Donath medal for Jasper Vrugt

7 July 2011

Dr Jasper Vrugt has won the very prestigious Donath medal of the Geological Society of America (GSA) for his work in Geohydrology. He is the first Dutchman to win this prize that consists of a gold medal and a monetary award. The recipient of this medal automatically becomes a GSA Fellow in the subsequent year.

Dr Jasper Vrugt has won the very prestigious Donath medal of the Geological Society of America (GSA) for his work in Geohydrology. He is the first Dutchman to win this prize that consists of a gold medal and a monetary award. The recipient of this medal automatically becomes a GSA Fellow in the subsequent year.

Career Jasper Vrugt

In 2004, Vrugt received his PhD degree cum laude at the UvA with a thesis entitled Towards Improved Treatment of Parameter Uncertainty in Hydrologic Modeling. He then joined the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in March 2005 as a Directors Postdoctoral Fellow, and subsequently as J. Robert Oppenheimer Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow. In 2010, Vrugt accepted a position at the University of California Irvine, and is currently an Assistant Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a dual appointment in the Department of Earth System Science. Recently, he again joined the Computational Geo-Ecology (CGE) group of the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) at the UvA as Associate Professor one day per week.

In IBED’s CGE group, Vrugt contributes to both research and education. With respect to research, Vrugt plays a key role in the Netherlands eScience Center (NIeSC). This is a new virtual research center that is concerned with application of eScience in all areas of research. Within the center, Prof. Willem Bouten, Chair of the IBED-CGE group, coordinates an interdisciplinary workgroup on Bayesian Inverse Modelling. Within this workgroup Vrugt is expected to play an important role in the development of a Virtual Lab for Inverse Modelling; the very core of his research expertise.

An example of Vrugt’s educational work includes the recent summer course on Inverse Modelling for Improving Hydrological, Environmental and Ecological Models. This summer school was organised for the second time by IBED-CGE from 26 June to 1 July 2011, and especially targets MsC and PhD students that use model – data fusion methods in their research.

Other awards

In his relatively young career, Dr Vrugt has already been honored multiple times. Last year, he received the 2010 James B. Macelwane Medal of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) for outstanding contributions in surface hydrology, soil physics, and hydrometeorology, and was elected AGU Fellow. He also received the 2010 Outstanding Young Scientist Award from the European Geophysical Union (EGU). Vrugt is the first scientist to receive all three honours: the Donath Medal (GSA), James B, Macelwane Medal (AGU) and the Outstanding Young Scientist Award (EGU).

He was named one of the Elsevier Top 50 most talented young people from the Netherlands in 2009, and he received an Early Career Award in Soil Physics from the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) in 2007 and the Hydrology Prize 2004-2006 from the Dutch Hydrological Society (NHV) in 2007.

Published by  IBED