Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
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Current Winner - 2019

Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering

Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering

Department of Earth Sciences

University of Toronto

Barbara Sherwood Lollar’s research career has been defined by exploration and discovery. As one of Canada’s most renowned earth scientists, she has given us incredible insights about the nature of water and life on our planet. Her work has been recognized for helping us understand environmental clean-up processes that remediate and preserve precious water resources. Her work has also shown us that there is still much to discover about water on this planet. Her celebrated research on ancient water discovered kilometres below the surface in mines on the Canadian Shield and in ancient rocks throughout the world has earned her international acclaim. This discovery peeled back a new layer of the Earth to help reveal subsurface lifeforms thriving in conditions that scientists had once thought were uninhabitable. Today, her expertise on earth systems is taking her out of the deep earth and out to the distant solar system. Sherwood Lollar’s knowledge about water and life on our planet is helping shape space exploration and the search for life on other planets—where could life have existed, how it might it survive, where it might be found? It’s the search for the unknown that drives Sherwood Lollar’s remarkable career and has led her to become one of our country’s most celebrated researchers. In recognition of her outstanding accomplishments and discoveries, as well as her numerous contributions to scientific knowledge, NSERC names Barbara Sherwood Lollar as the 2019 recipient of the Herzberg Gold Medal.

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