12 January 2018

Lancaster Environment Centre academics won half the prizes in the inaugural Deans Awards recognising high performing staff from Lancaster’s Faculty of Science and Technology

Professor Philip Barker, director of the Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) praised the academics’ extraordinary in winning so many of the Awards, which recognise outstanding achievement by Faculty staff.

The winning team were the Centre for Global Eco-innovation (CGE), based within the Lancaster Environment Centre. The Centre links small and medium enterprises with academic researchers to help develop innovative products, processes and services that cut carbon and increase the efficient use of resources.

The team recently expanded after gaining funding from the UK Governments Global Challenges Research Fund to lead a new £6.8M water focussed project in Africa. ‘Recirculate” facilitates African research and training institutions to work with local businesses, communities and policy makers to build capacity for a safer, circular water economy.

Dr Duncan Whyatt, the Director of undergraduate programmes for Geography, won the award for Teacher of the Year. Duncan uses Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to visualise, integrate and analyse spatial data. He is an advocate of GIS being applied across the breadth of disciplines studied within the Lancaster Environment Centre and teaches a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules in GIS and other areas.

Dr Christina Hicks and Professor Nick Graham both won research awards: Nick as Researcher of the Year and Christina as Early Career Researcher of the Year.

Nick, who was recently named as one of the world’s most highly cited researchers, is a Royal Society University Research Fellow and a Chair in Marine Ecology. He tackles large-scale ecological and social-ecological coral reef issues under the overarching themes of climate change, human use and resilience.

Christina has recently won a 1.5M European Research Council Starters grant to explore how small scale fisheries can help prevent malnutrition in East Africa. The ERC judging panel praised Christina’s “outstanding track record of publications in diverse high quality outlets (which) demonstrate her productivity, original thinking and influence in the international scientific community.”

Finally Paul Whaley got the award for the best 3rd year PhD researcher. He has also won the Lancaster University Enterprise Awards for Impactful Researcher of the Year. His research focusses on facilitating the implementation of systematic review methodology, used widely in medical research, to ensure that decisions in chemicals policy make the best use of the best evidence. Paul already provides consultancy and training on using systematic reviews to evaluate the safety of chemicals, and has worked with international health bodies including the World Health Organisation.