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Congratulations to new Royal Society of Edinburgh Fellows

The Royal Society of Edinburgh logo
Courtesy of The Royal Society of Edinburgh

Professors Robert Frost, Chris Soulsby and Pieter Van West from the University of Aberdeen are among 64 individuals elected to join the current RSE roll of around 1,600.

As fellows, they give their time freely and play a fundamental role in enabling the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) to deliver its mission ‘Knowledge Made Useful’, contributing to the cultural, economic and social well-being of Scotland and the wider world.  Representing physical and life sciences, arts, humanities, social sciences, education, professions, industry, business and public life.

The following were nominated and invited to join after successfully undergoing a rigorous assessment of their achievements, professional standing and societal contribution:

  • Professor Frost  has research interests in Scandinavian history, particularly the history of Sweden; eastern Europe from the fourteenth to the ninteenth centuries, and in the history of warfare. Since, 2013 he has held the Burnett Fletcher Chair of History at Aberdeen. In 2009 he was awarded a three-year Research Chair by the British Academy and the Wolfson Foundation for his history of the Polish-Lithuanian union, volume one of which,'The Making of the Polish-Lithuanian Union' 1385–1569',was published by Oxford University Press in June 2015.  This book was awarded the Pro Historia Polonorum prize in 2017. Professor Frost was also awarded the Union of Lublin medal by the city of Lublin for ‘significant contributions to the preservation of the memory of the Union of Lublin.’ He received a three-year major Leverhulme Fellowship in 2016 to write volume two of his study.  

Professor Frost said: “As a Scot and a historian, having read the list of the original fellows, on some of whom I have lectured, it is a signal honour to be regarded as worthy of upholding the great tradition they established.” 

  • Chris Soulsby is Professor of Hydrology at the Department of Geology and Geophysics in the School of Geosciences. His research focuses on understanding how different landscapes partition rainfall into 'blue water' which sustains rivers and aquifers, and 'green water' which is returned to the atmosphere as evaporation or transpiration from plants. A distinct feature of his work is the use of hydrogen and oxygen isotopes in water molecules as 'fingerprints' to tracer water movement in the environment. This involves intensive field monitoring of isotopes in natural waters and integration of this data in advanced mathematical models. He was elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2013.

Professor Soulsby said: “As Scotland is my home country, it is of course both a thrill and a great honour to be elected a Fellow of its National Academy. This recognition is particularly satisfying in that, after almost 27 years at the University of Aberdeen, some of my most innovative research has focused on the hydrology of the Scottish Highlands. It also makes me extremely grateful that I have had the good fortune to work with so many gifted colleagues, post-docs and PhD students in this research at Aberdeen.”

  • Professor Pieter van West is the Director of the International Centre for Aquaculture Research and Development (ICARD) within the University of Aberdeen. Since 2012 he has held a chair in mycology. His research is both fundamental and applied but with an overarching aim to make the aquaculture sector more sustainable and less reliable on using chemicals to control diseases. In particular, he investigates the biology of oomycetes, also often called 'water moulds'. These are fungal-like organisms that cause economically and environmentally important diseases that can infect plants, algae, fungi, animals and even other oomycetes.

Professor van West commented: “I am absolutely delighted to be elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.”

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