James Carlton Receives California Academy of Sciences' Highest Honor

Media contact:  Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., November 5, 2013—James Carlton, Williams College professor of marine sciences and director of the Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies Program at Mystic Seaport, has been awarded the California Academy of Sciences’ highest honor, the Fellows’ Medal. The award is given annually to especially prominent scientists who have made outstanding contributions to their scientific fields. Medalists are nominated by colleagues and selected by the Academy’s Board of Trustees.

Carlton’s research focuses on the environmental history of coastal marine ecosystems. He studies global marine bioinvasions of non-native species and modern-day extinctions in the oceans. He conducts research in the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, Hawaii, Argentina, and South Africa. Carlton has served as director of the Williams-Mystic Program, where he teaches marine ecology, since 1989.

Carlton is currently the lead principal investigator of a National Science Foundation-funded study on marine life that is being transported across the Pacific Ocean as a result of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of 2011. He is the founding editor-in-chief of the journal Biological Invasions, a Pew Fellow for Marine Conservation, and a Fellow of both the California Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Carlton received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1971 and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis, in 1979. He did his postdoctoral work at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.


Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.

To visit the college on the Internet: www.williams.edu Williams College can also be found on Facebook: www.facebook.com/williamscollege and Twitter: twitter.com/williamscollege