Dr Sophus zu Ermgassen wins NERC Impact Award : Early Career Impact

Dr Sophus zu Ermgassen wins NERC Impact Award : Early Career Impact

“Shaping the design and implementation of England’s new biodiversity net gain policy”

Researchers whose work has had a significant, wide-reaching impact on the economy, society or environment were celebrated at NERC’s 2023 Impact Awards this week.

CONGRATULATIONS to Dr zu Ermgassen, who works in the Dept of Biology, and also on Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery projects, and his research has raised public awareness about England’s biodiversity net gain policy, a strategy to develop land and contribute to the recovery of nature.

The research has played a crucial role in shaping its design and implementation.

Evidence from his research has influenced policy changes, including £8 million in increased funding by the government to local authorities, helping to ensure the necessary measures are in place to improve environmental outcomes.

Sophus said: “It’s one of the greatest honours of my life that I’ve received this award, and it would never have happened if it wasn’t for the astonishingly kind and insightful mentorship of Professor Joe Bull, and Dame Professor EJ Milner-Gulland, who led the two NERC-funded projects this prize was awarded for. It’s an academic’s dream to work alongside and learn from my amazing colleagues in the Department of Biology’s Nature-positive hub and the Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery, and my colleagues at my brilliant PhD institution, DICE Kent. I really feel like we’re only just getting started with our work on the challenge of rewiring the economy to thrive within the constraints of the Earth system – so decades more work to come from us all”!

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Impact Awards shine a spotlight on the UK environmental science at the heart of the responsible management of our planet.

Around 150 guests gathered for the ceremony underneath the skeleton of the blue whale, ‘Hope’, in the Natural History Museum’s iconic Hintze Hall.

The chair of this year’s judging and shortlisting panels was Kathryn Monk, Chair of the international Collaboration for Environmental Evidence and Honorary Professor at Swansea University. She said:

“The NERC Impact Awards has been a wonderful opportunity to encourage, recognise and reward scientists across the complete spectrum of environmental research. Scientists who have received awards have taken their research to the next level and the awards have celebrated the real reason many work in this area, and that is to improve our world”.

Watch a short clip about Sophus’ award here

Read more about the awards here