As part of a larger collaborative effort (ANU, MIT, MPI and others) with work largely performed at RSES, French et al. won the 2015 Best Paper Award from the Organic Geochemistry Division of the Geochemical Society ("Reappraisal of hydrocarbon biomarkers in Archaean rocks" (French et al., PNAS, 2015).
From the award letter:
“There are few papers that have made such a profound contribution to this field,’ and ‘…this paper was the most important contribution to organic geochemistry in 2015.’ The members of the committee wholeheartedly concur with these opinions in recommending French et al. for the Best Paper Award for 2015.”
In a strategic exchange between universities funded through the Agouron Institute, the analytical work was largely performed in the Biomarker Laboratory at RSES by MIT student Kate French, and the breakthrough results of the work are based on methodologies developed in our school. I regard the award as a recognition for the cumulative work on trace biomarker analysis performed at RSES over the past ten years. It would not have been possible without the generous support of the school through NIG funds that built a dedicated laboratory for this purpose, funded Janet (who’s skills were vital and who is a co-author), and the workshops who helped with instrument design and construction.