Marsh Award for Climate Change Research

The Marsh Award for Climate Change Research run in association with the British Ecological Society. It is awarded for an outstanding contribution to climate change research. The Award is an honorarium of £1,000 plus a certificate and is open to ecologists from anywhere in the world.

Ecology’s purpose is to provide knowledge about the way the world works and provide evidence on the interdependence between the natural world and people. Never before has ecology been more important. A better understanding of ecological systems will allow society to predict the consequences of human activity on the environment.

Established in 1913 by professional ecologists, the British Ecological Society (BES) promotes and fosters the study of ecology in its widest sense. The BES is well placed to support areas of excellence and most need within the field of ecology and over the past 100 years has developed and supported activities to do this.

The 2016 winners are Professor Yadvinder Malhi and Professor Bridget Emmett

Yadvinder Malhi is Professor of Ecosystem Science at the University of Oxford and Director of the Oxford Centre for Tropical Forests. His work focuses on understanding the ecosystem ecology of tropical forests and how this will change as a result of global atmospheric change and direct anthropogenic change, and conversely how tropical forest conservation can assist in the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change.
Yadvinder’s research employs a range of tools from intensive field studies through to satellite monitoring and ecosystem modelling. His work has focussed largely on Amazonia, where he was the co-founder of RAINFOR forest plots network and the ABERG elevation transect in the Andes. More recently his research has spread to the forests of Africa and Asia, and he has designed (and leads) the Global Ecosystems Monitoring network of intensive forest monitoring sites across the topics.
More generally, Yadvinder is interested in understanding how the resilience and viability of the tropical forest biome in the context of the Anthropocene can be maximised, and in strengthening the scientific capacity of tropical forest nations to understand and manage ecosystems through the climate change and other challenges of the 21st century.

Bridget Emmett has 25 years of experience working in the environment research sector. Her initial training was in plant science, in which she received a first class honours degree from the University of Aberdeen, before she moved into soil ecology for her postgraduate studies, receiving a PhD from Exeter University.
She joined the Natural Environment Research Council’s Institute of Terrestrial Ecology in 1988, which later merged with three sister institutes to become the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. Bridget was appointed as the Head of Bangor in 2001, and has since doubled the size of the staff and student numbers there and moved the operation into a new purpose built ‘green building’ to deliver integrated ecosystem science across the land-marine interface.
Bridget initially specialised in air pollution impacts before moving on to climate change impacts, and most recently land management, ecosystem services and natural capital. Her work frequently focusses on integration across disciplines and land-water-air interfaces, working with a large number of generous and inspiring collaborators. Bridget’s research has had a strong policy and applied focus, helping to improve the evidence base for policy development, assessing policy outcomes and developing tools and approaches to improve decision making supported by Research Councils UK, Defra, devolved administrations, public agencies, the EU and industry.


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