2014 Jongmans medal awarded to palynologist Dr Bas van Geel
In recognition of his palaeoecological studies, Dr Bas van Geel was awarded the 2014 Jongmans Medal for excellence in Palaeobotany and Palynology during the opening of the 9th Palynological Conference in Padova.
The committee decided on awarding Dr Bas van Geel the Jongmans medal for his continuous and outstanding work on a rather special field of palynology, the study of non-pollen palynomorphs (NPPs), a diverse group of microfossils which for long were considered to be indeterminate.
Under the supervision of Thomas van der Hammen, van Geel started in the late 1960th to study those microfossils that were of unknown origin, unidentifiable and thus simply ignored in traditional palynological studies. With an impressive amount of sharpness and persistence Bas van Geel described NPPs and analysed the taxonomic and ecological traits, thereby convincing many palaeoecologists of the high added value of these NPPs.
The broad areas of interest that characterize the work of van Geel, from non-pollen palynomorphs, macro-remains, to age-assessments, climatic forcings and links to archaeological studies make him innovative and thought-provoking on the one hand, and on the other hand the extremely sound and careful scientist as we know him. These characteristics also make him an excellent and valuated teacher for many students and PhD’s who greatly profited from his devoted fieldwork, and intensive theoretical teaching throughout the past decades.
The Jongmans Award was established in 1994 by the Dutch Foundation Geology and Palaeontology to honour distinguished earth scientists and to commemorate the life and work of Prof. W.F. Jongmans.