Earth Observatory of Singapore,
Asian School of the Environment,
Nanyang Technological University
Adam Switzer has been at the forefront of geoscience in the Asia Oceania region for nearly two decades. A dedicated surfer, Adam found his calling in coastal hazards research. He obtained his BSc and PhD degrees in Australia working on coastal hazards near his hometown of Wollongong. Following the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, he moved to Asia determined to contribute to the safeguarding of vulnerable coastal communities through interdisciplinary geoscience research. He spent the first four years in Asia at the University of Hong Kong, before he was invited to Singapore to join the Earth Observatory of Singapore at Nanyang Technological University as their first principal investigator in 2009. Adam’s research career has been dedicated to improving our understanding of coastal dynamics and the impact and recovery of coasts from coastal hazards. His research focuses on examining historic extreme events and identifying signals that can assess the magnitude and frequency of these events and their potential impacts, especially in the context of secular change such as sea level rise. Having worked in Asia for the past two decades,
Adam possesses an encyclopaedic knowledge of coasts in Asia and he applies this knowledge to a multitude of projects. The body of work contributing to coastal geoscience in Asia has been exceptional. In addition, Adam has supervised a generation of scientists and engineers, many of whom now hold positions in top universities in the region. Simply put, Adam has trained some of Asia’s top researchers in the field and that legacy will no doubt remain in the region for decades to come. His contribution to AOGS is notable. He was previously treasurer and an executive council member during which he spearheaded efforts to reach out to southeast Asian countries. He was also a founding editor of the AOGS journal - Geoscience Letters. He co-chaired the development of the first joint AOGS-EGU meeting on Natural Hazards held on Taal Volcano, Philippines in 2018 and this was followed by two very successful online AOGS-EGU meetings in 2020 and 2021. Adam is a popular member of the international geoscience community and a fantastic advocate for the international mission of the AOGS, its aims and its people. There are very few who have the depth of impact that Adam has had over the last decade. He is an outstanding character and a voice of the geosciences who is thoroughly deserving of the Wing Ip medal.
David Wardle, Professor, AOGS Axford Lecturer 2017