. Banfield is a pioneer in the area of geobiology, using state-of-the-art approaches in both earth sciences and biological sciences to lead to new understanding of how the intimate interactions of the microbiota help to define the geochemistry of our planet. Much of what we know about the microbiome of Earth’s subsurface stems from the interdisciplinary work of Dr. Banfield and her colleagues. By combining the expertise and skills of a trained geologist with the modern techniques and approaches of molecular microbiology, Dr. Banfield has provided us with a new appreciation of the role(s) of microbes in shaping the geochemistry of the Earth. Read more

The 2020 Urey Award medal lecture ‘Microbial Mediation of Watershed Biogeochemical Cycles’ is presented at the Goldschmidt 2020 Virtual Conference.

View the Citation by Ken Nealson and Response by Jill Banfield

Photo credit: Keegan Houser

Former recipients of the Urey Award