HRH the Prince of Wales presents CBE to Lancaster environmental scientist

Professor Louise Heathwaite is presented with her CBE by HRH Prince Charles

Prince Charles has presented Lancaster University’s Professor Louise Heathwaite with her CBE at Buckingham Palace.

Professor Heathwaite was made CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2018 and was presented with the honour as part of the December 20th investiture ceremony.

British honours are awarded on merit, for exceptional achievement or service. Professor Heathwaite was given the honour ‘for services to scientific research and scientific advice to government’.

Professor Heathwaite has gained international recognition in the scientific community for her research into environmental pollution and water quality and, in the last decade, she has also turned her focus to translating science into policy.

She said receiving the honour had been a lovely surprise.

Professor Heathwaite said: “It was such an exciting and memorable day. I was delighted to meet Prince Charles again. He had been well briefed and in the short time available we managed to discuss environmental pollution and the importance of scientists speaking up in defence of environmental regulation.

 “This honour really means a lot to me. I love trying to work out what makes things tick and working independently, so research was the only career for me. More so, I want science to be useful and I have been very lucky to have had the opportunity to show how science can help with government policy.”

In 2017 Professor Heathwaite became the first woman to be elected President of the Freshwater Biological Association. She has just completed five years as the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Scottish Government on Rural Affairs and the Environment, and in April this year she was appointed to the Natural Environment Research Council, which is part of UK Research & Innovation, a new organisation that brings together the UK's seven research councils, Innovate UK and Research England. Until recently, she was on Defra’s Science Advisory Council. In 2015 she was elected a Fellow of The Royal Society of Edinburgh.

In 2004, she founded and was first Director of the Centre for Sustainable Water Management in Lancaster University; one of the precursor interdisciplinary research centres that contributed to the formation of the Lancaster Environment Centre.

Professor Heathwaite is currently Cross-Faculty Associate Dean for Research at Lancaster University and based in the Lancaster Environment Centre.

She lives in the Howgill Fells in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Professor Dame Sue Black Pro-Vice Chancellor for Engagement at Lancaster University said: “Professor Heathwaite has brought a wealth of research experience and knowledge to Lancaster. She has dedicated her career to sharing her expertise with fellow researchers, students and government policy makers at all levels. We are very proud to see her gain such wonderful recognition for her dedication.”

Professor Phil Barker of Lancaster University’s Environment Centre said: “We are delighted to see her outstanding contribution to environmental science recognised by this award. Her achievements show how excellent research can be used to underpin policy and shape agendas.”

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