Professor Andrew Green.

Prestigious American Geophysical Union Award for UKZN Researche

Professor Andrew Green of the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences (SAEES) is to receive an award from the American Geophysical Union (AGU) that recognises his research in ocean sciences.

The Africa Award for Research Excellence in Ocean Sciences will be presented to Green at a ceremony in the United States in December.

Green joins a distinguished group of more than 30 scientists, leaders, educators, journalists, and communicators receiving medals, awards and prizes from the AGU – one of the largest and most respected bodies in earth sciences globally. Among those being honoured, is lead guitarist from the rock band Queen, astrophysicist Dr Brian May.

In this the AGU’s centennial year, the Union is honouring individuals for “outstanding achievements, contributions, and service to the Earth and space science community”. The awards recognise individuals who have demonstrated excellence in scientific research, education, communication, and outreach.

The AGU said the winners embody its mission of promoting discovery in Earth and space science for the benefit of humanity. They are being recognised for ‘the important role they play in amplifying the voice of the Earth and space community while inspiring other scientists to help improve lives around the world.’

The annual award Green will get was established in 2015 to recognise a career scientist from Africa and acknowledge excellence as well as open up opportunities for international collaboration and support.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science Professor Albert Modi congratulated Green.

‘He is uncompromising in his focus on raising and keeping the bar high at UKZN; congratulations Professor Andrew Green,’ said Modi. ‘Continue to be a persistent young professor of our College. We are proud of you.’

Green – who has been at UKZN where he also studied since 2010 – focuses his research on the morphology and sedimentary building blocks of coastal and marine systems and their application to reconstructing sea level and storm records. He is currently engaged in examining the impacts of Cyclone Idai on the Mozambique coastline, in addition to several other projects in Namibia, Brazil, Europe and the United States.

Green is passionate about the ocean and maintains robust international collaborations to strengthen his research. He participated in the Fulbright Visiting Research Scholar Program in 2018, after which he said he felt renewed confidence in the international quality of research and training being undertaken in South Africa, even with substantially limited resources.

Green is active in his field; he is an advisory board member for the International Union for Quaternary Research and the Atlantic/Indian Ocean representative for the Nippon Foundation/GEBCO Seabed2030 project. He is editor in chief of the international journal Geo-Marine Letters and is associate editor of the journal Marine and Petroleum Geology. In his free time, he also likes an occasional surf along the beaches of KwaZulu-Natal’s north coast.

Words: Christine Cuénod

Photograph: Supplied