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Rob van der Voo

Petrus Peregrinus Medal 2014

Rob van der Voo

The 2014 Petrus Peregrinus Medal is awarded to Rob van der Voo for his prodigious contributions to palaeomagnetism, global tectonics and rock magnetism that make him a pioneer and a leading authority in the geosciences overall.


Rob Van der Voo is recognised as one of the prime leaders of palaeomagnetism and rock magnetism in the world. In a generation that saw the plate tectonics revolution, van der Voo’s achievements are far wider than palaeomagnetism and make him a leading figure in the broader geosciences.

Van der Voo has masterfully accomplished all the roles expected from an outstanding researcher and academic including contributions to science, teaching, supervision of students and service to the community. Van der Voo’s scientific contributions in palaeomagnetism, tectonics, plate tectonics and geodynamics concern the Phanerozoic and also more ancient periods, around Spain, France, the Mediterranean, North America, Alaska and China.

Van der Voo has not confined himself to global scales, but investigated rock magnetic properties at the microscopic scale as well. He pioneered important results on mechanisms of secondary magnetisations, particularly in Palaeozoic carbonates from North Eastern North America. More recently, van der Voo started to investigate palaeomagnetic reconstructions and mantle tomography, a new, fruitful if bold domain. In his most recent publications, he remains active, with interests that range from overprints and non-dipole field geometry or the Palaeozoic palaeogeography of Kazakhstan, to Phanerozoic polar wander and Permo-Triassic red beds in the Pyrenees. A milestone in van der Voo’s career was the publication of his book Palaeomagnetism of the Atlantic, Tethys and Iapetus Oceans which remains one of the must-have books for any student of palaeomagnetism and geodynamics.

Van der Voo has trained a large number of students, some of whom are now themselves renowned researchers and academics, and has accepted a large number of responsibilities. Van der Voo is an exceptional recipient of the Petrus Peregrinus Medal.

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