2023 Martin Award Recipients

David A. Hutchins and Dr. Kenneth W. Bruland

The Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) presents the John H. Martin Award to one paper each year that has led to fundamental shifts in research focus and interpretation of a large body of previous observations. The 2023 John H. Martin Award is being presented to “Iron-limited diatom growth and Si:N uptake ratios in a coastal upwelling regime” by Dr. David A. Hutchins (University of Southern California) and Dr. Kenneth W. Bruland (University of California, Santa Cruz) for resolving how iron availability can shape primary productivity, elemental composition, and carbon export in marine coastal plankton communities. The Martin Award will be presented to Dr. Hutchins and Dr. Bruland during the 2023 ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, in June 2023.

Hutchins and Bruland (1998), published in Nature, was a seminal piece of literature that examined factors that constrain the flow of carbon through ecosystems – an integral part of limnology and oceanography. This paper established a case for iron limitation impacting such flow in coastal upwelling off the coast of California at a time when such limitations were thought nonexistent in otherwise nutrient-rich coastal upwelling zone. In addition, Hutchins and Bruland provided insight on the effects of iron availability in relation to silica to nitrogen ratios, further shaping diatom communities and eventual carbon export. With more than 1,100 citations to date and being incorporated into countless introductory textbooks, Hutchins and Bruland remains a foundational paper in aquatic science.

ASLO President Dr. Patricia Glibert notes, “Hutchins and Bruland’s examination of iron availability, as well as silica and nitrogen assimilation, has fundamentally shifted our understanding of coastal primary production and nutrient biogeochemistry. Twenty-five years later, Hutchins and Bruland (1998) continues to be an integral paper that has guided our understanding on coastal primary production and a must-read for students and seasoned researchers alike.”

Full Citation: Hutchins, D. A. and K. W. Bruland. 1998. Iron-limited diatom growth and Si:N uptake ratios in a coastal upwelling regime. Nature 393, 561-564 (1998)  doi.org/10.1038/31203

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