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St Andrews professor elected to Royal Society

Sir Ian Boyd, Professor of Biology at the University of St Andrews, has been elected a Fellow of the prestigious Royal Society.

The Royal Society is a fellowship of many of the world’s most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.

The Society, which was founded in the 1660s, aims to recognise, promote and support excellence in science and encourages the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.

Sir Ian said: “It is a great honour to be elected to a Fellowship of the Royal Society but it also reflects strongly on the University of St Andrews and all the great colleagues I have worked with over the years.”

Professor Sir Ian Boyd is a marine and polar scientist. From 2012 to 2019 he served as Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government on Food and the Environment where he spearheaded the production of several landmark reports.

Currently he is a Professor at the University of St Andrews in the School of Biology where he is leading the move to sustainability at the University. Previously he served as the first Director of the Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI) and as Director of the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU), both at the University. He is also currently Chair of the UK Research Integrity Office.

Sir Ian originally graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a degree in Zoology and has a PhD from Cambridge University. Much of his research has been focused on the management of marine resources and human impacts on the marine environment and he spent 14 years leading a research programme in Antarctica studying the structure and dynamics of energy flow in the Southern Ocean.

He has received the Scientific Medal of the Zoological Society of London, the Bruce Medal for Polar Science and the Polar Medal, been awarded several honorary degrees, and was knighted in 2019 for services to science and economics in government.

Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society, said: “This is the first year of my presidency at the Royal Society and I’ve been very much looking forward to welcoming the newly elected Fellows and Foreign Members.

“The global pandemic has demonstrated the continuing importance of scientific thinking and collaboration across borders. Each Fellow and Foreign Member bring their area of scientific expertise to the Royal Society and when combined, this expertise supports the use of science for the benefit of humanity.

“Our new Fellows and Foreign Members are all at the forefronts of their fields from molecular genetics and cancer research to tropical open ecosystems and radar technology. It is an absolute pleasure and honour to have them join us.”


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 full list of award recipients is available on the Royal Society website.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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