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David Dunlop Awarded the 2021 AGU Union John Adam Fleming Medal

The 60,000 member American Geophysical Union (AGU) this week announced its medals and awards honoring excellence in scientific research, education, communication, and outreach.

The honorees—scientists, leaders, educators, journalists, and communicators—have made outstanding achievements and contributions by pushing forward the frontiers of science. Each embodies AGU’s vision of a thriving, sustainable, and equitable future powered by discovery, innovation, and action. They have worked with integrity, respect, and collaboration while creating deep engagement in education, diversity, and outreach. Among them is U of T Physics Professor David Dunlop.

Professor Dunlop is the recipient of the John Adam Fleming Medal. The Fleming Medal is awarded for “original research and technical leadership in geomagnetism, atmospheric electricity, aeronomy, space physics and related sciences” and Dunlop is being recognized for his achievements in scientific research, specifically in geomagnetism.

Dunlop’s best-known research has been in the fundamental magnetic properties of rocks and minerals and in Precambrian paleomagnetism and plate tectonics. His book “Rock Magnetism: Fundamentals and Frontiers”, co-authored with his long-time colleague and wife Özden Özdemir, remains the standard text in the field and students refer to it as “the bible”.

Dunlop served AGU as president of the Geomagnetism, Paleomagnetism and Electromagnetism section from 1992-94, was the Edward Bullard Lecturer in 2011, and sat on the Union Officers Nominations Committee (2004-05) and the Honors and Recognition Committee (2006-08). He was elected a Fellow of AGU in 1987.

He supervised many graduate students and post-doctoral fellows who have gone on to rewarding careers. Dunlop also taught and mentored numerous undergraduates and summer students.

When asked what this medal means to him, Dunlop says

“As I tell my non-scientific friends and family, it is the Olympic gold of geophysics. Naturally I am thrilled and delighted to be recognized for my work over a long career. I started as an Assistant Prof. at U. of T. in 1970, retired in 2006, and am still publishing, 2 papers in 2021. As one of my colleagues and supporters wrote to me: “Whoopee!!!! This is the top; can't go any higher, like Everest!””

AGU will formally recognize this year’s recipients during the AGU Fall Meeting in New Orleans.


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