Professor Yadvinder Malhi Chosen as President-Elect of British Ecological Society

  • Professor Yadvinder Malhi in Wytham Woods, surrounded by trees and bluebells
    Professor Yadvinder Malhi in Wytham Woods, by Debbie Rowe
17 December, 2020

Jackson Senior Research Fellow in Biodiversity and Conservation Professor Yadvinder Malhi has been announced as the President-Elect of the British Ecological Society, following an online ballot of members.

Yadvinder will succeed current President Jane Memmott when her term ends in December 2021 to become the first non-white President in the Society's history.

He sees it as an important step, saying: “We want to see many more people from diverse backgrounds in ecology. I hope I can be an example to non-white communities that ecology is an interesting career, and moreover has a vital role in play in addressing the major challenges of our century.”

But he adds that we should all be ecologists first of all, rather than seeing people through their ethnicity, gender or sexuality. “We need to be an inclusive community where the full richness of individuals’ experiences is what matters most.”

Yadvinder’s research investigates the impact of global atmospheric change on the ecology, structure and composition of terrestrial ecosystems, and in particular temperate and tropical forests. This research addresses fundamental questions about ecosystem function, diversity and dynamics, whilst at the same time providing outputs of direct relevance for conservation and adaptation to climate change.

His career has spanned the fields of Physics (undergraduate), Meteorology (PhD), Ecology (postdocs and Royal Society Research Fellowship) and Geography (lecturer and professor at Oxford).

Earlier this year, Yadvinder was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to Ecosystem Science. He was also appointed as a Trustee of the Natural History Museum in May 2020.

You can read a feature with Yadvinder on the British Ecological Society's website.