Nominate an incredible ecologist for the 2021 BES Awards

The BES Awards celebrate the outstanding contributions of ecologists at all career stages, explains Hazel Norman. Nominations close 26 April 2021.

A stack of statues shaped like capital letter E sit on a table under a bright spotlight
BES Awards ready to be presented at the BES Annual Meeting

The BES awards are a tremendous opportunity to recognise success and achievement in academic science and attract the best talent into ecology, says Hazel Norman, Chief Executive of the Society. “We not only reward those who have achieved success, but we make a substantial effort to ensure we consider nominations who represent our diverse and international membership and provide role models for the academic ecological community to aspire to.”

The breadth of BES Award categories ensure that there is an award for ecologists at every stage of their career, from scientific achievements at an international level to early-career ecologists driving change.

EXPLORE all of the BES awards here

“If you’re just starting your PhD and put together a fantastic poster for the Annual Meeting,” says Hazel, “you could win the BES Poster Prize.” That’s something that could remain on that person’s CV for the rest of their career, she explains. “At the other end of a career is the BES Honorary Membership, recognising a lifetime’s service both to science and the ecological community.”

Other awards celebrate involvement in the community. The Ecological Engagement Award recognises an exceptional contribution to facilitating the use and understanding of ecology, and the Equality & Diversity Champion celebrates an individual or group who are an inspiration to others. The Marsh Award for Ecologists recognises that ecologists in Africa are doing amazing science, often under particularly challenging circumstances.

It’s up to all of us to submit nominations to ensure ecologists from all facets of the scientific community can be considered for the awards

However, no one can win an award if they’re not nominated, and Hazel stresses how important it is for people to send in names of ecologists whose work deserves to be recognised. “It’s up to all of us to submit nominations to ensure ecologists from all facets of the scientific community can be considered for the awards,” she says. “The nominations form doesn’t ask for an essay, but they’re always fascinating to read.”

The BES prides itself on an open call for nominations, encouraging not just the Board of Trustees or committee members to submit names for consideration but absolutely everyone. Nominees are judged against relevant criteria and a shortlist is created, making sure there is a gender balance. The nominee ranked highest by the Nominations Committee is recommended to the Board of Trustees for approval, with the awards ceremony taking place at the Society’s Annual Meeting in December. “If unsuccessful, nominations are reconsidered for two more successive years, so there are three chances for your nominee to be recognised,” Hazel explains.

“Every year I look forward to learning about more exceptional ecologists and celebrating their work,” says Hazel. “I don’t think you could ever award enough prizes for all the amazing things the ecological community do.”