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The RSB is delighted to announce that five members have been recognised in King Charles III’s Birthday Honours list for 2024, which acknowledges outstanding achievements of people across the United Kingdom.

Birthday Honours 24 550

The following RSB Fellows have been honoured:

  • Dr Belinda Clarke OBE FRSB
  • Professor Geoffrey Gadd OBE FRSB
  • Professor Christine Holt CBE FRSB
  • Professor Rachel Mills CBE FRSB
  • Professor Dudley Shallcross OBE FRSB

Dr Belinda Clarke OBE CBiol FRSB, Director of Agri-TechE, has been recognised for services to Agri-Technologies and Farming.

In addition to her leadership of Agri-TechE, Dr Clarke was a member of the Council of UKRI-BBSRC and a Trustee of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (2015-2021) and is currently a Non-Executive Director of Agrimetrics, formerly one of the UK’s Agri-Tech Centres. She chaired the BBSRC’s Bioscience for Industry panel, and was a member of the Programme Board for the £90m Transforming Food Production challenge. In 2021 she was awarded the Sir Timothy Colman Prize for ‘outstanding leadership in the agri-tech sector’ and was among the Women of the Year 2022 cohort. Dr Clarke has a first degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in plant biochemistry following post-graduate research at the John Innes Centre into starch production by peas and potatoes. She is a Nuffield Scholar, a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Councils, a Chartered Biologist, and a qualified business coach. She joined as an MRSB in 2002 and became an FRSB in 2012.

Dr Clarke said: "Agriculture today is now asking urgent and important questions of biology to which we need urgent answers, around the soil microbiome and rhizophere, for example. It has been the career highlight to have created Agri-TechE, a network organisation which provides a mechanism for those kinds of questions to be asked (and hopefully answered), and I am hugely grateful for this honour on behalf of the agri-tech ecosystem."

Professor Geoffrey Gadd OBE FRSB, Emeritus Professor and Boyd Baxter Chair of Biology at the University of Dundee, has received the award for services to Mycology and Environmental Microbiology.

Professor Gadd is one of the world’s leading scientists in geomycology, the part of geomicrobiology concerned with fungi and their important roles in the environment such as element cycling, mineral dissolution and formation, and metal transformations. This research is also of applied relevance to the bioremediation of metal and radionuclide pollution, the understanding of biodeterioration of rock and mineral-based substrates in the built environment and cultural heritage, and production of novel biominerals - many at the nanoscale. Over a career lasting 45 years he has published over 300 research papers and received a host of national and international awards, and has been an FRSB since 1995.

Professor Gadd said: “I am absolutely delighted to receive this honour after a long career in microbiology assisted by many wonderful people.”

Professor Christine Holt CBE FRSB, Professor of Developmental Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, has received the accolade for services to Neuroscience.

Professor Holt became Professor of Developmental Neuroscience in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge in 2003. She was a Pew Scholar and a McKnight Scholar in her early career and has been the recipient of numerous grant awards from the NIH, MRC, HFSP, Wellcome Trust, and ERC Advanced Grant. She serves on various Scientific Advisory Boards, Editorial Boards, and Selection Committees. In recognition of her research, she has been awarded several international prizes: the Remedios Caro Almela Prize for Research in Developmental Neurobiology (2011), the Champalimaud Vision Award (2016), the Royal Society Ferrier Medal (2017), the Rosenstiel Award (2022), and the Brain Prize (2023). She was elected a Member of EMBO (2006), Fellow of the Medical Academy of Sciences (2007), Fellow of The Royal Society (2009), Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (2011), Honorary Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford (2019), International Member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA (2020), and Honorary Member of the Physiological Society (2021). Professor Holt became Professor Emerita in 2019. She remains actively engaged in science-related endeavours including writing, reviewing, editorships, serving on advisory and selection committees, and in supervising research activities.

Professor Holt said: "I'm surprised and thrilled to receive this honour. It's a marvellous recognition of the research that has involved a whole team of talented, dedicated, and inspiring colleagues over many years."

Professor Rachel Mills CBE FRSB, Senior Vice President (Academic) and Professor of Ocean Chemistry at King's College London, received the award for services to Marine Science.

Professor Mills is the Senior Vice President (Academic) at King’s College London, leading on academic strategy and delivery in the Vice Chancellor’s senior team. She previously carried out a wide range of leadership roles in the university sector, most recently as Provost at the University of Sussex. Prior to this, she worked at the University of Southampton for nearly 30 years, including over 15 years in leadership roles such as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences and previously the Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Head of School of Ocean and Earth Science, and Director of Graduate School of the National Oceanography Centre Southampton. As the Southampton Sustainability Champion, she led the co-creation and implementation of the University strategy with the student and wider community. Professor Mills was appointed by Cabinet in 2021 as a Non-Executive Director for the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science and is Chair of the Cefas Science Advisory Committee, providing leadership and challenge around the Cefas Science and Evidence Strategy which in turn advises government on fisheries policy, sustainable oceans, and their contribution to net zero ambitions for the UK and wider territories. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and has been an FRSB since 2018.

Professor Mills said: “I am deeply honoured. This recognition is for the incredible teamwork, creativity, and passion of all those I have had the privilege to supervise, collaborate with, and lead over many years. It is through these shared efforts that we have been able to advance our understanding of marine systems. Thank you all for being a part of this journey.

Together, we have made great strides in our understanding of the ocean for the benefit of society. We now need action across the planet to sustain our oceans for the future. I hope that each of us will play a role in this future. With the power of hope, we can collectively change course to a sustainable future."

Professor Dudley Shallcross OBE FRSB, former Chief Executive Officer at the Primary Science Teaching Trust, Bristol and Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry, has been recognised for services to Education.

Professor Shallcross has been an academic at the School of Chemistry at Bristol University since 1999 and an extraordinary Professor at the Department of Chemistry at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa since 2018. In addition, he was Director of the Bristol ChemLabS Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (2005-2010), CEO of the Primary Science Teaching Trust (2010-2022), President of the Education Community of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2020-2023), and most recently became Chair of the Enthuse Charitable Trust in 2023. He has won several awards, being the first National Teaching Fellow in Chemistry (2004), the Nyholm Prize for Education from the Royal Society of Chemistry (2017), the George C Pimentel Award for Education in Chemistry from the American Chemical Society (2020), both being their highest education awards, and received the Education Award from the Society of Chemical Industries in 2006. He became an FRSB in 2011. Professor Shallcross’ contributions to primary, secondary and tertiary education, the promotion of science to a wide range of audiences, and working with those with a disadvantage or disability are well known.

Professor Shallcross said: “It has been incredible being able to work with so many excellent science educators; I have learned so much from them. Seeing students’ latent curiosity in science being sparked is always an amazing experience.”