The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), one of the oldest and most respected science education organizations in the U.S., has announced that Dr. Douglas N. C. Lin is the 2015 recipient of its Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal.

Dr. Lin, Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is recognized for his significant and seminal achievements in a variety of domains, including the orbital motion of the Magellanic Clouds, the formation and evolution of exoplanets, the physics of cataclysmic variables and accretion disks, and the dynamics, structure, and evolution of Saturn’s rings.

Professor Lin has made major contributions to our understanding of the dynamics of the Magellanic Clouds within our galaxy’s dark halo — a campaign that Dr. Lin was the driving force on for decades. His writing on the subject remains a classic reference, and his study of dark matter in dwarf spheroidal galaxies started a new subfield.

Professor Lin has also investigated the evolution of planetary systems and is responsible for the models that help interpret the findings from exoplanet studies. Shortly after the discovery of a “hot Jupiter” in 51 Pegasi, Professor Lin wrote the seminal paper on how these objects could have obtained such close proximity to their host star. As one of Dr. Lin’s distinguished colleagues stated, he is “the leading expert in the world today on the architecture of extrasolar planetary systems — where planets form, how they interact with their parent proto-solar disk of gas, and how far from their parent star they end up.”

In addition to being a driving theoretical force in several fields, Professor Lin is also the founding director of the new Kavli Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University where he has a major impact on the scientific advancement of China. Professor Lin was nominated for the Bruce Medal by the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. To quote from their nomination letter: “Professor Lin’s experience as a world-leading expert has served as an asset for the Chinese astronomical community, raising the profile and boosting the visibility of astronomy in the country and cultivating the next generation of Chinese astronomers.”

Professor Douglas Lin recently was honored with the Brouwer Award from the Division of Dynamical Astronomy of the American Astronomical Society for his achievements and contributions to this field. He received both a Humboldt Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship and has held a number of distinguished academic positions, including Honorary Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, Lecar Lecturer at Harvard University, Rothschild Professor at the Isaac Newton Institute of Cambridge University, and the Carnegie Centenary Professor at the University of St. Andrews. Dr. Lin also served as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

During his career to date, Dr. Lin has published over 225 peer-reviewed articles and has been cited over 15,600 times.