Three researchers at the University of St Andrews have been recognised on the New Year's Honours List. Professor Anne Magurran received a CBE for services to biodiversity, whilst Professor Ailsa Hall received an OBE for her environmental work and Dr Maggie Ellis was awarded an MBE for her dementia research.
According to gov.uk the honours system recognises people who have made achievements in public life and committed themselves to serving and helping the United Kingdom.
Professor Magurran is a Professor of Ecology and Evolution in the Centre for Biological Diversity and the Scottish Oceans Institute, which conducts research in marine science. Her work explores how biodiversity has changed during the Anthropocene, a loosely defined period dated from the commencement of significant human impact on the Earth's geology and ecosystems. This involved cataloguing over 400 ecosystems from around the world.
Professor Hall is an Emeritus Professor of Biology and former director of the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU). The SMRU moved to the University of St Andrews from Cambridge in 1996, and carries out 'a range of fundamental and applied studies into the biology, ecology, physiology and behaviour of marine mammals throughout the world.' Professor Hall's work has influenced government policy on the protection of marine mammal populations around British waters, and has enabled the development of renewable energy sources.
Dr Ellis, of the School of Psychology and Neuroscience, has spent a lifetime researching methods to help those with dementia, as well as their families and professional caregivers. Her particular area of research ‒ named 'Adaptive Interaction' ‒ concentrates on developing meaningful ways to communicate with those who have lost the ability to speak.
Principal Sally Mapstone sent an email to staff regarding the awards, saying: 'I hope you will join me in offering all I have mentioned here our warmest congratulations, and best wishes for the future.'
Photo: Linden Grigg