The 2010 Philippe Duchaufour Medal is awarded to Georges Stoops for his internationally recognised achievements in the field of soil science, with special emphasis on his contributions to soil micromorphology and his merits for soil education and research in developing countries.
Georges Stoops was born in Antwerp (Belgium) in 1937 and obtained his Ph.D. in Geology and Mineralogy in 1966 at the Ghent State University. From 1962 till 1967 he was assistant lecturer at the Lovanium University (Kinshasa, Congo Republic), where he investigated soil and regolith genesis in the Lower Congo. In 1968 he returned to Ghent, where he lectured on mineralogy and micropedology till his retirement in 2002. Since 1988 he has been a member of the Royal Academy of Overseas Sciences of Belgium (President in 1999).
Stoops contributed substantially to the understanding of the genesis of arid and tropical soils, and the application of mineralogical techniques. He was one of the first to explore, in 1968, the possibilities of SEM techniques in micromorphology and his new concepts have been compiled in a renewed textbook Guidelines for the Analysis and Description of Soil and Regolith Thin Sections (2003). His outstanding activity at an international level, including organizing training courses and workshops, contributed considerably to the development of soil micromorphology, while his enthusiastic teaching in Ghent and overseas promoted the use of soil micromorphology worldwide. As Director of the “International Training Centre for Post-Graduate Soil Scientists” of the Ghent University, Stoops was strongly involved in the education of students and researchers in Europe as well as African, Asian and South American countries. His achievements have been honoured by the Dokuchaev award of the All Union of Soviet Soil Science Society of the Academy of Sciences (1985) and in the Kubiëna Medal of the International Soil Science Society (1992). As emeritus Professor, Stoops remains still active in micromorphology, advising young researchers and students, and contributing to EGU activity.