Prof. Roger Powell (University of Melbourne)
2021 is a notable year for The Metamorphic Studies Group, as it is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Therefore, it is highly appropriate that this year’s Barrow Award goes to Prof. Roger Powell, whose work over the last ~40 years has fundamentally changed the way we do research in metamorphic petrology. In particular, Roger has been instrumental in advancing quantitative metamorphic petrology through the development of the THERMOCALC software and the use of phase petrology to understand metamorphism.
Roger is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Melbourne, where he has been based since 1984 as a lecturer, senior lecturer, reader and professorial fellow. Prior to this he was a lecturer at the University of Leeds in the UK. Roger completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Durham and was awarded his PhD from the University of Oxford in 1973. In 2015 Roger was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society. He has won several notable academic medals and awards including the Jaeger Medal from the Australian Academy of Science (2013) and the Bowen Award from the American Geophysical Union (2009).
Roger is perhaps best known for his thermodynamic computational program THERMOCALC. The key contribution of Roger to the metamorphic community is through his development, together with Prof. Tim Holland, of an internally consistent database of thermodynamic data for metamorphic minerals and melts, along with software to allow evaluation of metamorphic conditions in natural rocks. Through his numerous workshops around the world promoting, explaining, testing and improving the database, activity models and software, he has been instrumental in educating a whole generation of petrologists. Roger had made sure the world is aware of the tools available to understand metamorphic processes and has worked tirelessly to improve and widen the scope of the software package.
Roger has shown an incredibly long-term vision in seeing the benefits of computational methods in petrology from as far back as the 1970s where the nucleus of THERMOCALC was first developed, through the 1990s with the emergence of calculated petrogenetic grids and calculated pseudosections, and into the 21st century and the common use of this approach and the development of geologically realistic model chemical systems. While the broader THERMOCALC endeavour has involved many people, it has been Roger that has stood at the core of this work.
Roger has done much more for the community than just his own central science: he has built a wide research network worldwide that has introduced many to the, often daunting, challenge of calculating and using quantitative phase diagrams. He has published a great number of papers including co-authors from all over the world, many of whom would visit Melbourne for research visits to learn from Roger. He has been a member of the editorial review board of the Journal of Metamorphic Geology for a record 35 years, including as editor from 2000 to 2012, and has taught numerous international short courses on many aspects of metamorphism. Importantly he has served as a supervisor or academic mentor to many, guiding and advising them on science, life and the finer aspects of wine. Many have gone on to highly successful careers and are part of the lively metamorphic community.
The 40th anniversary Metamorphic Studies Group Barrow Award is a fitting mark of our UK recognition of the substantial, innovative and absolutely fundamental contributions that Roger has made to our science and to thank Roger for the decades of service that he has committed to the worldwide metamorphic community.
The Barrow Award 2021 was judged by Aphrodite Indares, Chunjing Wei and Paddy O’Brien. Roger was nominated for the award by Richard White and his nomination was supported by Simon Harley and Richard Palin.
Dr Clare Warren (The Open University)
Dr. Clare Warren is a Senior Lecturer at The Open University, UK, where she has been based since 2011 as a NERC Postdoctoral and Advanced Postdoctoral Fellow, Senior Research Fellow, and Senior Lecturer. Clare completed her undergraduate studies and PhD entitled ‘Subduction of the Arabian continental margin beneath the Semail Ophiolite, Oman: insights from U-Pb geochronology and metamorphic modelling’ at the University of Oxford. Subsequently, Clare was a Killam Fellow at Dalhousie University, Canada
Clare’s contribution to metamorphic petrology is that of a multi-method and multi-scale thinker and versatile researcher. She has made significant contributions to more than one topic in metamorphic petrology from mineral scale processes (Ar diffusion) to large-scale tectonics (exhumation of UHP rocks or evolution of the Himalayas). She has challenged existing paradigms and made a significant indent in “established” methodologies showing, for example, that other mechanisms have to be considered when interrogating Ar-Ar data. Similarly, her work on UHP exhumation has proposed potential mechanisms that do not rely on the usual suspects (e.g. slab break off).
Her profile represents that of a modern petrologist, who can work with multiple tools and strategies including textures, isotopes, numerical modeling, field work, geochronology, tectonics and geodynamics. This breath of expertise is rare and she manages this exceptionally well. She is a well-recognised Earth Scientist within and across fields and a great role model for the whole community.
Clare is an energetic and effective ambassador for Earth Science in general and metamorphic geology in particular. Clare is a terrific catalyst – someone who will plunge in and organise seminars, workshops, field trips, and weekly tennis games as appropriate.
Clare is dedicated to serve the science community through organisation of groups, workshops and conferences, and as an editor. Her contribution to the Metamorphic Studies Group goes well beyond the call of duty and service, where she has served for over 10 years on the committee including as secretary and treasurer. Her educational achievements and high standards are reflected in the award of the Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. Through service and education, she has touched and improved the science experience of many colleagues, both junior and senior.
Clare’s outstanding scientific record in metamorphic geology, her excellent efforts in supervising students of metamorphic processes and her highly commendable activities in support of the metamorphic community make her a well-deserved awardee of the Barrow Award. Clare demonstrates the importance of female scientists for the entire Earth science community, and we believe that the Barrow Award is a fitting recognition of Clare’s tireless work promoting metamorphic geology for the whole science community.
Words of support adapted from Daniela Rubatto, Becky Jamieson, Matthias Konrad- Schmolke and Ralf Halama.
The Barrow Award 2020 was judged by: Daniela Rubatto, Bernado Cesare, Bruce Yardley, Matthias Konrad-Schmolke and Nick Rogers. Clare was nominated for the award by Ralf Halama and her application was supported by Rebecca Jamieson and Jan Wijbrans.