The 2022 Geological Society of America Medal & Award Winners have been announced and astrobiologists supported by the NASA Astrobiology Program have been named as two of the three GSA Gold Medalists. Timothy Lyons of the University of California Riverside (UCR) has been named the Arthur L. Day Medalist, while Kimberly Lau of Penn State has received the 2022 Young Scientist Award (Donath Medal).

Timothy Lyons is the Principal Investigator (PI) for the Interdisciplinary Consortia for Astrobiology Research (ICAR) award, Alternative Earths – How to Build and Sustain a Detectable Biosphere, and leads the UCR Astrobiology Center. Lyons has a long history with the Astrobiology Program, and has served as PI on numerous projects supported through elements of the Program. Lyons’ leadership and innovation led to important developments in paleoenvironmental proxies used to track redox changes in the rock record of Earth. His research has helped advance understanding of how the diversity of life on Earth today is tied to gradual changes in biogeochemical cycles and biosphere evolution over billions of years.

Kimberly Lau completed postdoctoral work at UCR and is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geosciences at Penn State. Lau currently participates in studies on the ICAR award, Alternative Earths – How to Build and Sustain a Detectable Biosphere. Her work on uranium isotope constraints on ancient marine oxygen levels is an important part of this effort. Lau has become a world leader in her field, and her research has helped to advance method development and applications in the use of uranium isotopes as a proxy for global palaeoredox conditions. While at UCR, Lau also participated in outreach events and seminars to spread knowledge about science. She is currently developing new collaborations with astrobiologists involved in the NASA Research Coordination Networks (RCNs).

From the GSA:
Each year the Geological Society of America (GSA) recognizes outstanding scientific achievement and distinguished service to the geoscience profession. Honorees will be recognized at the Presidential Address & Awards Ceremony on 9 October 2022, during the Society’s Connects 2022 meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA.

2022 Geological Society of America Medal & Award Winners
Kimberly Lau to receive Young Scientist Award from Geological Society of America (GSA)
NASA Selects New Science Teams for Astrobiology Research (NASA)
Alternate earths team overview (presentation)
Astrobiologist Receives Honorary Appointment at the University of St. Andrews