Peter C. Lippert
EMRP Earth Magnetism & Rock Physics
The 2016 Division Outstanding Young Scientists Award is awarded to Peter C. Lippert for his outstanding achievements in rock physics and palaeomagnetism with fundamental insights in palaeoceanography and continental tectonics.
Peter Lippert’s discovery of biogenic magnetite at the Palaeocene-Eocene boundary is clearly a game-changer: it opened up new avenues for subsequent studies of environmental change as reflected by biogenic magnetism. This work has had an impact beyond what can be quantified by citation rates: it changed palaeoceanographic studies. Today, detailed rock magnetic and biomagnetic studies are an essential part of investigations of critical palaeoclimate boundaries, most importantly those targeted by the International Ocean Discovery Program. Lippert’s tour de force work on tectonics realises his long-term goal of using palaeomagnetism to understand continental regions where tectonic insight translates directly to an improved understanding of past climate. Together with his colleagues at Utrecht, he has brought a truly impressive arsenal of tools to the table, setting a new standard for the thorough application of palaeomagnetic data within a careful field and age context. His papers on the Indian-Asia region show how Lippert has become a leader in assessing the time and nature of the collision. His conclusions on the micro-continent origin of the Tibetan Himalaya represent a second game-changing contribution. Even as young scientist Lippert has mentored undergraduate and doctoral students, and has been leading in supervising Wentao Huang who recently published six papers with unprecedented palaeomagnetic rigor in India-Asia collision studies. He has a passion for education, which will continue in his new professorship at the University of Utah. Lippert’s multidisciplinary scientific and student mentoring efforts are innovative, inspiring and very much deserving of recognition by the Division Young Scientist Award.