The Mineralogical Association of Canada is the first scientific society that I joined. I was fortunate to receive an undergraduate student award from the MAC in 2003, which included the gift of a membership to the association. This recognition sparked my imagination and led me to pursue a career in geochemistry. In the years since then, the MAC helped to support my graduate research, and more recently the work of my Ph.D. students through its scholarship programs. The MAC has always felt like my home society, so it is with great pleasure and gratitude that I accept the Young Scientist Award today. I would also like to thank the MAC for its gracious definition of 'young' (looking back at photographs from the society's website, I m not quite as ginger as I used to be!).
Every award for individual achievement is really recognition of group effort. I d like to thank my parents, David and Irene, and my brother, Misha, for their support. I owe much of my success to my parents. They not only permitted me to pick apart the world around me, and to fill the house with rocks, bugs, plants, rabbits, bacterial cultures& they genuinely encouraged me in my budding scientific efforts.
Science, as with any creative endeavour, is a delight when you're fortunate to build ideas with great people. And I've been extremely fortunate in this regard. I've had excellent and generous mentors, Greg Dipple, Gordon Southam, Mati Raudsepp and Dave Bish in particular. It's not possible to thank everyone deserving of thanks in a short speech. However, I would like to pay particular thanks to Ian Power, Bree Morgan, Andy Tomkins, Simon Jowitt, Anna Harrison, Shaun Barker, Helen Brand, and again to Greg and Gord thank you for being fantastic collaborators and wonderful friends. It's sincerely a pleasure to work with you.
Sandy Cruden, my head of school at Monash, gave me some sage advice in my first year as a faculty member. He advised me to only take on graduate students and postdocs who are smarter than me. So, thank you to all of my students and postdocs, past and present, in particular: Alastair Tait, Bree Morgan, Connor Turvey, Jenine McCutcheon and Jessica Hamilton. You're wonderful colleagues and you make me look much more clever than I am!
Finally, I'd like to extend my thanks to Mati and Greg for nominating me for this award. It feels rather like I've come full circle in all the best ways standing here today.