Elkanah Billings Medal

The Billings Medal, established by the Paleontology Division of the Geological Association of Canada, is awarded to an individual in recognition of an outstanding long-term contribution to any aspect of Canadian paleontology or by a Canadian to paleontology. The Billings Medal is named in honor of Elkanah Billings, Canada’s first paleontologist.

The 2017 winner is Dr. George Pemberton of The University of Alberta.

The Elkanah Billings Medal is awarded to Dr. S. George Pemberton, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to Canadian paleontology as an ichnological researcher, an educator, and a mentor. Dr. Pemberton’s research has elevated the field of Ichnology from an obscure and fringe discipline of paleontology to an integral element of any multidisciplinary sedimentologic and stratigraphic analysis of the rock record. George introduced the use of Ichnology to identify brackish-water depositional systems, was instrumental in the application of trace fossil analysis to the developing field of sequence stratigraphy, pioneered combining ichnology with sedimentology and stratigraphy to build complex, multi-disciplinary geologic and reservoir models, and investigating the role of trace fossils and bioturbated fabrics on the petrophysical properties of conventional and unconventional siliciclastic and carbonate reservoirs. He has published over 250 technical papers and given approximately 300 scientific presentations. George is the Editor and co-founder of the international journal Ichnos, the official journal of the International Ichnological Association.

Dr. Pemberton is a gifted teacher who inspires the deepest respect from his students and fellow scientists. He has graduated 53 M.Sc. and 16 Ph.D. students, 7 of whom are now professors in Canadian universities, and mentored 8 post-doctoral fellows. His dedication to the education of young paleontologists has been recognized by receiving the Distinguished University Professor designation from the University of Alberta (2009), the Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring (2009), the Grover E. Murray Memorial Distinguished Educator Award (2008), and the Killam Annual Professor Award (2005-06). In addition to academic teaching, he has conducted over 120 short courses for petroleum companies and professional societies around the world, responsible for the training of 2800 professional. Based on his exceptional record of distinguished achievement in Canadian paleontology, Dr. George Pemberton is a most deserving recipient of the Elkanah Billings Medal.

Past Recipients


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