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Award recipient W. Richard Peltier will also get $1 million in research funding over five years from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. (NSERC)

Canada's top science and engineering prize, the Herzberg Gold Medal, has been awarded to W. Richard Peltier, a University of Toronto climate scientist.

Gov. Gen. David Johnston will present the medal at a ceremony Monday. As part of the prize, Peltier will also receive $1 million in research funding over five years from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.

According to NSERC, Peltier's work has "helped pioneer Earth system science," a field that studies the interactions between the land, atmosphere, water and biosphere together.

Peltier also developed "powerful" analytical tools in the form of mathematical models to depict how climate evolved over the past 750 million years and project how it will change in the future.

The Herzberg medal is awarded annually in recognition of "research contributions characterized by both excellence and influence" to a scientist at a Canadian university, government lab or private firm. The winner is recommended from a group of nominees by a selection committee of "distinguished university, government and corporate research representatives."

In addition to being well-known for his research, Peltier, founding director of the University of Toronto's Centre for Global Change Science, has been an outspoken critic of government cuts to climate research funding.

NSERC also presented 18 other researchers with seven of its other top awards.