Pellas-Ryder Award

Best Student Paper in Planetary Sciences


Nomination deadline:  January 31st (annually)

This award, which is jointly sponsored by the Meteoritical Society and the Planetary Geology Division of the Geological Society of America, is awarded to an undergraduate or graduate student who is first author of the best planetary science paper published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal during the year prior to the award. Potential topics are listed on the cover of Meteoritics & Planetary Science, and include: Asteroids, Comets, Craters, Interplanetary Dust, Interstellar Medium, Lunar Samples, Meteors, Meteorites, Natural Satellites, Planets, Tektites, Origin and History of the Solar System. The award has been given since 2001, and honors the memories of meteoriticist Paul Pellas and lunar scientist Graham Ryder.

The Award is limited to undergraduate and graduate students who are first authors of a papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals during a specific calendar year. The first author must have been a registered student at a degree awarding institution at the time the paper was submitted to the publishing journal. Two letters of certification are required: (1) From the student's department head attesting that the individual was a student at the time of paper submission to the publishing journal; (2) From the student's advisor detailing the portion of the work done by the student and contributed by others including the advisor. Planetary science papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals published in English only will be considered for this award. Students of Selection Committee members are not eligible for the Award.

Papers will be considered for the Award by nomination to the Selection Committee. Committee members, full members of the Geological Society of America, full members of the Meteoritical Society, or full members of any of their associated societies may make nominations. The nomination may be addressed to the Secretaries of either the Planetary Geology Division of the GSA or the Meteoritical Society, who will forward the nominations to the Chair of the Selection Committee. (Members of the Selection Committee may make nominations directly to the Chair of the Committee.)

Alternatively, nominations can be made directly to the Chair of the Selection Committee. Submissions for consideration should be sent (as PDF documents) by email to Dr. Nick Lang.

Questions or inquiries may be directed to via email to Dr. Nick Lang.

The deadline for nominations is January 31 each year. The Selection Committee will review nominated papers published during the previous calendar year, and create a short list by the end of February. Committee members will read the short list and make their rankings in time for the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) in mid-March. The Committee will meet at LPSC and settle on their final recommendations. At least one month before the Meteoritical Council gathers at the annual meeting of the Meteoritical Society, the Committee Chair will send a report of the recommendation to the two Societies. Included in the report will be the abstract of the paper and an explanation of why the paper is being recommended for the Award.

The Meteoritical Society provides a check for $500 U.S., and sends it directly to the recipient after notifying the recipient that they have been selected to receive the Award. GSA provides the recipient with a framed certificate. If the recipient attends either the GSA Annual Meeting or the Meteoritical Society Annual Meeting in the year of the award, the certificate is presented there. Otherwise, the certificate is presented at the annual LPSC meeting the year following the award. If the recipient attends none of these conferences, GSA ships the certificate to the recipient. A brief citation, written by the Committee Chair and the lead nominator, is published in Meteoritics and Planetary Science and included in the GSA Planetary Geology Division newsletter.

Past Pellas-Ryder Awardees

Award Year Winner Institution Journal Year, Vol, Pages Title
2021 Jan L. Hellmann Institut für Planetologie, University of Münster, Germany Earth and Planetary Science Letters 2020, 549, 116508 Origin of volatile element depletion among carbonaceous chondrites
2020 Sabina Raducan Imperial College, London Icarus 2019, 329:282-295 The role of asteroid strength, porosity and internal friction in impact momentum transfer
2019 Simon J. Lock Harvard University Journal of Geophysical Research Planets 2018, 123, 910-951 The Origin of the Moon within a Terrestrial Synestia
2018 Worsham, Emily University of Maryland Earth and Planetary Science Letters 2017, 467, 157-166 Characterizing cosmochemical materials with genetic affinities to the Earth: Genetic and chronological diversity within the IAB iron meteorite complex
2017 Budde, Gerrit Wilhelms-Universität Münster Germany Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2016, 113, 2886–2891 Tungsten isotopic constraints on the age and origin of chondrules
2017 Keane, James University of Arizona Nature 2016, 540(7631), 90-93 Reorientation and faulting of Pluto due to volatile loading within Sputnik Planitia
2016 Hanna, Romy University of Texas, Austin Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 2015, 171, 256-282 Impact-induced brittle deformation, porosity loss, and aqueous alteration in the Murchison CM chondrite
2016 Harrison, Tanya University of Western Ontario Icarus 2015, 252, 236-254 Global documentation of gullies with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Context Camera and implications for their formation
2015 Battaglia, Steven Northern Illinois Univ.
2014 Beitz, Eike Technische Universität Braunschweig Icarus 2013, 225, 558-569 Experiments on the consolidation of chondrites and the formation of dense rims around chondrules
2013 Burkhardt, Christoph ETH Zurich Earth Planetary Science Letters 2012, 357-358, 298-307 Origin of isotopic heterogeneity in the solar nebula by thermal processing and mixing of nebular dust
2012 Patthoff, Alex Univ. Idaho Geophysical Research Letters 2011, 38, L18201 A fracture history on Enceladus provides evidence for a global ocean
2011 Beck, Andrew W. Univ. Tennessee Meteoritics and Planetary Science 2010, 45, 850-872 Diogenites as polymict breccias composed of orthopyroxenite and harzburgite
2010 Reddy, Vishnu Univ. North Dakota MAPS 2009, 44, 1917-1927 Composition of 298 Baptistina: Implications for the K/T impactor link
2009 Ehlmann, Bethany Brown University Science 2008, 322, 1828-1832 Orbital identification of carbonate-bearing rocks on Mars
2008 Touboul, Matthieu ETH Nature 2007, 450, 1206-1209 Late formation and prolonged differentiation of the Moon inferred from W isotopes in lunar metals
2007 Richardson, James E. Jr. Univ. Arizona Icarus 2005, 179, 325-349 The global effects of impact-induced seismic activity on fractured asteroid surface morphology
2007* Toppani, Alice CRPG-CNRS GCA 2006, 70, 5035-5060 Laboratory condensation of refractory dust in protosolar and circumstellar conditions
2006 Wyrick, Danielle Univ. Texas, San Antonio JGR-Planets 2004, 109, E06005 Distribution, Morphology and Origins of Martian Pit Crater Chains
2005 Itoh, Soichi Tokyo Inst. Tech. Nature 2003, 423, 728-731 Contemporaneous formation of chondrules and refractory inclusions in the early Solar System
2004 Dauphas, Nicolas CRPG-CNRS Astrophys. J. 2002, 565, 640-644 Molybdenum evidence for inherited planetary scale isotope heterogeneity in the protosolar nebula
2003 Davidsson, Björn Uppsala University Icarus 2001, 149, 375-383 Tidal splitting and rotational breakup of solid biaxial ellipsoids
2002 Johnson, Natasha Washington Univ. Icarus 2000, 146, 301-306 Water on Venus: New Insights from Tremolite Decomposition

* Timing of award adjusted by presenting two in same year