Fellow wins international ecology prize

Friday 21 April 2023


A Fellow of St Catharine’s College has been awarded a prestigious international prize in recognition of their outstanding and sustained scientific contributions to terrestrial ecology. Professor William Sutherland CBE (2008), Environment Fellow and Chair of the Green Working Group at St Catharine’s, has been chosen by the International Ecology Institute (ECI) to receive its 2023 prize – and is the first ever winner from the University of Cambridge.

Professor Sutherland, who is also Miriam Rothschild Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of Cambridge, commented:

“I am deeply honoured to be awarded this prize especially as the previous laureates include many of my heroes in global conservation. I am delighted that this recognises the importance of making policy and practice more effective. For my career I have loved working with so many global collaborators and wish to fully acknowledge the contributions they have made.”

Professor Sir Mark Welland (2016), Master of St Catharine’s, welcomed news about the prize:

“On behalf of St Catharine’s, I want to congratulate Bill on this well-deserved prize from the International Ecology Institute. Climate change is one of the biggest challenges that humanity has ever faced and Bill has worked tirelessly to ensure that the global conservation community and policymakers are better equipped than ever with evidence and tools to tackle this challenge.”

The International Ecology Institute is a non-profit organisation of research ecologists dedicated to fostering ecological knowledge and awareness, presently through its international prizes and its book series, ‘Excellence in Ecology’. Its ECI Prize awards €6,000 biennially to an ecologist distinguished by outstanding and sustained scientific achievements in the fields of marine or terrestrial or freshwater ecology, in rotation. The next prize award will be in 2025 for freshwater ecology.

Founded by the renowned marine ecologist the late Prof. Dr. Dr. Otto Kinne, the International Ecology Institute is funded by Inter-Research Science Publisher. Along with a monetary endowment, prize winners are offered the opportunity to write a book presenting their experience, insights and visions, and/or formulate new scientific concepts to be published in the ‘Excellence in Ecology’ series.

… and herds local ducks to safety

Professor Bill Sutherland herding ducks at St Catharine's College
Professor Sutherland with the family of ducks in Main Court

Professor Sutherland was leaving the Cambridge Conservation Initiative’s campus at the University’s David Attenborough Building on 19 April when he spotted a mallard and her ducklings. With Ally Barrett (2019) and RSPB scientist Jethro Gauld, he safely herded the family through central Cambridge, through St Catharine’s and on through Queens’ College to the river.

The task of being Environment Fellow in @Catz_Cambridge seems to include shepherding mallard from town centre to river. Phoned St Catharine’s porters who opened gates and informed Queen’s College who did the same. Herders were Jethro Gauld (@RSPBScience) & Chaplain Ally Barrett.

— Bill Sutherland (@Bill_Sutherland) April 19, 2023