Congratulations to NERC researchers recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours

13 October 2020

NERC would like to congratulate all those in the environmental science community who have been recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.


Professor Sir Stephen Holgate, Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology and Honorary Consultant Physician at the University of Southampton, and NERC Council Member, has received a knighthood for his services to medical research.

Sir Stephen is a valuable member of NERC’s Council, a NERC Clean Air Champion, and a former member of the NERC Strategy Board. His research has focused on the mechanisms of asthma, utilising many approaches to study this disease including epidemiology, genetics, pathology, microbiology and immunology, pharmacology and experimental medicine. This research has informed guidelines on asthma management and has identified and validated novel therapeutic targets.

Professor Ed Hill, Chief Executive at the National Oceanography Centre’s (NOC), has received a CBE in recognition of his services to ocean and environmental sciences.

Professor Hill is a world-leading authority on ocean science and is dedicated to raising awareness of ocean issues and advancing the science and technology to understand our seas. Having been part of NERC for over 20 years, he has recently led the National Oceanography Centre into an independent charity, driving forward greater innovation and influence.

Professor Yadvinder Malhi, Jackson Senior Research Fellow in Biodiversity and Conservation at the University of Oxford, has been awarded a CBE for services to ecosystem science.

Professor Malhi’s research investigates the impact of global atmospheric change on the ecology, structure and composition of terrestrial ecosystems, in particular temperate and tropical forests. This research addresses fundamental questions about ecosystem function, diversity and dynamics, whilst at the same time providing outputs of direct relevance for conservation and adaptation to climate change.

Professor Jason Lowe, Head of Climate Services at the Met Office, has been awarded an OBE for services to climate science.

Professor Lowe’s work has helped the UK and other countries plan for and respond to the impacts of climate change, directly shaping national and international policy and informing vital decisions to protect businesses and communities. He has pioneered a more collaborative approach to climate research, bringing together climate science with other academic disciplines, such as economics and social sciences, and emphasising working directly with end-users, from private enterprise to local government.

Professor Simon Pollard, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University, has been awarded an OBE for services to environmental risk management.

Professor Pollard joined Cranfield in 2002 and now leads the School of Water, Energy and the Environment.  He has led Centres in environmental risk and decision-making for Defra and the Research Councils. His scholarship is focused on the fields of risk management and regulatory design, with recent contributions exploring the implementation of risk management in the international water sector.

Professor Charlotte Williams, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Oxford, was awarded an OBE for services to chemistry.

Professor Williams is recognised internationally for her work on the development of sustainable polymers, including plastics which are biodegradable, recyclable and sourced from waste plants. In 2011, she founded Econic, which uses catalysts to allow carbon dioxide to be used as a raw material in polymer production, making the process cheaper and more environmentally sustainable.

Professor Chris Evans, Biogeochemist at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH), has been awarded an MBE for services to environmental research.

Professor Evans is an expert on carbon cycling and greenhouse gas emissions from land use and has worked at the UKCEH for more than 20 years. Much of his work has focused on the quantification and mitigation of greenhouse gases generated by the degradation of peatlands, in the UK and around the world. He contributed to the development of international guidelines by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for reporting greenhouse gas emissions from wetlands and led work to implement these methods in the UK’s national emissions inventory.

Dr Andrew Gunn, lately Principal Economic Geologist at the British Geological Survey (BGS), has received an MBE for services to environmental research.

Dr Gunn – known to all as Gus – was formerly BGS’ Principal Economic Geologist and became an Honorary Research Fellow earlier this year. Dr Gunn is a pioneering UK proponent of better understanding the geology of critical metals, their mass flow through our economy and the possibilities for their recycling and reuse. He is a leading UK expert on criticality assessment and metal supply security; providing advice to the UK Government and Parliament, the EU, NATO, the International Energy Agency, and industry.

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