A scholar who has spent her career researching aboriginal nations of Northwest America and the ecosystems they inhabit has been named the new Hakai chair in ethnoecology at the University of Victoria. Nancy Turner, currently distinguished professor in the department of environmental studies at Victoria, studied for her undergraduate degree in biology at Victoria and her doctorate in botany at the University of British Columbia. In 1974, Professor Turner was appointed research associate in botany at the Royal British Columbia Museum. In 1977, she joined the National Museums of Canada as writer under contract, and then worked as an ethnobotanical adviser for the Nuxalk food and nutrition programme in Bella Coola, British Columbia. She went on to be appointed adjunct professor in botany at British Columbia, before joining Victoria in 2000. Professor Turner said that her latest role, which comes with a C$1.25 million (£814,000) grant from the Tula Foundation, was ideal as it would "allow me the time, resources and flexibility I need to be out on the lands and waters of First Nations territories with knowledgeable elders and teachers. The grant allows me to deepen my understanding of the Central Coast and its unique ecology while strengthening my relationship with the Heiltsuk Nation."
An academic has described his appointment as resident composer at the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and music Fellow at Rambert Dance Company as "a dream come true". Mark Bowden, lecturer in composition at Royal Holloway, University of London, said he was torn about which direction to take early on in his academic life. "It was a difficult decision deciding whether to pursue music or dance as a career," he said. He chose to study composition at the Royal College of Music, and was appointed the first composer-in-residence at Handel House Museum in 2006. He went on to take up the post of new music associate at Kettle's Yard, University of Cambridge, which he held between 2008 and 2010. Dr Bowden said that his existing relationship with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales meant that his new appointment as resident composer felt like "a very natural progression". "The atmosphere that the orchestra creates during rehearsals and performances is one of warmth and professionalism, and I couldn't ask for a better ensemble to be associated with," he said. Of the fellowship at the Rambert Dance Company, he said: "I have an abiding love of dance so this is an ideal fellowship for me. The post will also involve outreach work, which I am looking forward to."
University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Paula Jameson of the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, who has been made a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Science, calls the accolade a "highlight in a pretty tough year". Professor Jameson, head of the School of Biological Sciences at Canterbury, received her doctorate from the institution and went on to work in the department of botany at the University of Otago and the department of plant biology and biotechnology at Massey University. She was made head of department at Massey in 1994 and left to take up her role at Canterbury in 2004. In addition to her many publications, which include 100 refereed publications in scientific journals and 10 book chapters, Professor Jameson has received much recognition for her work. In 2002, she was made a life member of the New Zealand Society of Plant Physiologists, having sat on its council between 1982 and 2000, including two terms as chair. Her latest accolade was awarded in recognition of her "outstanding contribution to New Zealand horticultural science". Professor Jameson said the award was also "recognition of the research undertaken by a large number of graduate students and collaborators".
Dwight Seferos, assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Toronto, has been recognised with a DuPont Young Professor award. The award comes with an unrestricted grant of C$75,000 (£48,500), which the recipient may use for a research project of his choice. Professor Seferos works with conjugated polymers, and hopes to use the money for a project to improve solar cell technology. "With the energy crisis today, there is so much interest in solar, a carbon-neutral source of energy; it's now or never," he said. Professor Seferos studied for his undergraduate degree at Western Washington University and went on to complete a doctorate at the University of California, Santa Barbara. After a year at Northwestern University as American Cancer Society postdoctoral Fellow, Professor Seferos moved to Toronto. He said that although scientists had been working in the field of conjugated polymers for nearly 40 years, there was still much to achieve in the area. "We now know so much more," he said. "We have better materials, better chemistry and better ideas of the physical processes."
Gurharpal Singh, Nadir Dinshaw professor of inter-religious relations at the University of Birmingham, has been appointed dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the School of Oriental and African Studies.
King's College London has appointed Maxine Taylor director of external relations. Ms Taylor was previously director of corporate affairs at Nationwide Building Society.
Roger Ellis, senior visiting research professor at the University of Chester, has been appointed visiting professor in the newly established Institute for Diversity Research, Inclusivity, Communities and Society at Bucks New University.
De Montfort University has made three new appointments. Gerard Moran has been appointed pro vice-chancellor and dean of art, design and humanities. He is currently dean of art and design at the institution. Mandy Ashton has been appointed pro vice-chancellor and dean of health and life sciences. She was previously director of quality and deputy chief executive of NHS Leicester City. And Andrew Collop has been appointed pro vice-chancellor and dean of technology. He is currently associate dean of infrastructure and information in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham.
Claire Cameron has been appointed professor of social work and social care at Anglia Ruskin University. She was previously senior reader in education in the Thomas Coram Research Unit at the Institute of Education, University of London.
Martin Bean, vice-chancellor of The Open University, has been elected trustee of the British Council.