Caitlin E. Hicks Pries
The 2020 Division Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award is awarded to Caitlin E. Hicks Pries for her exceptional contributions to biogeosciences in general and in particular, the terrestrial carbon cycle and the interplay of soil and plant processes with climate.
Caitlin Hicks Pries is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth College, where she teaches courses in Ecology and Global Change Biology and mentors PhD and undergraduate students.
After obtaining a PhD from the University of Florida in 2012, Pries became a mother of two children and served as a postdoctoral fellow at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory until 2017 before moving to Dartmouth College. Pries works in the field of terrestrial biogeosciences, and her interest is the terrestrial carbon cycle and how the carbon balance of ecosystems is determined by the interplay of soil and plant processes with climate.
Pries has recently focused on old carbon in tundra and deep soil, and her excellent work, which was published in Science and Nature Climate Change, allowed for new insights about the processes that determine the response of soil carbon to warming. Throughout her research, Pries has used a wide variety of isotopic approaches (both natural abundance and enriched levels) as tools to disentangle and model soil carbon processes. As a dynamic scientist, she is also strongly involved in fieldwork, assuring data quality, and open data networks.
The outstanding nature of Pries’ work was recognised nationally by the Soil Science Society of America, which awarded her with the S.A. Wilde Early Career Award in 2018. Pries has also received a graduate student mentoring award in 2012 and international recognition through invited presentations at international conferences.