Horton Receives 2014 Ocean Sciences Voyager Award

Benjamin Horton received the 2014 Ocean Sciences Voyager Award at the 2014 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, held 15-19 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is given to a midcareer scientist (10-20 years postdegree) in recognition of significant contributions and expanding leadership in ocean sciences.


Horton-Ben_Oceans-Sciences-Voyager-Award_SIZEDIt gives me great pleasure to introduce Dr. Benjamin Horton as the recipient of the inaugural American Geophysical Union (AGU) Ocean Sciences Voyager Award.
Ben’s research focuses on the mechanisms and nature of past sea level changes, including those associated with earthquakes, tsunamis, and storms, to understand how these processes will impact future coastal environments. Ben has rapidly distinguished himself as a leader both within and beyond his discipline.
Certainly, the impact and quality of Ben’s publication record alone qualifies him for the Voyager Award. Beyond the high quality and sheer number of his scholarly contributions, Ben exemplifies many additional qualities that speak to his promise for continued leadership in ocean sciences, including his talent as an educator—both within academia and beyond—and as a leader in interdisciplinary science teams. Ben has built a highly successful research group, and he did so at an impressive speed. There is no doubt that Ben already has had a significant impact on coastal science in the United States in terms of training sea level scientists of the future. Ben is also a very talented public speaker, and despite his intense research activity, he devotes an impressive amount of time to outreach, which is an increasingly important role for climate scientists of our generation. Ben has also developed a very strong network of interdisciplinary collaborators and is particularly effective in designing and implementing collaborative research programs that go well beyond his personal areas of expertise and extend worldwide.

I would like to conclude by saying that Ben has emerged as one of the most energetic and productive Quaternary scientists of his generation. His accomplishments as a scholar, educator, and as a citizen of the ocean sciences community make him more than deserving to receive the Voyager Award. Please join me in congratulating Ben on his accomplishments.

—Andrea Dutton, University of Florida, Gainesville



Thank you very much Andrea, and my most sincere thanks to AGU and the Ocean Sciences section for the Voyager award; I am deeply honored. This award recognizes the students, colleagues, and mentors who have always been supportive of me, both professionally and personally, throughout my career.

I would particularly like to thank Andy Plater, who saw my potential as an undergraduate at Liverpool University, and my graduate advisors, Ian Shennan and Antony Long at Durham University, who not only had the most amazing knowledge and understanding of Quaternary Science but were also patient men, allowing me to find my way as I began to understand the theory of sea level change. A decade ago, I moved the United States, where I met a new set of wonderful colleagues. These include Steve Culver, Jeff Donnelly, Alan Nelson, Daria Nikitina, Dick Peltier, and Tor Tornqvist. I also wish to make a special mention of the late Fred Scatena and Orson van de Plassche, whose influence on my scientific career lives on.

I have been very fortunate to work with a number of young, motivated postdoctoral scientists and graduate and undergraduate students, most notably Andy Kemp and Simon Engelhart. These interactions were pivotal in shaping the research questions we ask in the sea level research community. My career has benefited enormously from field meetings and workshops through the International Geoscience Programme and the PALeo-constraints on SEA-level rise (PALsea) working group, by generating open debate and different perspectives on observations, analyses, and interpretations. I am also indebted to colleagues who have helped me become actively engaged at the interface between science and society.

But I would not have received this award if I had not had the support of my family, who remind me every day what matters in life. The final mention goes to my dad, Professor Peter Horton FRS, who is my inspiration.

—Benjamin P. Horton, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N. J.