Alexis P. Rouillard
The 2013 Arne Richter Awards for Outstanding Young Scientists is awarded to Alexis P. Rouillard for innovative studies of the solar atmosphere, the interplanetary medium, the shielding of the Earth from galactic cosmic rays, centennial variations of the Sun, the generation of energetic particles, and the impact of interplanetary disturbances on Earth.
The work of Alexis P. Rouillard has already spanned many areas of the solar-terrestrial sciences. His recent studies using the two-spacecraft STEREO mission have revealed the origins, evolution and coalescence of small-scale structures in the interplanetary medium for the first time. This work has also given the first stereoscopic remote sensing of co-rotation interaction regions and the first imaging of the impact of a solar disturbance on a planet.
He has also used his detailed knowledge of the behaviour of different geomagnetic activity indices to reveal the centennial variation in both solar wind speed and the open solar flux. His investigation of quasi-annual variations in the heliosphere identified imprints on the fluxes of galactic cosmic rays reaching Earth and he has also shown how the latitudinal width of corotating interaction regions (CIRs) is a major factor in their contribution to heliospheric shielding of cosmic rays. Recently, he has produced two papers on the generation of solar energetic particles using a wide array of instrumentation, which will likely become references in the field. To do all this he has mastered a wide range of instrumentation and techniques, including magnetometers, imagers, and particle detectors as well as magnetohydrodynamics modelling.
This catalogue of achievements is truly extraordinary for such a young scientist. Rouillard’s productivity is astounding, and of truly extraordinary insight, quality and diversity. He gives excellent presentations at conferences and is in great demand as a speaker. He is already contributing to the international community by co-organising sessions at EGU, AGU and the Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting. On his own initiative and reputation, he has forged active working collaborations with groups in France, UK, Finland and the US. He is a magnificent ambassador for European geophysics.