Prestigious honour for Lancaster Professor

Professor Christina Hicks
Professor Christina Hicks

A Lancaster University Professor is to receive a prestigious honour by one of the UK’s leading learned societies.

Professor Christina Hicks, an environmental social scientist at Lancaster Environment Centre, is to receive a Gill Memorial Award from the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers).

The Gill Memorial Award is given to researchers in recognition of ‘exceptional early career research with a remarkable track record of achievement’ and is part of a series of annual awards from the Royal Geographical Society that recognise extraordinary achievement in geographical research, fieldwork, teaching, policy and public engagement.

Professor Hicks’ work focusses on fisheries, where she seeks to identify opportunities to improve food and nutrition security.

She said: “I am delighted to receive this recognition from the Royal Geographical Society. I have had a non-traditional route into geography, and although my research tackles geographical questions it does so through an interdisciplinary lens, which can be a risk. However, the support I have had from the field and Fellows of the Society have enabled me to choose questions that I am passionate about.”

Dr Catherine Souch, Head of Research and Higher Education at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), said: “Professor Hicks is one of the leading figures in political ecology, with a research portfolio that focuses on the role of small-scale fisheries as contributors to nutrition, cultural reproduction and societal resilience within a context framed by the biodiversity and climate crises. Her deep, field-based insights from the east and west coasts of Africa, and the Pacific, are coupled with a wider commitment to understanding how individuals and societies engage with nature, and in turn how these relationships shape individual and societal wellbeing.

“Her research is rigorous and spectacularly multi-method and innovative, and she has made a significant difference to her research field, her peers, students and most importantly the communities impacted by her research. In short, Christina is a rising star and a real leader, and thoroughly deserving of the Society’s Gill Memorial Award.”

Professor Philip Barker, Head of Lancaster Environment Centre, said: “Christina is an exceptional academic who brings insight and explanation as well as showing humility, dignity and kindness to those she works with. Her reward is richly deserved.”

Formed in 1830 for the advancement of geographical science, the Royal Geographical Society (with the IBG) is the learned society and professional body for geography. This year the Society’s medals and awards recognise 23 different people or organisations for their outstanding contributions to geography.

The medals and awards will be presented at a ceremony at the Society in London on Monday, June 6.

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