The 2016 Arne Richter Awards for Outstanding Young Scientists is awarded to Bert Wouters for setting a benchmark for the analysis and interpretation of GRACE satellite data and for making significant contributions to ice-sheet research, glacier and ice-cap mass-balance studies.
Bert Wouters is one of the most exceptional and outstanding young scientists working in the field of polar science. In the five years from completing his PhD he has been an author on thirty eight ISI listed papers, eight as lead author and including six in Science, Nature and Nature Geoscience. His first-results paper from his PhD, published in Geophysical Research Letters in 2008, has had more than 120 citations and set a benchmark for the analysis and interpretation of GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Mission) satellite data. For someone at his career stage, this is an exceptional track record. What is also exceptional about Wouters’ output is its breadth, both within and across disciplines. His background is in satellite geodesy but to attempt to pigeonhole him into one discipline would be to play down his interests and contribution to science. He has made significant contributions to ice-sheet research, glacier and ice-cap mass-balance studies, but also across a range of related problems in Earth system science. Earth observation is his main area of excellence but he has published on ocean modelling, global-circulation-model simulations and climate prediction and this breadth is rare in an early career scientist. Wouters possesses the profile of an extremely successful, imaginative, productive, talented and broad scientist who has a very bright future. He is a deserved recipient of the Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Young Scientists.