New Years Honours for past and future BES Presidents

A former president and the president elect are named in the 2023 New Year Honours List

Richard Bardgett and Bridget Emmett are named in the 2023 New Year's Honours list
Richard Bardgett and Bridget Emmett are named in the 2023 New Year's Honours list

A number of outstanding UK ecologists have been named in the 2023 New Year Honours List, including the president elect and a former president of the British Ecological Society (BES).

Richard Bardgett becomes a CBE for his work on soil ecology and climate change science. Richard was President of the BES in 2018 and 2019 and is Professor of Ecology at the University of Manchester.

“This was a massive surprise and I feel tremendously honoured,” Richard says. “I am deeply thankful to all those I have worked with over the years and who have supported me in my journey into the ecology of soil. More than anything, I hope this award helps to raise awareness of the vital importance of soil for people and nature.”

Leading work in soil and ecosystem science is also recognised in the award of an OBE to Bridget Emmett.

Bridget is Head of Soils and Land Use at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, and has just been elected President Elect of the BES at our Annual Meeting earlier this month.

“I’m somewhat overwhelmed to be honest,” says Bridget. “There are so many committed scientists doing amazing work out there and all of us depend on our colleagues and teams. I think this honour should be seen as recognition for the dedication of both our personal teams and the wider ecological community for the work we do together. It’s never been more important as we face the challenges of the climate and nature crises.”

Some of the highest awards have been made to those leading the way internationally on biodiversity and climate change.

The Dasgupta Review published in 2021 set a new mark in understanding the economics of biodiversity. It called for changes in how we think about economic success to protect our prosperity and the natural world. For this and his wider contributions to economics and the natural environment, Sir Partha Dasgupta of the University of Cambridge has his knighthood elevated to the Knights Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire.

The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP is knighted as the UK government cabinet minister who led the COP26 climate change meeting in Glasgow last year.

Among those receiving MBEs are ecologists and conservationists Sarah Wanless of the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, marine biologist Keith Hiscock, Mathew Frith of the London Wildlife Trust and Founder and Director of the Seal Research Trust, Susan Sayer.