For her outstanding efforts in pioneering studies in micropalaeontology and natural history, The Micropalaeontological Society (TMS) awarded Wesleyan’s Ellen Thomas with the 2016 Brady Medal.
The Brady Medal is TMS’s most prestigious honor and is awarded to scientists who have had a major influence on micropalaeontology by means of a substantial body of research.
Thomas was honored for “communicating to an extremely broad audience fascinating, impactful and often thought-provoking research” and “academic encouragement of students and peers over the years with [her] generosity of time in a very busy and successful career,” noted TMS President F. John Gregory.
Thomas, research professor of earth and environmental sciences and the University Professor in the College of Integrative Sciences, investigates the impact of changes in environment and climate on living organisms on various time scales, with the common focal point of benthic foraminifera (eukaryotic unicellular organisms). She studies their assemblages, as well as trace element and isotope composition of their shells. Foraminifera live in salt or at least brackish water, so she concentrates her research on the oceans, from the deep sea up into tidal salt marshes.
The Micropalaeontological Society exists “to advance the education of the public in the study of Micropalaeontology” and is operated “exclusively for scientific and educational purposes and not for profit”. It was initiated as The British Micropalaeontological Group in 1970.
The Brady Medal is named in honor of George Stewardson Brady (1832-1921) and Henry Bowman Brady (1835-1891) in recognition of their outstanding pioneering studies in micropalaeontology.
Read more about Ellen Thomas in these past News @ Wesleyan articles.