It is my privilege to introduce Lennart de Groot as the 2018 recipient of the William Gilbert Award, in recognition of his important contributions to rock magnetism and paleomagnetism and their applications to geomagnetism.
Over the past decade, our community has seen a dramatic improvement in our ability to image the magnetization of individual grains at nanometer resolution under variable fields and temperatures, subjects that are at the very core of rock magnetism and paleomagnetism. Lennart’s recent research at Universiteit Utrecht involving the use of scanning SQUID and magnetic force microscopy places him at the forefront of this revolution in our field. Lennart stands out among this new generation of young researchers because of his efforts to make meaningful connections between observations at the nanometer scale and the paleodirectional and paleointensity recording behavior of bulk rock samples.
Lennart is also well known for his foundational work on multiprotocol paleointensity methods, including the “calibrated pseudo-Thellier” method, a nonthermal technique that allows researchers to obtain semiquantitative estimates of the geomagnetic field from most basalts. By grounding his comparative tests of different methods on a wide range of historical basalt flows that were erupted in known magnetic fields, Lennart has made an impressive amount of progress on the problem of obtaining reliable paleointensity estimates from volcanic rocks.
Beyond being an emerging leader in rock magnetism, Lennart has also demonstrated leadership and service to the geomagnetism, paleomagnetism, and electromagnetism (GPE) research community. From organizing successful international meetings and conference sessions to guest lecturing as part of the Institute for Rock Magnetism’s Summer School in Rock Magnetism, Lennart makes a genuine effort to give back to our community.
With outstanding young researchers such as Lennart, our discipline has a healthy and exciting future, and thus he is a superb choice for the 2018 William Gilbert Award.
—Joshua Feinberg, Institute for Rock Magnetism, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
I am truly honored to receive the 2018 William Gilbert Award. The early years of my career were shaped by numerous people in our GPE community; I am thankful to receive this recognition from them. I would like to explicitly mention my nominators, the committee, and, in particular, Josh Feinberg for his kind citation.
It was Cor Langereis who introduced me to paleomagnetism and guided me through my first research projects at Utrecht University’s paleomagnetic laboratory, Fort Hoofddijk. I am still grateful for the confidence he put in me and for his guidance on my path into academia.
At Fort Hoofddijk, I always felt encouraged to pursue my own ideas, even if they were off the beaten track. I am thankful for the freedom I was given by my advisers to venture into techniques that were never used before and to explore new and sometimes unconventional ideas. I could do this while I knew that Cor Langereis, Mark Dekkers, and Wout Krijgsman would always be there for advice and guidance. Also, the support and mentoring of the late Tom Mullender, a technician at Hoofddijk, has been important for my career. It was this supportive and safe academic environment that helped me to become the researcher I am now.
I regard this recognition as an encouragement to me, and to other young researchers in our section, to continue curiosity-driven research and make efforts to share new and exciting ideas in both formal and informal settings. I will do my best to continue to contribute to the open, welcoming, and encouraging atmosphere in our community that I experienced as an early-career researcher. Again, thank you to the GPE community for this recognition!
—Lennart de Groot, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands