Abigail Swann
Abigail Swann

The University of Washington Department of Atmospheric SciencesAbigail Swann was honored in the SN 10, Science News’  list of 10 early- and mid-career scientists on their way to greater widespread acclaim.

Each scientist on the list was nominated by a Nobel laureate, recently elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, or a scientist previously named to the list. All are age 40 or under, and were selected by Science News staff for their potential to shape the science of the future.

Swann is an atmospheric scientist and ecologist who is interested in the transitions, thresholds, and feedbacks of the coupled ecosystem-climate system, or ecoclimate. She works to understand when, where, and how plants influence the climate across a range of spatial and temporal scales. Her theoretical interests lead her to such questions as: how will changes in agricultural area create feedbacks in climate? Or, what processes control the response of climate to vegetation in different regions of the world? As such, her work is global in scale, considering the interactions between terrestrial ecosystems not only on their local environment, but also on other regions connected to the local ecosystem through atmospheric circulation.

“I am, of course, honored to have been chosen,” Swann said. “In particular it is humbling to be chosen for a broad award such as this one, which is not specific to a single scientific discipline.”

Swann was also named the inaugural winner of the $1,000 Jon C. Graff, Ph.D. Prize for Excellence in Science Communications. She was selected “for her mastery of conveying complex ideas with clarity.” The selection committee also considered “the scientists’ use of media, acknowledgement of scientific research as iterative and ability to communicate the long-term value of their work.”

Read about all the 2019 SN 10 winners who were announced Oct. 2.