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Dr. James P.M. Syvitski is an exceptionally productive scientist with a wide range of interests in the marine sciences including fjords, rivers, deltas, estuaries, particle dynamics, simulation of sediment transport and stratigraphy, continental margin sedimentation, gravity flows, and animal–sediment interactions. Professor Syvitski received his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in 1978 and was a member of the Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic) from 1981 to 1995. In 1995 he became Director of the Institute of Alpine and Arctic Research at the University of Colorado. Professor Syvitski has held various academic appointments at the University of Colorado and since 2007 has been Executive Director of the Community Surface Dynamics Modelling System.

Dr. Syvitski’s investigative strategy comprises a combination of numerical modeling, in situ measurements and classical sampling techniques. His research has addressed both broad and focussed issues such as land–ocean interactions in various coastal zone hydrodynamic settings, sediment deposition processes in iceberg-dominated glaciomarine environments and fjords, the changing microfabric of suspended particulate matter in the fluvial-to-marine transition, and numerical model developments aimed at elucidating new understandings on climate-driven riverine sediment fluxes.

A significant proportion of Dr. Syvitski’s research reflects a team approach that can be seen in many of his scientific accomplishments. His scientific contributions have been recognized internationally, including effective collaborations with peers through several important world-scale scientific activities such as International Geosphere–Biosphere Programme and as an advisor to agencies, laboratories and individual researchers in many countries on a suite of global change and marine environmental issues.