University of Oxford: University of Oxford Earth Scientist honoured in the annual Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists

Dr. Erin Saupe was today recognised as a Finalist in the life sciences category of the 2022 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists. The awards issued by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences are the largest unrestricted prize available to UK scientists aged 42 or younger. They are fast becoming internationally recognised among the scientific community as instrumental in expanding the engagement and recognition of young scientists, and providing a strong foundation on which science can prosper.

Erin investigates the interactions between life and environments over geological time scales. By integrating fossil records and modern data, she creates models that characterise how species and communities respond, allowing her to forecast future changes to Earth’s biodiversity as a result of climate change. This is critical because humans rely on Earth’s biodiversity for survival and climate-change-induced disruption to ecosystems, including the extinction of species, could impact our standard of living and ability to persist on this planet.

Erin’s work on assessing how current and future climate change will impact Earth’s biodiversity is both field-defining and societally critical

Professor Chris Ballentine, Head of Department, Oxford Earth Sciences

Professor Chris Ballentine, Head of Department, Oxford Earth Sciences said of the award: ‘We are incredibly proud to hear that one of our outstanding faculty, Professor Erin Saupe, has been selected a Finalist for the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the field of Life Sciences. Erin’s work on assessing how current and future climate change will impact Earth’s biodiversity is both field-defining and societally critical. What great recognition.’

Erin said: ‘I am very grateful to the Blavatnik Family Foundation for this incredible honour. I was so surprised to be named a Finalist, and I am humbled and honoured to receive this accolade.’

Remarkable scientific talent
The honourees are recognised for their research, which is already transforming technology and our understanding of the world. A jury of leading scientists across the UK selects a Laureate and two finalists in each of three categories – Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Engineering, and Chemistry.

Head and shoulders image of Dr Erin Saupe
Dr. Erin Saupe investigates the interactions between life and environments over geological time scales
‘The remarkable scientific talent and research in the UK grows stronger every year,’ commented Sir Leonard Blavatnik, Founder and Chairman of Access Industries and head of the Blavatnik Family Foundation. ‘The brilliant, innovative work for which this year’s Laureates and Finalists are recognized and honoured improves our world for the better and further extends the boundaries of scientific knowledge and understanding.’
Professor Nicholas B. Dirks, President and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences and Chair of the Awards’ Scientific Advisory Council noted: ‘Society cannot surmount world crises like the COVID pandemic without science. It is critical that we continue to invest in science and these young, trail-blazing scientists who have the energy, optimism, and brilliance to continue developing scientific solutions benefitting millions, even billions, of people. On behalf of the Academy, we are honoured to administer the Blavatnik Awards in the UK in its fifth year and we are thrilled to see a growing list of UK institutions submitting nominations since the program was established. We are also excited to honour six women in 2022.’

The 2022 UK Laureates and Finalists will be honoured, as COVID-19 restrictions allow, at a black-tie gala dinner and ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London, currently scheduled for 28 February 2022. The following day, on 1 March 2022 from 11:00 to 18:00 GMT, the honourees will present their research with a series of short, interactive lectures at a free public symposium also to be held at the V&A. More details about the symposium will be posted soon on the website of the New York Academy of Sciences, Home | The New York Academy of Sciences (nyas.org).

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