Citation for the 2015 W.A. Johnston Medal
Dr. C.F.M. (“Mike”) Lewis has enjoyed a half century of prolific and seminal geological research on Canada’s continental shelves, in the Laurentian Great Lakes, and on other large and small lakes in Canada. His expertise includes the study of Holocene lake levels and paleohydrology, demonstrating the former negative water balance and closed basin status of large water bodies such as Lake Winnipeg and the Great Lakes, and highlighting the implications for future lake levels under climate change. Dr. Lewis’s studies on the interplay of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, its meltwater, and the drainage pathways to the oceans have had implications on paleoclimatology, paleoceanography, and modelling of global change. His elucidation of the evolution of the Great Lakes, of the large proglacial lakes associated with the decay of the LIS, and of their successor basins, represents a remarkable contribution to the Quaternary of North America, on a par, one might argue, with the contributions of W.A. Johnson.
Dr. Lewis has authored to date more than 85 externally refereed articles (with other papers currently in review), serving as lead author on a high proportion of these, and has co-edited seven books or special volumes. He is widely respected for his intellectual integrity and leadership. He recognizes the multi-faceted nature of meaningful scientific investigation and this outlook is reflected in his active involvement with a broad range of scientific collaborators from many institutions on projects large and small. Dr. Lewis excels at embracing new and developing technologies and applies these techniques to imaging and sampling both lakebed and seafloor sediments. In this way he has revealed remarkable details of seafloor and lakebed features, including submerged shorelines marking former low lake levels in many basins.
Dr. Lewis’s contributions are widely recognized as innovative and paradigm-shifting, creating new insight into the Quaternary record of the Great Lakes basin among his other contributions of a more applied nature. His career truly exemplifies the tradition of W.A Johnston.