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Loughborough academic receives esteemed Wolfson Research Merit Award

Professor John Anderson

Loughborough University academic and world-leading geographer Professor John Anderson has been appointed a Wolfson Research Merit Award holder by the Royal Society – the UK’s national academy of science.

Jointly funded by the Wolfson Foundation and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the scheme aims to provide universities with additional support to enable them to attract science talent from overseas and retain respected UK scientists of outstanding achievement and potential.

Professor Anderson’s area of expertise is the investigation of remote lakes as sensors and recorders of disturbed global biogeochemical cycles.  He explains: “The sediment that collects at the bottom of lakes provides a long-term history of changes both in the lake and its surroundings.

“These sediment records are useful for two reasons.  Firstly, they provide a record of environmental change pollution at remote sites where it is impossible to derive long-term trends any other way; secondly, they allow an evaluation of how lake ecosystems are responding to key environmental stressors such as nitrogen and climate change.”

Professor Anderson currently holds a Chinese National Academy of Sciences Senior Visiting Professorship at Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology.  Here he is working with Chinese colleagues on the ecological effects of nitrogen deposition in a series of remote lakes in Sichuan Province, at the edge of the Tibetan plateau.  He has also recently been awarded two Natural Environment Research Council grants to continue his work on lakes in Greenland.

He is one of 27 Wolfson Research Merit Award holders announced today (Friday April 26) by the Royal Society.


Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 13/68

(1) The full list of appointments is as follows:

Professor Gert Aarts – Swansea University
An exploration of the strong interaction under extreme conditions

Dr Marin Alexe – University of Warwick
Nanoscale multiferroic materials and heterostructures for oxide electronics

Professor John (Nicholas) Anderson – Loughborough University
Remote lakes as sensors and recorders of disturbed global biogeochemical cycles

Professor Angus Buckling – University of Exeter
Real-time feedback between microevolution and soil microbial community structure

Professor Derk-Jan Dijk – University of Surrey
Individual differences in sleep-wake regulation: a multidisciplinary approach

Professor Alicia J El Haj – Keele University
Engineering cells and tissues for regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies

Professor Adrian Goldman – University of Leeds
Structure and function of Proton and Sodium Membrane Integral Pumps

Professor Veronique Gouverneur – University of Oxford
The Importance of the Fluorine Source for Late Stage Fluorination

Professor Sean Grimmond – University of Glasgow
Translation of personalised genome data for targeted cancer treatment

Professor Saiful Islam – University of Bath
New Materials for Clean Energy Applications

Professor Daniel Kroening – University of Oxford
Program Analysis with Abstract Satisfaction

Dr Joy Lawn – London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Improving data on pregnancy outcomes for national and global tracking

Professor Tim Lenton – University of Exeter
Early warning of climate tipping points

Professor Stephan Lewandowsky – University of Bristol
The (mis)information revolution: Information seeking and knowledge transmission

Professor Frederick Manby – University of Bristol
Novel electronic structure theories for molecules and solids

Professor Anne Neville – University of Leeds
Understanding surfaces at the centre of engineering system performance

Professor David O'Hagan – University of St Andrews
Translating discoveries in organofluorine chemistry into practical applications

Professor Jonathan Oppenheim – University College London
Quantum information science: Tools and applications for fundamental physics

Professor Oliver Phillips – University of Leeds
Tropical Forests in the Changing Earth System

Professor Hilary Ranson – Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Ensuring the sustainability of malaria vector control

Professor David Richardson – University of Southampton
Realising Petabit/s communications using multiple spatial modes in optical fibre

Professor Ian Smail – University of Durham
The physics of the formation of massive galaxies

Professor Andrew Steele – University College London
A Search for the origin of life on earth through the exploration of Mars

Professor Christopher Thompson – University of Manchester
Using Dictyostelium to understand cell signaling during growth and development

Professor Geoff Thornton – University College London
Energy Functional Metal Oxide Surfaces

Professor Kostas Tokatlidis – University of Glasgow
Oxidative folding and redox signalling in the mitochondria intermembrane space

Dr Bert van den Berg – Newcastle University
Understanding antibiotic uptake by studying bacterial outer membrane transport

(2) The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, engineering, and medicine. The Society’s fundamental purpose, as it has been since its foundation in 1660, is to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.

The Society’s strategic priorities emphasise its commitment to the highest quality science, to curiosity-driven research, and to the development and use of science for the benefit of society. These priorities are:

1.       Promoting science and its benefits
2.       Recognising excellence in science
3.       Supporting outstanding science
4.       Providing scientific advice for policy
5.       Fostering international and global cooperation
6.       Education and public engagement

(3) The Wolfson Foundation is a grant-making charity established in 1955. Funding is given to support excellence. More information is available from

(4) Loughborough University - Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has been voted England's Best Student Experience for six years running in the Times Higher Education league. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 11 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.


Judy Wing
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228697

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