Professor Nina Wedell
Evolutionary biologist honoured with Royal Society award
An expert in evolutionary biology at the University of Exeter’s Cornwall Campus at Tremough has been honoured with a prestigious award which recognises her outstanding research achievement and potential.
Professor Nina Wedell, a member of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at the Cornwall Campus, has been given the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award.
Very few of these are awarded across science in the UK and they are intended to help universities recruit and retain globally respected scientists.
The awarding of this to Professor Wedell shows the international excellence of biological research at the Centre for Ecology and Conservation and the University of Exeter.
Professor Wedell said she was delighted when she heard the news. She said: “I am enormously flattered to receive this prominent award and have my research excellence acknowledged by the Royal Society. It recognises both the work I have done so far in my career and what I intend to do in the future. There’s much more to come and this award will help me fulfil my research aspirations”.
Over an academic career spanning two decades, Professor Wedell has published more than 100 research papers and specialises in the evolutionary aspects of sex, in particular on the role of selfish genes, such as male killers, in sexual selection. For example, she received global media coverage for work showing that in the presence of male-killers, female promiscuity in fruit flies can be key to the survival of populations as it prevents males from dying out.
Starting as an undergraduate in Stockholm, Sweden, Nina has had an illustrious career as an academic working at several institutions all over the world before joining the University of Exeter in 2004.
She said: “I was one of the first academics to join the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at Tremough. It was a fantastic opportunity to get involved in something right from the start and to have an input into how it develops in terms of teaching and research.
“Our success over the past few years is more than anyone would have dared to dream as we’re now an international centre of excellence carrying out world class research on everything from microbes to mammals.”
Date: 21 April 2011