Congratulations to Val H. Smith who has been selected by the Association of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) to receive the 2013 John H. Martin Award. The John H. Martin Award honors the author of a past paper judged to have had a long-lasting impact on research in the field of aquatic sciences. This year’s award is being presented to Val H. Smith for his 1983 paper “Low Nitrogen to Phosphorus Ratios Favor Dominance by Blue-Green Algae in Lake Phytoplankton”, Science 221: 669-671. Smith’s paper demonstrates that low nitrogen to phosphorus ratios promote the growth of nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria in lakes, and spurred policies to limit the amount of phosphorus released into fresh waters. In the twenty-nine years since it was written, this paper has been cited 784 times, making it one of the most widely cited references on the entire topic of eutrophication. It was also the first paper to argue that low ratios of nitrogen to phosphorus should favor diazotrophic Cyanobacteria, with their unique ability to supplement ionic nitrogen by fixing it from the atmosphere.
The award was presented in February at the annual ASLO 2013 Aquatic Sciences meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.