The Eugene LaFond Medal

Eugene LaFondMedal pictureThe Eugene LaFond Medal shall be awarded to an ocean scientist from a developing country making a presentation (poster or oral) in a IAPSO-sponsored or co-sponsored symposium at the IUGG or IAPSO assemblies.

Next meeting at which the LaFond Medal will be awarded is the BACO-25, IAMAS-IACS-IAPSO Joint Assembly in Busan, Republic of Korea, 20-25 July 2025.

How to apply for the 2025 Medal? Prospective candidates are invited to identify their presentation as being eligible for the LaFond Medal. This is done by sending an email, including a brief CV describing their education and research activities, to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and copied to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please specify in the email the title of the presentation and the symposium in which it will be presented, and in what form (oral or poster).

Read more below.

The criteria for selection of the recipient are as follows (modified in Montreal, 11 July 2019):

1. The recipient shall be a scientist who
  - has gained much of their education in a developing country (as defined by the IAPSO Executive in line with the UN classification at the time of the award call), and
    - is employed or studying in a developing country.
2. The research presented should have been mainly carried out in a developing country.

Selection procedure:

  • In the call for papers at IAPSO meetings, scientists shall be invited to identify their presentation as being eligible for the LaFond Medal. This is done by sending an E-mail, including a brief CV describing their education and research activities, to the IAPSO This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and with a copy to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. At meetings where this is not possible, session convenors shall identify candidates they believe to be eligible.
  • A subset of the IAPSO Executive shall undertake to view posters and attend oral presentations by eligible candidates. They shall select the award winner based on the clarity and quality of the presentation and the contribution of their work to the science of a developing country. In the case of jointly-authored presentations the selection committee shall ensure that the award winner has made a significant contribution to the research.
  • The recipient shall be informed of the award by the IAPSO Secretary General who shall ensure that an appropriate citation is prepared to accompany the medal. The award shall be publicised by IAPSO through appropriate channels.

Previous Recipients of the Eugene LaFond Medal have been:

  • 2003: Margarita V. Chikina from Russia
  • 2005: Maria del Carmen Grados from Peru
  • 2007: Catia Motta Domingues from Brazil
  • 2009: Bamol A. Sow from Senegal
  • 2011: Towhida Rashid from Bangladesh
  • 2013: Issufo Halo from Mozambique
  • 2015: Sana Ben Ismail from Tunisia
  • 2017: Jonathan Durgadoo from Mauritius
  • 2019: Balakrishnan Rohith from India
  • 2023: Helenice Vital from Brazil



Eugene LaFond Medal recipient 2023

2023 ELFM Helenice VitalThe 2023 Eugene LaFond Medal is awarded to Dr. Helenice Vital from Brazil for her oral presentation 'SeabedMap Project - Sensing, integration and analysis of digital information in marine geological mapping, Brazilian equatorial margin'. This presentation was delivered on July 17, 2023 within the IAPSO Session “Bringing Scientific and Technological Ocean Information Together for Advancement of Sustainable Development in the Framework of the UN Ocean Decade” in Berlin, Germany.

The mapping of more than 5,500 km2 has revealed the Brazilian Equatorial margin slope and associated hazards and will also be very important for other science discoveries and societal applications.  Additionally, IAPSO recognizes her successful efforts in leading a broad and diverse group of stakeholders and integrating capacity development and early career scientists.


Eugene LaFond Medal recipient 2019

2019 ELFM Balakrishnan RohithThe 2019 Eugene LaFond Medal is awarded to Phd student Mr. Balakrishnan Rohith from India for his oral presentation 'Basin-wide sea level coherency in the tropical Indian Ocean driven by Madden-Julian Oscillation'. This was delivered on July 11, 2019 within the IAPSO-IAG joint symposium 'Monitoring Sea Level Changes by Satellite and In-Situ Measurements' during the 27th IUGG General Assembly 'The next century in Earth and Space Science' in Montreal.

From bottom pressure data he identified significant intraseasonal sea level variability originating from a small patch of wind over the Eastern Indian Ocean, associated with boreal winter Madden-Julian Oscillations (MJO). The importance of this mechanism is related to its propagation speed - much faster than baroclinic processes, thus allowing the basin to adjust to climatic perturbations much more rapidly than was previously thought.

Eugene LaFond Medal recipient 2017

2017 ELFM Jonathan DurgadooThe 2017 Eugene LaFond Medal is awarded to Dr. Jonathan Durgadoo from Mauritius for his oral presentation 'Indian Ocean sources of Agulhas leakage'. This was delivered on August 29, 2017 within the IAPSO-IAMAS joint symposium 'The Second International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE-2) and related oceanic and coupled atmospheric research in the Indian Ocean' during the IAPSO-IAMAS-IAGA 2017 Joint Assembly 'Good Hope for Earth Sciences' in Cape Town, South Africa.

Using high-resolution numerical model outputs, he analysed and presented the mean pathways, transit timescales, and transformation of waters flowing through the Indian Ocean on their way toward the South Atlantic. He showed that the Indian Ocean exports at least 7.9 Sv from the Pacific to the Atlantic, and thereby quantified the strength of the upper cell of the global conveyor belt.

Eugene LaFond Medal recipient 2015

2015 ELFM Sana Ben IsmailThe 2015 Eugene LaFond Medal is awarded to Dr. Sana Ben Ismail from Tunisia for her oral presentation 'Surface circulation features along the Tunisian coast (central Mediterranean sea): the Atlantic Tunisian current'. This presentation was delivered on July 1, 2015 within the IAPSO symposium 'Physics and Biogeochemistry of Semi-Enclosed and Shelf Seas' during the IUGG 2015 General Assembly 'Earth and Environmental Sciences for Future Generations' in Prague, Czech Republic.


Using in situ and satellite data, combined with numerical modelling, the work provides insight into the dynamics of the Tunisian branch of the Atlantic inflow and associated mesoscale features and instabilities. The research substantially contributes to the study of exchanges between coastal and offshore waters in a key region of the Mediterranean Sea. It is a step forward in the quantification of the exchanges between the Western and Eastern Mediterranean Sea and provides information in a poorly explored area of great societal interest.



Eugene LaFond Medal recipient 2013

2013 ELFM Issufo HaloThe 2013 Eugene LaFond Medal is awarded to Dr. Issufo Halo from Mozambique for his  oral  presentation  'Eddy properties in the Mozambique Channel: a comparison between observations and 2 numerical ocean circulation models'  on July 26, 2013 in the IAPSO symposium 'Integrated Environmental Modeling: Regional Climate and Ocean Modeling' during the IAHS-IAPSO-IASPEI Joint Assembly 'Knowledge for the future' in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Using a newly designed eddy detection algorithm, the work reveals the preferred site of formation of eddies in the northern part of the Mozambique Channel as well as their propagation pathways southwards, and gets insights into the physical processes responsible for their formation and variability. The research substantially contributes to the study of transport in this area and provides a methodology suitable for other areas of the ocean. 

Eugene LaFond Medal recipient 2011

The 2011 Eugene LaFond Medal was awarded to Dr. Towhida Rashid from Bangladesh for her oral presentation  'Holocene  relative sea  level  change  in  Bangladesh'  on July 1, 2011 in the IAPSO symposium 'Global and regional sea-level change' during IUGG General Assembly 'Earth on the Edge: Science for a Sustainable Planet' in Melbourne, Australia.

The work is an important contribution to the study of the sea level change in Bangladesh in the Holocene.  The research reveals sea level variations relative to the present level caused by transgressions and regressions in the Bangladesh region.  The results substantially contribute to the reconstruction of Holocene paleoenvironment of this area.

Eugene LaFond Medal recipient 2009

The 2009 Eugene LaFond Medal was awarded to Dr. Bamol Ali Sow from Senegal for his oral presentation 'Simulation of the Senegalese and Mauritanian Upwelling: How are the Winds actually Driving SST Variability and Water Mass Renewal?' in the IAPSO symposium 'Deep Ocean Exchange with the Shelf' during MOCA-09.

The work is an important contribution to the study of the Senegalese and Mauritian upwelling in the tropical Atlantic. It enlightens the role played by Ekman and coastal currents in maintaining the high SST variance of this zone. The results substantially contribute to the knowledge of an area where physical process studies are lacking and will aid the research on physical and biological interactions in a place where fishery is an important resource.

Eugene LaFond Medal recipient 2007

The 2007 Eugene LaFond Medal was awarded to Dr. Catia Motta Domingues from Brazil, for her talk entitled 'Towards more accurate estimates of the thermosteric sea level rise' in the IAG/IAPSO symposium 'Global sea-level change: Altimetry, GNSS and tide gauge measurements' during the IUGG 2007 General Assembly 'Earth: our changing planet' in Perugia, Italy.



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