A biologist the University of York has been recognised for his research into the impacts of human activities on wild animal species.
Professor Chris Thomas has been elected a Felloe of the Royal Society, one of the world’s top scientific honours. He is one of 44 new Fellows announced by the Royal Society today.
The honour is recognised all over the world and is one of the most prestigious awards in Science. This comes just five days after York University were recognised for its support of women in science.
Candidate of the Fellowship of the Royal Society must be proposed by at least two existing Fellows and are assessed by Sectional Committees in each field of science.
He said: “I’m thrilled to have been elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society. I have been very lucky to have such excellent colleagues and students over the past 30 years, and I see this as recognition for their contributions as much as for myself.”
Professor Thomas has been studying how species respond to the loss and fragmentation of natural habitats and he is a world leader in research on the ecological impacts of climate change.
He and his team have shown that the worlds wildlife are moving rapidly towards the poles and to higher altitudes, in response to global warming. Whilst conducting the research he discovered that climate change is going to endanger many species.
The Head of Biology at York, Professor Debbie Smith, said: “This is a hugely deserved honor for Chris Thomas. His work is in the vanguard of global research into the ecological consequences of climate change and highlights York’s commitment to studying the impact of human activities on biological systems.”
As well as the study Chris Thomas has published over 200 scientific journal articles; his work is one of the most highly cited by any ecologist in the world. He has received four scientific awards and medals for his research as well as being on he editorial boards of nine international scientific journals, Thomas has certainly been busy since becoming a professor in 1999. His work has been reported in thousands of media articles around the world and he has contributed to conservation and climate change policy assessments and reviews nationally and internationally.
He was an undergraduate at Cambridge and gained his PhD at the University of Texas, before working as a researcher in New Zealand and at the Imperial College. He joined York University in 2004 but had previously worked at University of Birmingham as a Lecturer in 1992 and the University of Leeds in 1995; he became a professor in 1999.
In what little spare time Chris has left he likes to spend as much time as possible encouraging wildlife in his garden and field.