Congratulations are in order for James T. Carlton, professor of marine sciences and director of the Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies Program at Mystic Seaport, who has been named the 2013 recipient of the California Academy of Sciences Fellows’ Medal. Carlton was awarded the Academy’s highest honor during the Fellowship’s October meeting.
Based in San Francisco, the California Academy of Sciences is a world-class scientific and cultural institution that is committed to leading-edge research and educational outreach. According to a press release, the Academy awards the Fellows’ Medal to “especially prominent scientists who have made outstanding contributions to their specific scientific fields.” Medalists are nominated each year by the Academy Fellows and confirmed by the Board of Trustees.
“I was very honored and surprised to receive the Fellows’ Medal from the California Academy of Sciences, one of the country’s leading scientific institutions. I am deeply humbled to be in the company of the other scientists who have been Medalists,” said Carlton.
Carlton has directed the Williams-Mystic Program since 1989 and is a professor of Marine Ecology. His research focuses on the environmental history of coastal marine ecosystems, including invasions of non-native species and modern-day extinctions in the world’s oceans. His research sites include the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, the Hawaiian Islands, Argentina, and South Africa. He is the only scientist to receive the Interagency Recognition Award from the U.S. Federal Government for his national and international work to reduce the impacts of exotic species invasions in the sea. Carlton is currently Lead Principal Investigator on a National Science Foundation-funded study on the marine life being transported across the Pacific Ocean by the marine debris generated by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of 2011.
In addition to being a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, Carlton is founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal Biological Invasions, a Pew Fellow for Marine Conservation, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1995, he was named an “Ocean Hero” by the Smithsonian Institution. Carlton received his undergraduate degree in paleontology from the University of California, Berkeley; his Ph.D. in ecology from the University of California, Davis; and did his postdoctoral work at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.