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Top award for young researcher

A young ecologist has won a prestigious award that aims to help outstanding researchers fulfil their potential to become world leaders in their field.

Dr Jane ReidDr Jane Reid, a Royal Society University Research Fellow in population and evolutionary ecology, has been awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize by The Leverhulme Trust, which is presented to scholars who had made a substantial and internationally recognised contribution to their chosen field.

Only 25 prizes are awarded across five categories, which this year were Zoology; Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences; History of Art; Mathematics and Statistics; Medieval, Early Modern and Modern History.

Each prize is worth £70,000, which can be used for any purpose that advances the prize winner's research.

The research of Dr Reid – who is based in the University of Aberdeen's Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences – aims to understand how environmental, behavioural and genetic factors combine to influence the size and structure of natural populations.

Dr Reid focuses particularly on studying populations of wild birds.  She uses long term data describing each individual bird's survival and movements to understand how those populations are likely to respond to environmental change.

Dr Reid's current field projects include detailed studies of starlings on one of Britain's most remote islands - Fair Isle. She is also studying the charismatic red billed chough on the Scottish island of Islay, as well as a population of song sparrows in western Canada.

Dr Reid said: "The Leverhulme Prize will be invaluable in allowing me to develop my research programme over the next few years. It's really unusual to have such flexible funding and it opens many exciting possibilities.

"I hope to use the prize to develop my field projects in Scotland, and to recruit new researchers into the University of Aberdeen's Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences.

"The Institute hosts a large, dynamic and internationally respected research group in ecology.

"The fact this award has come to an Institute scientist is testament to the quality and importance of the research being carried out within the group, which will keep Aberdeen at the forefront of ecological research over coming years."


Dr Jane Reid is available for interview please contact Jennifer Phillips to arrange on 01224 273174.


The Leverhulme Trust was established in 1925 under the Will of the first Lord Leverhulme. It is one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK, distributing funds of some £40 million every year. For further information about the schemes that The Leverhulme Trust fund visit their website at






Notes to Editors

Issued by the Communications Team, Office of External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen. Tel: (01224) 272014.

Issued on: Monday 15th of December 2008

Contact: Jennifer Phillips

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