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Lewis Fry Richardson Medal 2024 Annick Pouquet

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European Geosciences Union

Annick Pouquet

Annick Pouquet
Annick Pouquet

The 2024 Lewis Fry Richardson Medal is awarded to Annick Pouquet for her outstanding contributions to the field of theoretical and computational turbulence in neutral and conducting fluids, in particular in magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence and dynamo theory.

Annick Pouquet’s contributions to magnetohydrodynamics laid the ground for modern dynamo theory making her one of the leading scientists in this area over decades. She showed that turbulent flows can sustain dynamos and found the saturation mechanism. In particular, she pioneered studies of the role of helicity in geophysical and astrophysical flows. She predicted the existence of an inverse cascade of magnetic helicity in conducting fluids and formulated the concept of ‘selective decay’, meaning that the magnetic helicity decays slower than energy. Her manifold contributions to magnetohydrodynamics and turbulence theory have inspired a large body of works by other researchers in different areas like plasma astrophysics, space physics, solar physics and planetary dynamo theory demonstrating the broad impact of Pouquet’s work.

The work of Annick Pouquet links theoretical approaches with numerical investigations on a very high level leading to a strongly enhanced understanding of nonlinear processes like nonlinear energy transfer mechanisms and the role of stratification and rotation in geophysical flows. She developed high-resolution codes for direct numerical simulations including helical effects which achieved an unprecedented level of precision in numerical simulations of rotating stratified flows. Using direct numerical simulations, she was able to quantitatively demonstrate the helicity generation mechanism and its statistical properties.

Annick Pouquet has published more than 200 papers in peer reviewed scientific journals. She has been an active member of the geoscience community, serving as the president of the Nonlinear Geophysical Section of AGU, being the chair of the EGU Richardson Medal Committee and the AGU Turcotte Committee. Moreover, she took large administrative responsibilities as the Director of the Cassini Laboratory, Observatory Nice (France) and as the Director of the Earth System Laboratory at National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder (USA), always using those positions to support fundamental approaches in geoscience.