The 2017 Division Outstanding Early Career Scientists Award is awarded to Eleanor Frajka-Williams for her outstanding work in observational physical oceanography contributing to the understanding of a wide range of ocean processes.
Eleanor Frajka-Williams is among the most creative, technically versatile and intellectually strong observational physical oceanographers of her generation, with a rare breadth of understanding and interests spanning all scales of ocean circulation. She has made significant advances in our understanding of both the fine- and small-scale dynamics of the ocean circulation, and the operation and climatic role of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). Frajka-Williams touched on a wide range of scientific topics including the physical controls of the major hot spot of biological productivity in the Labrador Sea, the elucidation of the fate of mesoscale eddies impinging on the western boundaries of ocean basins, and the dynamical controls on AMOC variability. She contributed similarly to the design of an ambitious approach to estimate the strength of the AMOC from satellite measurements, as well as to the first-ever determination of vertical oceanic flows from autonomous gliders. Aside of her research achievements, Frajka-Williams is rapidly and precociously emerging as a leader in the international physical oceanography arena. Over the last few years, she has provided significant intellectual steer to the general ocean observing system particularly in the RAPID AMOC monitoring programme. At the same time, she has been engaged in mentoring new early career scientists now holding postdoctoral positions at leading academic institutions.