Green Technology

NERC funds cutting-edge research through Independent Research Fellowships


Twelve early-career researchers have been awarded a total of £7.9 million through the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Independent Research Fellowships (IRF).

The NERC IRF scheme is designed to develop scientific leadership among the most promising early-career environmental scientists. Fellows receive five years of support, allowing them to focus on advancing their area of research, establishing international recognition, and championing equality, diversity, and inclusion within their research environment.

The Independent Research Fellows will explore scientific disciplines within the remit of NERC, which include:

  • atmospheric physics and chemistry
  • climate and climate change
  • ecology, biodiversity and systematics
  • geosciences
  • marine environments
  • polar sciences
  • science-based archaeology
  • terrestrial and freshwater environments.

Professor Peter Liss, Interim Executive Chair of NERC, said: NERC Independent Research Fellowships support talented early career researchers to work independently and deliver cutting-edge environmental science.

“I’d like to offer my congratulations to all those who have been awarded a fellowship this year.

“Environmental research advances our understanding of the planet and is the key to tackling and adapting to critical challenges such as climate change. By investing in these fellowships, NERC is supporting innovation and sustainability in environmental science and developing leading researchers of the future.”

Fellowship recipients:

Dr Elizabeth Dingle, Durham University      

Boulder 3D: sediment mobility in bedrock landscapes

Dr Fiona Simpson, Imperial College London          

Electromagnetic Array Research over a Tectonic Hotspot (EARTH)

Dr Michael Ward Broadley, University of Manchester        

Determining the origin and evolutionary history of volatiles on Earth

Dr Neil Hindley, University of Bath  

Searching for Upper Atmospheric Waves at the Edge of Space (SURGE)

Dr Cornelia Klein, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology      

COntinental COnvective OrganisatioN and rainfall intensification in a warming world: Improving storm predictions from hours to decades (COCOON)

Dr Monika Markowska, Northumbria University      

HYdroclimate Reconstruction in Arid eXtremes (HYRAX): understanding the mechanisms of global desertification

Dr Catherine Moody, University of Leeds   

Quantifying the impact of restoration on peatland aquatic organic matter, microbial communities and greenhouse gas emissions

Dr Arthur Broadbent, University of Stirling 

Synergistic global change impacts on belowground biodiversity and carbon stocks in mountain ecosystems

Dr Andrea Jennifer Dittus, University of Reading   

Towards climate stabilisation: understanding changes in climate, climate variability, and impacts

Dr Sariqa Wagley, University of Exeter       

Now you see them, now you don’t – tracking hidden dormant bacteria in the environment

Dr Brian Steidinger, University of Edinburgh         

Catastrophic shifts in tree-microbial symbioses: the causes, consequences, and warning signs of environmental collapse in the global forest system

Dr Thomas Guillerme, University of Sheffield         

Phenotypic innovation through time and space