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Leading ecologist from the University of Bristol elected as Royal Society Fellow

Jane Memmott, Professor of Ecology at the University of Bristol

Press release issued: 12 May 2023

A University of Bristol academic who has provided insight into how networks of interactions between species impact the environment has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Jane Memmott, Professor of Ecology in the School of Biological Sciences, is a community ecologist interested in a wide range of environmental issues.

Professor Memmott started her research career as a tropical entomologist, commuting between the UK and the rainforests of Costa Rica. She went on to study the ecology of biological control, working closely with research teams in New Zealand, Kenya, and Australia. For the past 25 years she has been based at the University of Bristol.

Professor Memmott said: “I’m delighted to have been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society – it’s news that definitely puts a spring in your step!

“Over the past 25 years, I’ve been joined by some amazing research staff - masters and PhD students, technicians and post docs, and some incredible colleagues too. Working with them all has been a scientific adventure and enormous fun too.”  

Professor Memmott’s influential research group uses the networks of interactions between species - for example predatory, pollination, and seed dispersal interactions - as a tool to ask about the impact of environmental change. Her field sites range from the mountains of Nepal to Bristol allotments, working closely with farmers and conservation practitioners.

She has earned several accolades in her career, including the RSPB Prize for the top conservation paper in 2017 and an OBE for services to insect pollinators and ecology.

Professor Memmott added: “The University of Bristol has provided an excellent base for my research. I arrived here after post-doctoral positions at Imperial College and I’ve really enjoyed being based at the University of Bristol and in the city of Bristol – both places have provided some tremendous opportunities for an ecologist.” 

Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Societysaid: “I am delighted to welcome our newest cohort of Fellows. 

“These individuals have pushed forward the boundaries of their respective fields and had a beneficial influence on the world beyond.

“This year’s intake have already achieved incredible things, and I have no doubt that they will continue to do so. I look forward to meeting them and following their contributions in future.”

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