Richard Peltier receives Herzberg Gold Medal, NSERC's highest honour

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 2:50:00 AM

Honours & Appointments


Richard Peltier (Photo source:

University Professor Dr. Richard Peltier (Department of Physics; Director of the Centre for Global Change Science) has been awarded the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, the highest honour of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).  In honour of the late Dr. Herzberg, Canada's 1971 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, it is awarded annually to an individual who has demonstrated sustained excellence and influence in research for a body of work conducted in Canada that has substantially advanced the fields of natural sciences or engineering.  In addition to the medal, the winner receives research funding of $1 million, distributed over a five-year period.

A pioneer of Earth system science, Dr. Peltier was cited for seminal contributions to geophysics, atmospheric sciences and climate change research. Using sophisticated mathematical concepts, he builds models that depict how climate has evolved over the past 750 million years and project how it will change in the future. His research on ice-age climate variability is considered the gold standard for scholarship on past climate change. The Herzberg Medal is the latest in a long line of honours for Dr. Peltier, which include the 2002 Vetlesen Prize (often called the Nobel of earth sciences) and the 2010 Bower Award. He holds the title University Professor, which is the highest honour the University of Toronto bestows on its faculty members.

He and other NSERC award winners were honoured in a ceremony hosted by the Governor General in a ceremony in Ottawa on February 27, 2012.

This is an edited excerpt of an article from

For more information on this award:

View a brief video of Dr. Peltier speaking about his research:

For more on Dr. Peltier and his research, please visit