The 2023 Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky Medal is awarded to Tom Battin for fundamental contributions to the biogeosciences through studies linking biology, ecology, chemistry and hydrology to the functioning and of inland waters across scales.
Tom Battin is known for his pioneering work on the ecology, architecture and biogeochemistry of microbial biofilms in streams. His research brought new tools to the interdisciplinary study of how biota interact with stream environments and the consequences for river function across spatial scales. At the stream scale, Battin’s research on benthic biofilms and microbial communities demonstrated their critical role on the functioning of the fluvial ecosystems. At broader scales, his seminal papers have contextualised the role of freshwater fluxes in the carbon cycle, especially the importance of lateral transport in local and regional carbon budgets. Battin’s research vision and highly collaborative style have inspired many early career scientists and opened new areas of investigation linking aquatic biogeochemistry and global biogeochemical cycles.