NERC awards prestigious fellowships to outstanding UK scientists

Hands holding plants

Talented scientists from across the UK have been awarded fellowships by NERC to deliver and communicate innovative research.

Fifteen researchers have been awarded prestigious Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Independent Research Fellowships (IRF).

IRF are designed to develop scientific leadership among the most promising early-career environmental scientists.

A further 11 scientists will receive NERC Knowledge Exchange (KE) Fellowships.

Sharing expertise and knowledge

These fellowships will enable researchers to share expertise and knowledge across:

  • the research sector
  • businesses
  • the public
  • policy makers
  • non-governmental organisations.

A total of £10.9 million has been awarded to the 26 fellows.

Investing in talent

The new IRF and KE fellows will drive forward science exploration in a number of disciplines within environmental science, including:

  • Earth science
  • oceanography
  • environmental chemistry
  • atmospheric sciences.

Professor Sir Duncan Wingham, Executive Chair of NERC, said:

NERC fellowships support some of the UK’s most promising researchers, helping them develop their careers and advance their ground-breaking research.

In the year of COP26, NERC is investing in world-leading science to build our understanding of our environment and find solutions to climate change.

Many congratulations to all those who have been awarded fellowships this year.

NERC fellowships are open to all those aiming to pursue research in the environmental sciences, and I would encourage those considering an application for the next round of opportunities to visit our website and find out more about how to apply.

Supporting talented scientists

IRF fellows

The 15 fellows are below.

Dr Eric Breard, University of Edinburgh

Towards reliable assessment of pyroclastic density current hazards.

Dr Lesleis Nagy, University of Liverpool

The Virtual paleomagnetic Laboratory (VIRGIL).

Dr Simon Lock, University of Bristol

The consequences of the Moon-forming impact for the chemistry of Earth.

Dr Fengjie Liu, University of Liverpool

Controls on iron availability to marine phytoplankton.

Dr Gillian Young, University of Leeds

Tackling the arctic cloud problem.

Dr Oliver Allanson, University of Exeter

The importance of nonlinear physics in radiation belt modelling.

Dr Taylor Maavara, University of Leeds

Climate change and watershed process interactions: large-scale anthropogenic changes to freshwater and nearshore coastal biogeochemical cycles.

Dr Alessandro Silvano, University of Southampton

Control of Earth’s climate(s) by the polar Southern Ocean.

Dr Ed Pope, Durham University

Understanding the offshore record of tropical cyclones.

Dr Christina Faust, University of Glasgow

Identifying mechanisms driving spatiotemporal disease dynamics in converted landscapes.

Dr Josh Firth, University of Oxford

Contagious by nature: understanding optimisation of social networks in wild populations.

Dr Frederick Draper, University of Leeds

A next-generation approach for quantifying tropical plant diversity across scales.

Dr Faye Thompson, University of Exeter

The evolution of war and peace in animal societies.

Dr Florencia Camus, University College London

Understanding the evolution of nutritional adaptation.

Dr Matthew Jones, University of East Anglia

Climate change impacts on global wildfire ignitions by lightning and the safe management of landscape fuels.

KE fellows

The 11 fellows are below.

Dr Victoria Boult, University of Reading

KEF: forecast-based action for conservation (ForCon).

Dr Agota Mockute, University of Hull

Natural environment and offshore wind (NEOW).

Professor Willliam Gaze, University of Exeter

The environmental dimension of antimicrobial resistance: the transition from policy formation to implementation.

Dr John Hillier, Loughborough University

ROBUST: enabling better management of UK multi-hazard risk.

Dr Sarah Brown, University of Bristol

Building resilience: support and advice for volcanic emergency response (SAVER).

Mr William Thompson, University of Oxford

Facilitating sustainable reforestation in tropical agricultural landscapes as a nature-based solution (HARP).

Dr Janet Richardson, University of Leeds

Sediment matters: using recent advances to unlock effective catchment decision-making.

Dr Ivan Haigh, University of Southampton

UPSURGE: Helping storm surge barriers prepare for climate change.

Dr Francesca Mancini, UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

Bringing the data revolution to nature recovery.

Dr Euridice Honorio Coronado, University of St Andrews

Peatland resilience: knowledge exchange for the conservation and sustainable management of forested tropical peatlands.

Professor Graham Underwood, University of Essex

Delivering multifunctional natural capital approaches for future coasts.

Applications are open

Applications to receive IRFs and KEFs are now open for next year.

Further information

Applications for IFR 2022 are being accepted. The time-based eligibility cap (a maximum of eight years of post-doctoral research) has been removed following consultation with the science community. Find out more about lifting the eligibility cap.

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