The International Peat Society Award of Excellence

The IPS Award of Excellence was given out during 2005-2014 for a distinguished contribution in any sector of peatland activities.

Terms of Reference

For a distinguished contribution by a single person, group or project in any sector of peatland activities.

A framed scroll and a cash prize of total € 1,000. 

Application Deadline
31 January of every year. Nominations are valid only for the year they are submitted in.

Nominations can be sent in for single persons, groups or projects. Submissions can be made by a written letter or online at the IPS website (link on the left), containing:

-    Name and contact details of the submitting person/organisation
-    Name and contact details of the candidate for the Award
-    Reasons why the Award should be given to that person/group/project

Selection Committee
The decision on the Award winner is made by the IPS Executive Board by simple majority decision. The award shall be presented annually unless the IPS Executive Board considers that no suitable candidate has been nominated.

The award shall be presented annually at the Annual Assembly of IPS.

IPS Award of Excellence 2014 to Professor Richard Clymo

The Award of Excellence of the International Peat Society v2014 was handed over to Professor Richard “Dicky” Clymo from the United Kingdom during the Gala Dinner in Riga on 28 August. Professor Jack Rieley, Chair of the IPS Scientific Advisory Board, stated in his nomination:

“Professor Clymo is one of the best known and most prestigious peatland scientists of our time. His career spans some 50 years of which he has been a member of IPS for 40 years. He has published widely on many aspects of peatlands and peat but also wetlands in general in many peer reviewed scientific journals; he has published several books and contributed to numerous others. His scientific publications have received more citations (almost 7,000) than anyone else I know. His contribution to peatland and peat ecology and science is inestimable and virtually every other peatland scientist has read his papers and cited them in their work.”

The Executive Board and staff of the IPS sends their warm congratulations to the pleasant and highly skilled winner.

IPS Award of Excellence 2013 to Professor Harri Vasander

The IPS Award of Excellence 2013 was handed over to Professor Harri Vasander from the University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, during the dinner of the IPS Annual Meetings in Leiden on 19 June. Prof. Vasander was been nominated by the Finnish National Committee:

“... for his long carrier as a scientist, expert and lecturer promoting the wise use of peatlands throughout the world. His research area includes mainly mire ecology, carbon gas balance on peatlands and their sustainable utilisation, covering not only the boreal peatlands in Europe, Russia and North America, but also tropical peatlands. His studies on mire ecology and especially mire plants have given him broad grounds and expertise to understand the function of mire ecosystems. His work has been widely cited and internationally highly recognized. Harri has also been a planner and leader in many large international research projects carried out in the EU, Canada, Russia and Southeast Asia, and he has established very wide international cooperation networks. For instance, Harri is one of the pioneers in the research of tropical peatlands, and his studies have essentially contributed to fact that the significance of the tropical peatlands on the world’s biodiversity and climate change has become one of the most burning questions in the world.

Harri Vasander is well liked by his students and he is an enthusiastic academic teacher and lecturer in mire ecology and peatland forestry. Harri Vasander was appointed to the current position of Professor in Peatland Forestry at the University of Helsinki at the beginning of 2006. He has actively participated in the development of education in the University, and successively used the most modern and effective education methods in his teaching. In addition, he has been actively involved in organizing scientific conferences such as the IPS Congress 2004 in Tampere, Finland. He has worked actively in the Finnish Peatland Society (Suoseura), where he has acted as long-term Chairman and Treasurer as well as Chief Editor of Suo - Mires and Peat. In addition, he has the gift to be able to dispassionately and objectively listen and examine and deal with all current issues concerning peatlands; either their commercial use or the conservation of mires and peatlands. He has always had very wide knowledge on different use of peatlands and very much enthusiasm to promote the sustainable use of these areas not only in scientific committees but also in public discussions, not forgetting artistic and cultural aspects.” (Finnish Peatland Society’s nomination)

All the best to Harri and his future career and private life!

Prof. Dr. Piotr Ilnicki Winner of the IPS Award of Excellence 2012!

The 2012 IPS Award of Excellence was conferred to Professor Piotr Ilnicki from the University of Life Sciences in Poznan.

According to the nomination by the Polish National Committee, “the entire life of Piotr Ilnicki has been associated with peat and peatlands as a scientist, expert, reviewer, lecturer and teacher of new generation of peat scientists.

His professional interests lie in physical properties of peat, processes in organic soils during amelioration and subsidence, and agricultural use of fens and wetlands ecology. Moreover his research focuses on grassland management, soil science, carbon sequestrating in peatland, eutrophication of rivers, and landscape ecology.

Professor Piotr Ilnicki has published more than 320 scientific papers. In 2003, he received the award of Polish Ministry of Education for publishing the book on “Peatlands and Peats”, which was named the best academic handbook.In the same year Piotr Ilnicki and Leon E. Parent from Canada published a book on “Organic soils and peat materials for sustainable Agriculture”.

Professor Piotr Ilnicki has played a prominent and active role in the work of numerous international scientific organizations and scientific journals. He has been active both in the Polish Peatland Society (President 1993-1998, Vice-President 1998-2002, Chair of Commission III 1983-1992) and in the International Peat Society - member since 1968 (Chair of Commission III 1995-2000, Executive Board Member 1988-1996, Vice President 1996-2000, Honorary member 2004). Piotr Ilnicki has been a member of editorial boards in a number of scientific journals. He has also played a crucial role in organizing many wetland/peatland meetings with excursions in Poland and abroad, for instance in 1967 Warsaw - Bialystok; 1970 Nowy Sacz; 1971 - Warsaw; 1974 Gdansk; 1976 - 5th International Peat Congress, Poznan, Poland; 1995 - Warsaw - Biebrza; 1997 Saint Malo, France; 1999 Jokioinen, Finland.”

 We wish Prof. Ilnicki all the best for his future career!


Dr. Line Rochefort Winner of the IPS Award of Excellence 2011!

The IPS Award of Excellence 2011 went to Dr. Line Rochefort of Université Laval, Québec, Canada.

Prof. Rochefort holds a PhD and is a full Professor at the University’s Department of Plant Sciences. In addition, she has been holding the Industrial Research Chair for Peatland Management (Natural Science and Engineering Research, NSERC) since 2003, mainly specializing in peatland restoration. Her scientific activities include restoration ecology, peatlands ecology (fen and bogs), Sphagnum biology, bryophyte ecology, ecosystem experiments, plant-soil interactions in mosses, ecosystem rehabilitation and Sphagnum farming.

She is actively collaborating with the Canadian peat industry for peatland restoration after peat extraction in fens and bogs, for berry and tree production on peatlands, for Sphagnum farming and recently with oil sands companies researching ways to recreate fens after the decommission of sites, and with polymetallic mining companies to restore peatlands-wetlands for their filtration capacities.

Last but not least, Dr. Rochefort works as expert advisor for different levels of government in Canada and within the Canadian provinces where peatlands are involved, including departments of agriculture, forestry, environment, natural resources and transport. For the IPS, Dr. Line Rochefort was Chair of Commission V on “Restoration, rehabilitation and after-use of peatlands” for many years, has organised numerous conferences, symposia and workshops on different peatland matters and had a large share in editing the IPS guide to organising scientific events.

The IPS Award of Excellence was launched in 2005 and comprises of a framed scroll and a cash prize of € 1000. Nominations for the Award can be submitted by all members to the IPS Secretariat by 31 January of each year. The Executive Board of IPS will review the Terms of Reference in autumn to make the application process easier.

The 2011 Award of Excellence of IPS was handed over at the festive banquet of the Symposium on Responsible Peatland Management and Growing Media Production in Québec on 15 June 2011. Our warmest congratulations!

Laureate 2010

The IPS Award of Excellence 2010 was conferred on Mr. Gerald Schmilewski from Germany, who was nominated by the Dutch National Committee of IPS for his long-term commitment to the Society and his many activities, bringing truly science and industry together. The Award was presented during the Annual Assembly of IPS in Jyväskylä in June.

Laureate 2009

The IPS Award of Excellence 2009 was conferred on Dr. Timo Nyrönen from Finland. The official ceremony took place at the Annual Assembly in Belfast, Northern Ireland on 26 April 2009. The Award was handed over to Dr. Nyrönen in Jyväskylä in early June by the the Chair of the Finnish Peatland Society, the IPS Secretary General and Communications Manager.

Laureate 2008

The IPS Award of Excellence - Wim Tonnis Peat Award 2008 was conferred during the IPS Annual Assembly in Tullamore, Ireland at the International Peat Congress 2008 to to Mrs. Riitta Korhonen. IPS expresses its warmest congratulations.

Laureate 2007

The Wim Tonnis Peat Award 2007 was announced on 26 May 2007 on the IPS Annual Assembly in Riga to go to Mr Hartmut Falkenberg.

Laureates 2006

The Wim Tonnis Peat Award 2006 was conferred in Hannover, Germany, on 6 May 2006 to Dr. Hans Joosten and Mr. Donal Clarke.