A multi-award-winning physical geographer and a world authority on river systems and global environmental change has been given a prestigious award in honour of his achievements.
Professor Mark Macklin from the University of Lincoln has been awarded the 2018 Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Murchison Award for his pioneering research into the study of the form and function of rivers and the interaction between rivers and the landscape around them – so called ‘fluvial geomorphology’ – and its environmental applications.
The Society’s awards recognise excellence in geographical research, fieldwork, teaching and public engagement and are presented annually in recognition of those who have made outstanding contributions within the sphere of geography. The award was presented by the Society’s President, Nicholas Crane, on Monday 4th June 2018.
Professor Macklin, who is the founding Head of the School of Geography at the University, oversees the Lincoln Centre for Water and Planetary Health (LCWPH). The LCWPH is a pioneering research centre which focuses on solving the most pressing global environmental and societal problems emerging from the world’s largest rivers. These include the impact of climate change on extreme floods and droughts, flood-related contamination from metal mining and processing, and water-borne and vector-borne diseases affecting humans and animals.
Professor Macklin, who also holds the Chair of Fluvial Geomorphology at Massey University in New Zealand, is renowned for his work into river channel and floodplain responses to climate change, long-term human-river environment interactions, flood-risk assessment, metal mining pollution, and the hydrological controls of malaria.
He conducts his research all over the world, with ongoing projects in Australia, Greece, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Sudan, Tanzania and the UK. He is also an inaugural Fellow of the British Society for Geomorphology in recognition of his significant contribution to the advancement of geomorphological research.
Professor Macklin said: “There has never been a more pressing time for geographers to examine the pressures that our inhabited Earth is facing, and how those pressures will impact on the people living in those environments. For years academic communities have been studying climate change and what it is doing to our world, and I have been keen to focus on the actions we need to take to ensure our living environments are safe and sustainable.
“We are drawing on history to set current environmental challenges into a modern context and educate our students in the concepts and skills that are relevant to managing current environmental challenges. The recognition of my work – and by extension the work of colleagues in the School – by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), with this award is an honour that I am deeply grateful for.”
The award for Professor Macklin is the latest endorsement for the University of Lincoln’s School of Geography, which has also been officially accredited by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) for its “integrated, relevant and contemporary” new courses.
The School welcomed its first cohort of students in 2017. The RGS, along with the Institute of British Geographers, is the UK’s learned society and professional body for geography, which works to advance geography and support its practitioners in the UK and across the world.
The accreditation was given after RGS-IBG were impressed by the range of opportunities available to geography students at Lincoln, including both UK-based and international fieldwork options.
The School is also committed to working with RGS- IBG to raise the profile of the subject locally. The University has also introduced the RGS-IBG Geography Ambassador scheme, which recruits, trains and supports undergraduate, postgraduate and graduate geographers from universities and business to act as ambassadors for geography in the classroom and beyond.
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