Professor Steve Simpson elected to the Royal Society

8 May 2013

The School of Biological Sciences' Professor Steve Simpson has been announced as a new Fellow of the Royal Society.

The honour sees him join a fellowship of the world's most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from the United Kingdom and Commonwealth, including more than 80 Nobel Laureates.

Fellows are elected for life through a peer review process and current Fellows include Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Harry Kroto, Tim Berners-Lee, Paul Nurse and John Sulston.

Professor Steve Simpson - elected in 2013 to the fellowship of the Royal Society
Professor Steve Simpson - elected in 2013 to the fellowship of the Royal Society

Professor of Biology and Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Centre, Professor Simpson is one of the world's foremost entomologists and nutritional biologists.

The Society has acknowledged how Professor Simpson's "seminal work on locust swarming has provided a unifying framework, ranging from chemical events in nervous systems of individual insects to mass migration, using techniques from molecular biology, population genetics, neurophysiology, biochemistry, behaviour, biomathematics, statistical physics, computer science, engineering, robotics, evolutionary theory and landscape ecology."

"His work on nutrition has spanned slime moulds to humans, and has found significant practical applications in aquaculture, conservation biology, nutritional ecology, gerontology, immunity and human metabolic disease."

Professor Simpson leads the development of the Charles Perkins Centre's research and education strategies. The Centre aims to ease the burden of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease by translating the work of the University of Sydney into real-world solutions. Professor Simpson's richly multidisciplinary work has revolutionised the understanding of the dietary causes of human obesity and ageing. It exemplifies the
Centre's focus on how new perspectives can yield paradigm shifts in understanding and provide novel solutions.

Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, said: "Science helps us to better understand ourselves and the natural world around us and has a huge role to play in future economic prosperity and the health of our planet and its 7 billion people. In the coming decades we are going to find ourselves more and more dependent on the solutions science can offer to grand challenges such as food shortages, climate change and tackling disease. These scientists who have been elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society have already contributed much to the scientific endeavour following in the footsteps of pioneers such as Newton, Darwin and Einstein and it gives me great pleasure to welcome them into our ranks."

The Royal Society is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence and each year 44 Fellows are elected from a group of over 700 candidates who are proposed by the existing fellowship.

Contact: Verity Leatherdale

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