Diana Wall awarded President’s Medal by the British Ecological Society

Diana Wall, School of Global Environmental Sustainability, Colorado State University , has been awarded the President's Medal.

The British Ecological Society (BES) announced today that Diana Wall, Colorado State University Distinguished Professor, has been awarded the 2019 President’s Medal. The BES President awards this prestigious honour at the end of each term of office (every two years) as a personal gift.

“Each year, the BES awards prizes to recognise and celebrate the exceptional contributions of individuals to advancing ecology and communicating its importance for society.

“I am delighted to present this special award to Diana Wall for her outstanding contributions to soil biodiversity research, focused on Antarctic McMurdo Dry Valleys, but also for her enormous efforts in promoting the importance of soils and their ecology for tackling global environmental challenges. Diana is a true ambassador for the ecology of soil.” said Professor Richard Bardgett, president of the British Ecological Society.

On receiving the award, Diana Wall said:

“I am thrilled and extremely honoured to receive the prestigious BES President’s Medal. BES is globally recognised for significant contributions to ecology and society, making this award very special to me. My thanks to Richard Bardgett, President of The British Ecology Society, the talented early career Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative executive directors and many dedicated colleagues whose enthusiasm and energy helped launch the initiative.”

“A note of appreciation also to my lab, my collaborators and to all ecologists past and present who so soundly embraced the fun, and urgency, of studying the fascinating life in soil.

Joyce McConnell, President of Colorado State University, said:

“The President’s Medal from the British Ecological Society is an extraordinary but also fitting honour for Dr. Wall, who is truly an internationally recognised researcher in ecology—and already a recipient of international recognition for her work. The mission of the British Ecological Society, to work ‘towards a world inspired, informed and influenced by ecology,’ is one that Dr. Wall clearly embodies.

“Her Antarctic soil research is teaching us an incredible amount about how species and ecosystems might respond to climate change. We are so proud to see her extraordinary work recognised at this level.”

Wall, who serves as the director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at CSU, went to Antarctica each summer season from 1989 – 2018, analyzing soil nematodes with collaborators and her CSU team. As recognition for her work on the continent, she had an Antarctic feature, Wall Valley, named after her in 2004.

Wall’s research explores how life in soil contributes to healthy, fertile and productive soils and, consequently, to society, and the consequences of human activities on soil globally. In recent years, she spearheaded the development of a first-ever Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas, containing facts and spectacular photos of earthworms, fungal species, and soil-based bacteria.

Diana, along with the nine winners of the other 2019 BES awards, will be presented with the President’s Medal during a ceremony held at the society’s annual conference in December, which will bring together 1,200 ecologists from around 60 countries to discuss the latest advances in ecological research across the whole discipline.

Media Contacts:

For more information about the awards or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Davy Falkner, Media Relations Officer, British Ecological Society
Email: davy@britishecologicalsociety.org, T: +44 (0)20 3994 8255, M: +44 (0) 7525 966 919