International honours for Honorary Fellow

Thursday 20 June 2024

An Honorary Fellow of St Catharine’s has been recognised by three different international organisations for scientific contributions to ecology and the environment. Professor Bill Sutherland (Fellow 2008–23; Honorary Fellow 2024) has been elected an international member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) as well as collecting the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management’s (CIEEM) 2024 Medal and the International Ecology Institute’s annual prize. 

Professor Sutherland commented, “I am completely delighted and surprised by these awards and pleased they recognise the ecological reputation of St Catharine’s College going back to John Ray in the 17th century and continuing with the current fellowship.”

AAAS membership

Founded in 1780, the AAAS honours excellence and convenes leaders from every field of human endeavour to examine new ideas, address issues of importance to the nation and the world, and work together. Its work has helped set the direction of research and analysis in science and technology policy, global security and international affairs, social policy, education, the humanities, and the arts. 

Professor Sutherland is one of 25 new international members elected by the AAAS this year, which signifies the high regard in which he is held by leaders in his field and members throughout the United States. He joins the company of notable members – from earliest members John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and George Washington, to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Maria Mitchell and Alexander Graham Bell. Other distinguished members have included Margaret Mead, Jonas Salk, Barbara McClintock, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Aaron Copland, Martha Graham, John Hope Franklin, Georgia O’Keeffe, E. O. Wilson, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, and N. Scott Momaday. 

While based in the United States, the AAAS boasts an international membership which has included Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Wislawa Szymborska, Laurence Olivier, Mary Leakey, Gabriel Garcia Márquez, Akira Kurosawa and Nelson Mandela. The current members represent today’s innovative thinkers in every field and profession, including more than two hundred and fifty Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners. 

Professor Bill Sutherland in woodland
Professor Sutherland (credit: Lloyd Mann)


The CIEEM is the leading professional membership body representing and supporting ecologists and environmental managers in the UK, Ireland and abroad. The Medal is its highest accolade, awarded annually in recognition of an outstanding single or life-long contribution to the field of ecology and environmental management. The Medal was first awarded in 2006 to Sir David Attenborough for his outstanding, lifelong contribution to the public understanding and appreciation of ecology. 

The citation from Dr Richard Handley CEcol MCIEEM, President of the CIEEM, acknowledges Professor Sutherland’s numerous contributions and concludes:

“Bill is an exceptional ecologist and conservation scientist, an outstanding naturalist and teacher, and is widely acclaimed for his generous encouragement of students and early-career researchers. He is an outstandingly deserving recipient of the CIEEM Medal.”

Professor Bill Sutherland's CIEEM Medal 2024
Credit: CIEEM

International Ecology Institute’s annual prize

The International Ecology Institute is a non-profit organisation of research ecologists dedicated to fostering ecological knowledge and awareness. Professor Sutherland was awarded its annual prize for terrestrial ecology in April 2023. The prize-giving ceremony was held on 4 June 2024 at the Linnean Society in London, during which he delivered a lecture on ‘Transforming conservation to make it more effective’.