Professor Jill Banfield named 2017 V.M. Goldschmidt Medalist

Recently appointed University of Melbourne Professor Jill Banfield has received the 2017 V.M. Goldschmidt Award at the Goldschmidt Conference in Paris.

The Goldschmidt Award recognizes major achievements in geochemistry or cosmochemistry consisting of either a single outstanding contribution or a series of publications that have had great influence on the field.

A world-renowned geochemist and geomicrobiologist, and member of the U.S. and Australian Academies of Science, Professor Banfield researches the structure, metabolic potential and functioning of natural microbial communities in sediments, soil, water, biofilms and animals. She also studies nanoparticle formation and the behavior of nanoparticles and clay minerals in the natural environment (nanogeoscience).

Professor Banfield has taken up a part-time appointment in the School of Earth Sciences to help drive the establishment of the Environmental Microbiology Research Initiative (EMRI) at the University of Melbourne. The initiative brings together key investigators across five faculties to establish a world-class research consortium in environmental microbiology to explore how microbes influence ecosystem and human health, the chemistry of the oceans and continents, and the impacts of industry and climate change, to generate new fundamental knowledge, advanced bioinformatics tools and novel biotechnologies.