Obituary: Lily Pereg (1964–2019)
28 January 2019
Lily Pereg, Deputy President and Programme Group Chair of the EGU Soil System Sciences (SSS) Division and Executive Editor of the SOIL journal, died tragically and unexpectedly earlier this month during a trip to Argentina.
Pereg was a microbiologist with 25 years of research experience and a professor at the School of Science and Technology, University of New England in Armidale, Australia. An EGU member since 2013, Pereg was elected to serve as president of the EGU SSS Division in Autumn 2017, a role she was due to take on in April this year.
EGU President Jonathan Bamber says:
“We are very saddened to learn of the tragic death of our colleague and long-time friend of EGU. Lily will be sorely missed by all who had the privilege to meet and work with her. She stepped in at short notice to take over as acting president of the Soil System Sciences Division, selflessly offering her time and energy to support her fellow scientists and was a committed and greatly valued member of the organisation.”
EGU SSS Science Officer Claudio Zaccone says:
“Lily was an excellent scientist, working with enthusiasm, passion, integrity and with a deep understanding of soil microbiology. Besides her devotion to the Soil System Sciences Division, where she was acting as president, we will recall her friendly, kind and honest nature. The whole SSS will surely miss her.”
Pereg became an executive editor of SOIL, an EGU and Copernicus open access journal, in 2014. SOIL Executive Editor Johan Six says:
“Lily was very committed to make SOIL a very good soil journal, not only through editing manuscript after manuscript, but also by encouraging colleagues to submit their best work to SOIL. We will surely miss her as an important drive behind the integrity of SOIL and as a dear colleague with whom it was a pleasure to work with on getting the best and most interesting soil science published.”
Pereg did a bachelor’s course at the Ben Gurion University in Israel and later obtained a master’s degree from Tel Aviv University. She moved to Australia in the 1990s to do her PhD, having obtained her doctoral degree from the University of Sydney in 1998. Following a postdoc at the University of Cologne in Germany, Pereg joined the University of New England in 2001. She was an active researcher focusing on soil microbiology, the nitrogen cycle and, more recently, on soils and human health.
A respected and accomplished member of the soil science community, Pereg was an active participant, author and convener at the EGU General Assembly in the past five years, having received the SSS Division Best Convener award for her work in 2015. She became chair of the SSS Division Soil Biology, Microbiology and Biodiversity Subdivision in 2016, after which she took on an increasingly more active role in the division, including at the EGU meeting.
The EGU will organise an event in Pereg’s honour at the EGU General Assembly 2019.
EGU Executive Office