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James Croll Medal

About the award

This is the highest award of the QRA and is named in honour of James Croll (1821-1890). Croll is most closely associated with fundamental work on the astronomical theory of the ice ages, but he also made seminal contributions on the glacial geology of Scotland, on the mechanisms that drive ocean circulation and the impact of that circulation on recent climate, on tidal theory and the rotation of the Earth. These are all major issues that occupy Quaternary scientists to this day. Croll was effectively self-taught. His work and example demonstrate that any individuals from all backgrounds can rise to national eminence and generate science of lasting and major international impact, that it is not who you are or where you come from but what you do that is important. These are the qualities that the QRA seeks to celebrate in the award of the James Croll Medal.

The Medal is therefore normally awarded to a member of the QRA who has not only made an outstanding contribution to the field of Quaternary science, but whose work has also had a significant international impact.


The candidate should be nominated and seconded by any QRA members ‘of standing’ who are familiar with the candidate’s work.

Presentation of the award

The award will be presented at the January AGM. The successful candidate will be invited to receive their award in person from the President. Travel costs and one night’s accommodation will be made available from QRA awards funds (if required).

Previous medal winners

2023 – Colin Ballantyne (University of St Andrews)
2022 – Paula Reimer (Queen’s University Belfast) *
2020 – Richard Preece (University of Cambridge)
2019 – Jim Rose (Royal Holloway, University of London)
2018 – Ann Wintle (Aberystwyth University)
2017 – Jan Mangerud (University of Bergen)
2016 – Ian Shennan (University of Durham)
2015 – Alayne Street-Perrot (University of Swansea)
2014 – Philip Gibbard (University of Cambridge)
2013 – John Lowe (Royal Holloway, University of London)
2013 – Mike Walker (University of Wales, Lampeter)
2012 – Rick Battarbee (University College London)
2011 – Chris Stringer (Natural History Museum, London)
2010 – Geoffrey Boulton (University of Edinburgh)

* A decision was taken by the QRA Executive in late 2021 to align the medal award date to the year of presentation, not the date of nomination.

Nomination deadline 

Nominations may be submitted at any time of year but the cutoff for consideration in a given year is 15th September.

Interested in nominating?

QRA members can nominate candidates for prizes using our online application forms on our website.