David G. Gee
The 2007 Stephan Mueller Medal is awarded to David G. Gee in recognition of his fundamental contributions to the study of orogens and of his outstanding and inspiring leadership of EUROPROBE.
David Gee received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Cambridge before moving to the Geological Survey of Sweden in 1966. After 20 years at the Geological Survey he was awarded a prestigious Swedish Research Council Professorship that allowed him to work at a Swedish university of his choice. He spent 8 years at Lund University and then moved to Uppsala University where he became Professor of Orogenic Dynamics.
Throughout his career, David Gee’s personal research has concentrated on Proterozoic and Paleozoic orogens in Scandinavia and northern Europe, including the logistically difficult high Arctic. His name is synonymous with the Caledonian Orogen. He has led challenging expeditions to Svalbard, Novaya Zemlya, Severnaya Zemlya, the Polar Urals and the Taimyr Peninsula. This has resulted in an impressive list of publications.
Perhaps his most important contribution to the earth sciences was the initiation and scientific leadership of EUROPROBE, a multidisciplinary research endeavour that brought hundreds of senior scientists, postdocs and doctoral students together to study some of the most important tectonic structures within Europe. EUROPROBE was a project of the International Lithosphere Program and the European Science Foundation.
Under his guidance, EUROPROBE scientists combined surface observations with deep geophysical and geochemical probing to provide exciting new knowledge on the dynamic evolution of the European continental lithosphere. This research resulted in fundamental new understandings of such diverse structures as:
- the tectonically active Pannonian Basin-Carpathian arc-Dinaride Mountain System,
- Cenozoic collision-related foredeep sedimentary basins along the northern slopes of the Great Caucasus,
- the Paleozoic Uralides in Russia and Variscan Orogen in Iberia,
- the enigmatic Trans-European Suture Zone,
- Late Proterozoic-Palaeozoic sedimentary basins of the east European platform with emphasis on the Pripyat-Dniepr-Donets Basin, the largest and deepest Late Palaeozoic rift in Europe,
- huge Proterozoic and Archean orogenic belts in northern and eastern Europe.
Through David Gee’s inspirational leadership, not only great science was achieved under the auspices of EUROPROBE, but after the fall of the “iron curtain” EUROPROBE provided an entire generation of east European earth scientists with a wonderful opportunity to be involved in world-class research projects. The resulting scientific collaborations between west and east European scientists continue to this day. David Gee’s 20-years of unselfish dedication to EUROPROBE and to assisting scientists of the former east European block to realise their potential is unprecedented.
Stephan Mueller’s greatest achievement was to bring together west European earth scientists to work on the famous European Geotraverse project. Awarding David Gee the European Geosciences Union’s “Stephan Mueller Medal” for his outstanding leadership of EUROPROBE would be entirely in Stephan Mueller’s spirit.