Honorary Member Ian Allison

Ian Allison has been an enthusiastic and dedicated supporter of the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS) for more than a decade. Ian is a glaciologist who has greatly advanced our understanding of the role of Antarctica in the global climate system. He became the second President of IACS in 2009, replacing founding President Georg Kaser. He served as President from 2009-2013, and Immediate Past President from 2013-2015. He then continued on the IACS Bureau as IACS Vice President from 2015-2019. Ian has been instrumental in helping to guide the direction of IACS, bringing a Southern Hemisphere perspective and developing connections to other scientific organisations via his extensive and distinguished international connections.

Ian has been an outstanding leader of international polar research collaboration over many decades, including co-chairing the peak committee responsible for the 2007-2008 International Polar Year. He has been widely recognised for his contributions both internationally and within Australia. He was awarded a Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Medal for International Scientific Coordination in 2012. And in 2014, he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia “For distinguished service to the environment as a glaciologist, to furthering international understanding of the science of the Antarctic region, and to climate research”. In 2016 he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. Allison Glacier on the west side of Heard Island (a sub-Antarctic island) is named in his honour.

Ian has greatly advanced our understanding of Antarctic sea ice and ice shelves, and their response to climate change, publishing more than 100 peer-reviewed research papers. Ian worked with the Australian Antarctic Division for 42 years across a range of disciplines including glaciology, meteorology, oceanography, and iceshelf-ocean interaction. He undertook leadership positions at the Division for over 30 years, including spending the winter at Mawson Station in 1969. Ian participated in or led 25 research expeditions in the Antarctic, undertaking seven extended deep field operations and numerous marine science voyages.

Ian pioneered the study of Antarctic sea ice with innovative and challenging year-round field campaigns, which documented for the first time the seasonal variation in growth, redistribution, and decay of sea ice through its interactions with the atmosphere and underlying water column. He has also shown the importance of melt and refreezing beneath ice shelves to mass loss from the ice sheet, and vulnerability to ocean change.

Ian warrants appointment as an Honorary Member of IACS for leading the organisation through a critical early period, and for his distinguished contributions to science, as well as promoting cryospheric sciences both within and outside the Association.

July 2019