Geology researcher wins award for exceptional publication

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Hilary Close, (808) 956-7757
Geology and Geophysics Assistant Researcher, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology
Marcie Grabowski, (808) 956-3151
Outreach Coordinator, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology
Posted: Jan 26, 2015

Dr. Hilary Close
Dr. Hilary Close

The Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) honored Dr. Hilary Close, UHM Geology and Geophysics assistant researcher, with this year’s 2015 Lindeman Award in recognition of exceptional paper, “Export of submicron particulate organic matter to mesopelagic depth in an oligotrophic gyre,” published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2013. The Raymond L. Lindeman Award honors a scientist of 35 years of age or younger for an outstanding peer-reviewed, English-language paper in the aquatic sciences.

Based on her work in the North Pacific subtropical gyre, Dr. Close’s paper makes important and novel insights into the export of submicron particulate organic matter (POM) into the deep ocean, and has revealed for the first time the necessity of a pathway for this transfer. These findings provide a fundamentally different mechanism of export than previously appreciated, and suggest that the dynamics of picoplankton-derived POM may be of great importance for the marine carbon cycle. Observations and conclusions from this study are likely to have significant implications for the responsiveness of the global carbon cycle to climate change, especially as the ecosystems dominated by picoplankton are expected to expand with warming ocean temperatures.

“Hilary is a terrific scientist and fast becoming an intellectual leader in our efforts to understand how the vast pool of organic carbon and nitrogen affects the ecology and chemistry of global oceans,” said Peter Leavitt, who chaired the ASLO Award Committee. “As shown by her paper, Hilary will be an integral member of the chemical oceanography community for many years to come.”

Dr. Close received her doctoral degree from Harvard University. In 2012, she was named a SOEST Young Investigator and NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Hawaii, where she worked in the stable isotope lab of Brian Popp. Dr. Close continues to study the cycling, export, and food web linkages of particulate organic matter in the upper- and mid- water column at Station ALOHA and other open-ocean sites.

ASLO press release