Dr. Abduljamiu Amao of the Center for Integrated Petroleum Research has been awarded the 2019 Alan Higgins Award for Applied Micropalaeontology. Dr. Amao is the second researcher from KFUPM to receive this prestigious award from the Micropalaeontological Society – the first such award to a KFUPM scientist was given to Dr. Eiichi Setoyama in 2016.
The Alan Higgins Award is given to a young scientist, less than 10 years from graduation, in recognition of “significant achievement in the field of applied and industrial micropalaeontology, as documented by publications, software, patents, leadership or educational activities”. The award is presented in person at the Society’s Annual Conference, which this year takes place at the British Geological Survey in Nottingham, U.K. The award importantly, represents a substantive endorsement of the value of the scientific work of a young researcher. Further information regarding the Alan Higgins Award for Applied Micropalaeontology can be found at http://www.tmsoc.org/awards.
Dr. Amao did his Ph.D. research on the subject of Foraminifera (single-celled organisms less than 1 mm in size, which build a beautiful shell) in the Arabian Gulf. He is the first scientist who has documented the distribution of benthic foraminifera in the Gulf, and he uses Foraminifera as bioindicators of pollution and for paleoenvironmental reconstructions. His research on benthic foraminifera as proxies for pollution and for paleoenvironmental changes in the Gulf have greatly advanced our knowledge in these domains.
In his award letter, Dr. James B. Riding (President of the Micropaleontological Society) wrote: “The committee were very impressed at your research trajectory thus far. You successfully completed Master’s and PhD programmes at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia, and stayed on there to undertake a post-doctoral fellowship working on modern benthic foraminifera from the Arabian Gulf, with a very strong focus on ecology and environmental change. We also note your several papers, largely on foraminifera, published in 2015 and 2016 with yourself as senior author. I was especially impressed with: Amao, A.O., Kaminski, M.A. and Setoyama, E. 2016. Diversity of foraminifera in a shallow restricted lagoon in Bahrain. Micropalaeontology, 62, 197–211. In conclusion, the breadth and volume of your scientific output were noted, and we are absolutely convinced that you are fully deserving of the 2019 Alan Higgins Award for Applied Micropalaeontology.”
Prof. Abdullatif Al-Shuhail, Chairman of the Geosciences Department, was quoted in saying:
It is indeed a great privilege to win this prestigious award by one of our KFUPM graduates. It shows the international level of our education system and faculty. I take this opportunity to congratulate Dr. Amao and Prof. Kaminski for this accomplishment.
Dr. Amao traveled to the Annual Conference of the Micropaleontological Society to receive his award personally.