Volcanic Ash Expert Made a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand

A Waikato University professor who is an international leader in volcanic ash research has been made a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Online PR News – 29-October-2010 – – Made up of representatives of the sciences and other areas of endeavour, the Royal Society is an independent body that acknowledges those who have made particular contributions in their field.

Professor David J Lowe says the fellowship is a “great personal honour”. He is an expert in fingerprinting tephras (volcanic ash layers) and in constructing time-frames to underpin palaeoenvironmental, volcanological, archaeological, and soil science research in New Zealand and elsewhere.

He says the fellowship is important for his key disciplines of pedology (soil science) and tephrochronology, and he is proud of the work Waikato University has done in these areas.

Professor Lowe has written, edited and refereed many publications, and says he enjoys collaborating with colleagues around the world. He has recently helped organise a conference in Japan for the International Tephra Group and is often involved in organising international field trips.

“I relish being able to contribute to and disseminate knowledge,” says Professor Lowe, who has been involved in the outreach of science for more than 30 years.

Professor Lowe’s tephrochronological research also includes establishing volcano eruption frequency and hazards in New Zealand. He is a leading pedologist with an international reputation in volcanic ash-derived soils, writing review articles on their complex genesis and unique character, and on soil mineralogy.

The Royal Society of New Zealand now has 375 Fellows and 56 Honorary Fellows. Fellows are involved in providing expert advice, promoting best research practice and disseminating science and humanities information.