18 October, 2023 News stories

The shortlist has been announced for The Natural Environment Research Council’s (NERC) Impact Awards 2023. Four BAS projects have made the shortlist and commended list, ranging from biodiversity and ecology to space weather.

The awards celebrate the NERC funded UK science research at the frontline of responsible management of planet earth. British Antarctic Survey scientists are delighted to be amongst the list of finalists alongside other talented researchers who are making a positive impact in the UK or internationally. Their invaluable research work helps us understand environmental challenges and paves the way for solutions that will shape our future.

A judging panel comprised of government, industry, public engagement as well as industry figures, will shortly be choosing winners from the following categories:

  • overall impact award winner
  • three thematic award winners (across economic, societal and environmental impact). At least one of these awards will recognise impact achieved through public engagement with research
  • one early career impact award winner

Monitoring wildlife from space

Dr Hannah Cubaynes from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has been shortlisted for her research using satellite imagery from space for wildlife conservation. Her research has positively impacted species including whales and walruses by turning thousands of citizens worldwide into budding researchers. She has developed an innovative new way to monitor wildlife from space.

Understanding the risks of space weather on daily life

Richard Horne and his team have earned a well deserved place on the shortlist for their space weather forecasts which play a vital role in protecting satellites from the dangers of radiation high above the Earth’s atmosphere. It helps the government understand the impacts of space weather and how it might pose risks to daily life, the economy and population in the UK.

Protecting Biodiversity and habitats

Joining the talented shortlist are Professor Richard Phillips, Dr Susie Grant, Dr Kevin Hughes and Dr Jennifer Jackson who have had a deep impact on our climate awareness in Antarctica, protecting sensitive species and habitats. They have identified 204 important bird and biodiversity areas, eradicated a non-native species of grass and played a pivotal role in protecting humpback whales.

Shaping Conservation

Dr Simeon Hill, Dr Philip Hollyman and team are on the commended entrants list. Their research on ecosystems, krill, birds and seals has not only influenced UK policy decisions and shaped conservation regulations, but also informed commercial fishing practices in the Southern Ocean worth $1 million.

Find out more about the NERC Impact Awards.

Find out about the full list of finalists.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Natural History Museum on 29th November 2023.