Three University researchers elected to Royal Society

Three researchers from the University of Aberdeen have been elected as Fellows of the Royal Society - a Fellowship of many of the world's most eminent scientists and the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.

Professor Dame Anne Glover, Professor Neil Gow and Professor James Prosser are among the latest 50 Fellows elected to the society, which was formed in 1660.

Members have included Isaac Newton, Erasmus Darwin, Adam Smith, Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, Stephen Hawking, and Richard Dawkins. International members have included Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein.

Professor Glover has held roles in the political arena, including as Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission (2012-2015). Her research at the University of Aberdeen is focused on soil microbiology and she has developed techniques to clean up polluted land.

Professor Gow’s expertise in fungal biology and medical mycology has led him to develop and nurture a team – The Aberdeen Fungal Group. This group was recently recognised for its excellence with the establishment of an MRC Centre for Medical Mycology – one of the largest centres in this field worldwide.

Professor Prosser has made a significant contribution to our understanding of the diversity and ecosystem function of micro-organisms in natural environments. A major focus of his research is ecology of soil ammonia oxidising bacteria and archaea, which significantly reduce the efficiency of nitrogen fertilisers and generate greenhouse gases.

Professor Glover said: “It is an honour to be elected into the Royal Society which boasts among its ranks the greatest names in the history of scientific research. This award wouldn’t have been possible without my family and all those I’ve worked with, and I hope it encourages more young women to begin a career in science.”

Professor Gow said: “I am delighted for Aberdeen and my group to have our research acknowledged in this way.  I would like to thank all of those who have worked with me over many years and shared an enthusiasm and passion for research in medical mycology.”

Professor Prosser said: “It is a tremendous honour to be elected to the Royal Society and to have our research on soil microbiology at Aberdeen acknowledged by such a prestigious organisation.”

Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, says: “Science is a way of understanding both the world around us and ourselves. It is one of the great triumphs of human achievement and has contributed hugely to our prosperity and health. Science will continue to play a crucial role as we tackle some of the great challenges of our time including food, energy, health and the environment.  The scientists elected to the Fellowship are leaders who have advanced their fields through their ground breaking work. We are delighted to welcome them to the Royal Society.”

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