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Trustee Elections 2021

Each year, the RES holds elections for new trustees. Voting was online and open to all members and fellows. There were eight trustee vacancies on RES Council this year. Each will serve a four-year term until 2025. The results were announced on 25 August at the 2021 AGM, as below.

Personal statements for each candidate are still available below for the following roles:

  1. President-Elect
  2. Treasurer
  3. Chair of Meetings Committee
  4. Chair of Publications Committee
  5. Early Career Trustee
  6. Trustee
  7. Trustee
  8. Trustee

The successfully elected candidates are marked as (ELECTED)

 

President-Elect

President-Elect will serve as a Trustee for four years in total (Yr1 President-Elect; Yrs2&3 President; Yr4 Past President). There is one candidate for President-Elect.

Professor Jane K. Hill (ELECTED)

I am a Professor of Ecology in the Department of Biology at the University of York, and currently the University’s Research Champion in ‘Environmental Sustainability & Resilience’ – an exciting research area looking to the challenges of tackling biodiversity declines and reducing carbon emissions.

My research examines the impacts of climate change and habitat degradation on biodiversity, quantifying the extent to which species, especially butterflies, are shifting their ranges as the climate warms.

I have been a fellow of the Royal Entomological Society since I was a PhD student exploring migration in Silver Y moths, and I was awarded Honorary Fellowship in 2016. I was proud to be an Editor-in-Chief at Ecological Entomology for many years.

I have valued the opportunities that the Society provides entomologists. There is an increasing appreciation of the important role played by insects, and I am keen to support the Society’s vision in developing exciting new opportunities to support and disseminate entomological science.

I will bring my experience of gender equality and diversity, to help the Society in its commitment to making entomology more inclusive. For example, I led my Department’s successful application for an Athena SWAN gold award, and have been involved with supporting EDI initiatives through my trustee role at the British Ecological Society. Publishing entomological research is an important role for the Society, and I will bring my experience of publishing to support the Society’s journals in an era of more open science. I look forward to applying my insect expertise and experience to help embed best-practice following the Society’s recent governance review, and welcome the opportunity to support the Society in its role at the forefront of entomology.

Treasurer

There were two candidates for Treasurer. 

Dr Guðbjörg Inga (Gia) Aradóttir (ELECTED)

I seek your vote to continue in my role as Treasurer of the Royal Entomological Society. I have been privileged to be an Interim Treasurer over the past year, and if elected will continue to balance the vision for the long-term financial success of the Society with supporting the management team in their day-to-day financial management, oversight, risk management and compliance. Over the past year we have put in place processes to improve workflows and increase the transparency of the financial systems of the Society that will help us ensure funds are spent in the best possible way to support our charitable aims. We have also worked with our investment management firm to transfer the Society’s investments into funds that are compliant with Environmental, Societal and Governance principles, that are built on the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals and better represent the ethos of RES. It would be an honour to secure your vote to carry on this work.

My background as a Fellow of the RES with a PhD from Imperial College, an MBA from Warwick Business School, and a wide skill set, including an experience of finance, investment management, compliance, strategy, and project management make me a strong candidate for the role. I am passionate about entomological science and have worked in the field for 20 years in various roles both in the public and private sector at Rothamsted Research, Inscentinel Ltd., Natural History Museum, the Icelandic Institute of Natural History and most recently as Programme Leader of Entomology at NIAB.

Professor Michael Bonsall

I am Professor of Mathematical Biology and biology fellow/tutor at St Peters College in Oxford – obviously, I am passionate about entomology and have broad research interests in insect population and community ecology, vector ecology and pest/vector control/economics. I have a strong focus on linking my insect science to policy and science communication.

I have been a Fellow of the RES since 1994; Working with the RES, I was as student contributor to Antenna providing reports on the monthly meetings (1994 – 1996). I have been on the editorial advisory (since 2001) and an associate editor of Ecological Entomology (since 2017). I was meeting coordinator for the Society’s Insect Ecology Special Interests Group (2008 – 2018).

In Oxford, I am a trustee of St Peters College (as a member of the governing body) and understand the responsibilities of trustees. Being happy with numbers, I have experience of finances/financial management as a member of St Peters Investment Committee (since 2005), member (2005 – 2018) and chair (2009 – 2011) of the College finance committee and one of the Associate Heads of the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division (since 2018). All these experiences provide me with knowledge around financial oversight of organisations and how these need to be set in the context of organisational strategic goals (such as academic/teaching/research activity).

Being appointed as Treasurer of the RES will allow me to bring these skills to support the management, planning and strategic goals of the Society. I look forward continuing to work with the RES.

Chair of Meetings Committee

There was one candidate for Chair of Meetings Committee.

Dr Richard Harrington (ELECTED)

My whole career was with the Rothamsted Insect Survey, working on aphids. The Society was very important to me throughout, and I have returned the favour in a range of capacities. In retirement, I have more time to help with its development as a modern, vibrant and inclusive organisation. I have been interim Chair of the Meetings Committee since September 2020 and Coordinator of the Special Interest Groups since 2014. Meetings are a key component of the Society’s role in disseminating entomological science. I am committed to ensuring that they are of the highest quality, meet the wishes of all members, attract new members, are open to non-members, and comply with the Society’s policy on equality, diversity and inclusion. I am always keen to receive constructive feedback and new ideas for improving the range and nature of meetings. Recent online meetings have made it easy and inexpensive for members and others from around the world to participate. Post-Covid, I will ensure that all appropriate meetings can be attended in-person or online. I am editor of Antenna, which complements the meetings role very well, as reports of meetings are important in informing members and attracting them to future meetings, and the topics covered provide inspiration for articles in Antenna. I have previously been a Trustee of the Society and am fully aware of the responsibilities of trustees. I have also been a Trustee of Hertfordshire Scouts (as County Commissioner), an organisation with 17,000 members and an annual turnover of approximately £2,000,000.

Chair of Publications Committee

There was one candidate for Chair of Publications Committee.

Dr Shaun Winterton (ELECTED)

I wish to be considered for the role as Trustee and Chair of the Publications Committee for the RES Council. I have no potential conflicts of interest or disqualifications that I am aware of, and I am fully supportive of the Society aims and objectives. Below I outline some of my professional and education background.

I was born and educated in Brisbane, Australia, with degrees from University Southern Queensland (B. App. Sci., 1992), Central Queensland University (Ad. Dip. Aquat. Res. Mgt., 1999) and University of Queensland (P-Grad. Dip. Sci., 1997; PhD, 2000). I moved to the United States shortly after completing my PhD for a post-doctoral fellowship at North Carolina State University and have lived there ever since, except for a short stint back in Australia (2007-2010) to head up the collections at both the University of Queensland and the Department of Primary Industries (Brisbane). For most of my time in the USA, I have worked for the California Department of Food & Agriculture in Sacramento. My research program is broad, reflecting my varied professional experiences, including biological control, taxonomy, phylogenetics, phylogenomics and even aquatic botany. I have over 130 papers published in peer-reviewed journals, including RES journals such as Systematic Entomology, and received Best Paper awards for papers published in Systematic Entomology (2011) and Journal of Australian Entomology (2000).

I have been a Fellow of RES for several years and I am honoured to be the senior Editor in Chief for Systematic Entomology. I presently serve as a Trustee of the Society and Interim Chair of the Publications Committee. In that role I recently chaired the annual publications committee meeting (via Zoom) as well as ongoing individual strategy meetings for the RES publications. I serve as the primary point of contact for publications editors and RES and Wiley staff regarding all matters associated with RES publications, including routine operations, strategy development, policy formulation, dispute resolution, reporting to council, EiC recruitment and evaluation and implementation of publishing initiatives.

I am pleased to be considered for this role and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Early Career Trustee

There were six candidates for one Early Career Trustee vacancy

Dr Jordan Cuff

Since a childhood spent writing ‘field guides’ to insects, entomology has been my inevitable pursuit! The first in my family to attend university, I was determined to develop my entomological interests through academia. I soon discovered that I was one of very few entomologists at Cardiff University! Through its postgraduate forums, I quickly learned the power of the Royal Entomological Society in bridging gaps between entomologists at this formative stage of their careers.

I attended every RES PG forum that I could, and even gave my first conference talk at ENTO ’16. Through the connections made at these and SIG events, I gained the confidence to publish in and review for RES journals, having now joined the editorial board of Agricultural and Forest Entomology as a consequence. I have applied these experiences to the delivery of teaching and outreach to transfer my enthusiasm for entomology to the next generation of zoologists.

The support and experience that I have gained through the RES has been personally and professionally invaluable, but broadening the accessibility of these resources to under-represented groups is an ongoing challenge that I would keenly advocate. As an Early Career Trustee, I would strive to enhance the accessibility and inclusivity of the society’s events, support and communities, and encourage the continued growth of the society’s excellent initiatives for early career entomologists. I am driven to ensure that the RES experience that continues to pave my way through early career entomology helps as many fellow early career entomologists as possible.

Dr John D. Howard

I’m currently a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Prof Hilary Ranson’s lab at LSTM, examining how mosquito chemosensory proteins affect insecticide resistance and how to mitigate against it to control malaria.

I did my PhD on RNAi as a tool for crop pest insect management (focused on stink bug and western corn rootworm), using chemically modified dsRNA, at the University of Sheffield with Prof Mark Dickman and Dr Stephen Brown, in conjunction with Syngenta.

Outside of academia I’m also a keen amateur naturalist, often found crouching trying to identify interesting insects in the countryside and city alike!

I’m involved with several projects aiming to examine the experience of ECRs in academia, and what could potentially change for the better. These include being on the production team for the podcast Preprints in Motion, where we discuss preprints, open-access science, and various good and bad experiences of working in academia with ECRs and special guests. I’m also part of a group currently working on the early stages of a review article and/or white paper into examining issues ECRs have in academia and what might be done to solve them.

I’ve also signed up to 500 Queer Scientists as I’m enthusiastic about increasing the equality, visibility and inclusivity of queer people in science, as well as other under-represented minorities.

If chosen as ECR Trustee I hope to use what I’ve learned (and am still learning) to offer a perspective on how the society can better support ECR entomologists.

Dr Ki Woong (Victor) Kang

I would like to apply for the position of Early Career Trustee at the Royal Entomological Society (RES). I believe that I am a strong candidate for two reasons: first, I am a firm believer in the principal mission of the Society – to promote and develop entomological science. I have been a member of the RES since 2017, and thanks to the generosity and hard work of the Society, I was able to conduct RES-funded fieldwork and participate in insightful focus group meetings and other useful workshops.

I have greatly benefited from the Society, and I would like to give back by helping to continue its mission to increase our understanding and appreciation of entomology. Second, I am a respectful and responsible young professional with a proven track record of being a strong team player.

During my PhD, I was one of three graduate student representatives for the Department of Zoology, and we worked together to organise several successful events during our tenure, including a large graduate student symposium and the annual departmental Christmas party.

Prior to my graduate studies, I worked in a consulting firm for two years, where I had to work with my colleagues to generate and present deliverables to our clients, who were often senior executives of large companies with multi-billion-dollar market caps.

Dr Daniel Leybourne

At the start of 2021 I embarked on the next stage of my academic career and began a Postdoctoral Fellowship. During this period I have gained skills and experience that will be beneficial to an ECR Trustee, including taking on more leadership, supervisory, and mentoring responsibilities. From this I have a greater appreciation of the importance of embracing different perspectives– just because I am the more senior scientist in the room does not mean I have the best ideas. I have also gained a better appreciation of the little things that run the world. This entomological rejuvenation came from getting back into fieldwork following lockdown, including ad-hoc entomological outreach with interested members of the public.

In 2021 I engaged more with the RES by co-organising the Aphid SIG. I am hoping to increase my engagement as my career progresses as I believe I can help the RES improve, including better representation for ECR and underrepresented groups. The new ECR Trustee position shows the society is heading in the right direction. However, there are areas where the RES could be making greater strides, Including representation of LGBTQ+ and other marginalised entomologists. Similar societies have made advances in this area over recent years, an excellent example is the BES LGBT+ network. As an ECR and an LGBT+ individual, I have a personal perspective that can help the RES further its support of ECR and underrepresented groups.

Dr Joe Roberts (ELECTED)

Although always interested in natural history, I actually came to entomology later in life as my passion for insects was sparked by a lecturer during my undergraduate research project. As it would turn out, this was a pivotal point in my life and I went on to study for a PhD in the chemical ecology of predatory mites before becoming a lecturer in entomology at Harper Adams University (UK).

I believe that I would be a good Society Trustee as I recognise the importance of its core mission to ‘promote excellence in entomology and demonstrate the importance of studying insects to everyone’. As a Trustee I would ensure that this core mission remains at the heart of everything the Society does going forward, especially with respect to outreach and engaging the next generation of entomologists. Being an Early Career scientist, I am acutely aware of the stereotypes surrounding entomology and entomologists. I would, therefore, use my Trustee position to make sure that the Society is forward looking, inclusive and challenging stereotypes.

Within my role as a lecturer and research entomologist, I have acquired demonstrable experience in many of the key skills required for Trustees. Particular areas of strength are numerical literacy, team work and decision making. As interim course manager for postgraduate entomology at Harper Adams University, I also have experience with non-academic work and am always willing to learn new skills. I feel that I would be a good ambassador for the Society and entomology as a whole.

Arron Watson

I believe I would make a great Early Career (EC) Trustee due to my passion for and experience in entomology and my attitude towards developing the future of the society.

I strongly believe that we can grow a larger diversity of members whilst also being inclusive of different demographics in entomology such as those in industry, academia and schools. My previous experience has seen me engaging with children within Wildlife Trusts and through academia in schools, where i designed teaching plans for classes which help capture children's interest with entomology.

I am currently a freshwater entomologist working for the Environment Agency, in my spare time I provide outreach within citizen science programmes and workshops for early careers. I have gained valuable experience in the past within the British Ecological Society (BES) public engagement programme, which subsequently led to me proudly winning the society annual award in 2017 for my contributions to the BES - something I think will help me thrive as EC Trustee.

I have sat on a number of committees for different societies and now sit within different groups within my employment which impacts wider governance and feel that my diverse career path would allow me to embrace and weigh up different views of members, while also considering what is best for the society.

A career in entomology should be shared more widely with all people globally, and I would like to be one of those people who represents that vision for the RES.

Trustee

There were seven candidates for three Trustee vacancies. 

Dr Malcolm Aldridge

I am an amateur entomologist and having pursued a career in Medicine, retired after 28 years as a Consultant Surgeon in the NHS.  I was elected a Fellow of the RES in 1987 and have been lucky enough to be able to continue my passion for entomology in parallel with my main career. I have served on the RES Library Committee since 2018. In February 2020 I was appointed as a Scientific Associate in the Diptera section at the Natural History Museum.

I consider that now is the time to open up the RES and its facilities to a wider range and diversity of young people who had previously not thought about entomology as a career and positively encourage them to look to the RES as a centre to support their education and career choices.

I became a Trustee of the AES in 2019 and realised the potential to expand the earlier AES /RES agreement to include study opportunities, careers support and work experience opportunities for young people from a diverse range of backgrounds.  I was the author of ‘Working Together for Entomology’, a document which was submitted to the RES Council and, once accepted, became a springboard for the RES to produce its ‘Future of Entomology’ project aiming to encourage more young people from all backgrounds into entomology.  If elected as a Trustee, I would like to continue this work.

I am passionate about the Mansion House and the Library and would like to enable a diversity of entomologists both professional and amateur to use the facilities, if not in person then virtually, building on the lessons learned from the pandemic where on-line webinars and meetings have been so successful. Hybridisation of meetings  will be the future and the Mansion House  may evolve into our communications hub. If elected as a Trustee I would work hard to both preserve and enhance the reputation of the Mansion House and the Library as well as having a degree of responsibility for the health and well-being of the staff.

Professor Michael Engel

I am a systematic entomologist and invertebrate paleontologist with broad research experiences exploring insect biodiversity through time and space.  I have an abiding passion for the promotion of entomological science and supporting educational endeavors that elevate insects to the public as well as the next generation of entomologists.  Although I have not served as a Trustee for another organization, I am one of the founding members (2012) of the Board of Directors for the Museum at Prairiefire, a public education organization and exhibition space in Kansas City centered on STEAM education in the greater KC area (https://www.visitthemap.org/).  For the last 16 years, I have managed the personnel and budget of the Division of Entomology in the University of Kansas Natural History Museum, and have continually sought to build new skills in organizational management, particularly by serving as a Senior Administrative Fellow in 2013–2014.  I currently serve in various administrative capacities at the University of Kansas such as the University Senate Judicial Board, Faculty Senate Research Committee, Council of Distinguished Professors, and the Post-Tenure Research Committee.  In terms of service to the profession, I have served as Editor, Associate Editor, Subject Editor, or Editorial Board member for numerous journals, ranging from Current Biology to the Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine.  The Royal Entomological Society is the preeminent entomological organization in Europe and one of the most prominent and respected throughout the world, and it is an exciting prospect to work toward enhancing this history of continual excellence.

Dr Elizabeth Evesham

I have been a Fellow of the RES for over thirty years and was on the meetings committee member a few decades ago. I have represented the charity at international meetings, workshops and talks. Therefore, I am a devoted member of the Society and would relish to opportunity promote it and reach new audiences.

My career has been and still is in education since my Post Doctorate at the Free University of Brussels. I enjoy teaching young people, helping them reach their full potential and advising them on their future careers. I have been fortunate to be able to continue with my own research on the behavior and ecology of the ant Myrmica rubra and have attended, presented and chaired at many national and international conferences. I have held pastoral and managerial roles and so have acquired skills in risk assessment, budgeting, sound communication, safe-guarding, policy-making, strategic planning, mentoring and teaching and learning.

I am well-organised, competent in IT, can diffuse situations quickly, work well on my own and as a team, enjoy learning new skills and have a good sense of humour. I consider my experience and skills would be of benefit to the society and its members.

Dr Chris Jeffs

I have always been passionate about communicating the wonder and importance of insects and find genuine joy in helping people develop their skills and knowledge. I would love to bring this experience to the RES to benefit our members.

I started my career as a postdoctoral insect community ecologist, and now work as the Education & Engagement Manager at the British Ecological Society, where I focus on member support, career development and public engagement.

I’ve volunteered with the RES for over a decade and I’ve loved everything it’s offered me as a member. I’m a founding member of the Outreach Committee, have supported the Society’s Finance Committee, and have led the creation of careers resources and public exhibitions for National Insect Week and INSTAR Magazine.

I’m also grateful for the breadth of support I have benefitted from at the Society, from Postgraduate Forums and ENTO conferences, to the RES Goodman Award, ENTOSCI careers conference and Insect Festival.

It is because of the RES that I am able to pursue my passion communicating the wonder of science to the public. Now I want to make sure that even more people can benefit.

Using my experiences as an RES member and supporting career development with the BES, I want to help grow our membership into new audiences and improve how we support our diverse and unique community. By supporting the needs of the membership, I want to make our Society as accessible and relevant as possible to all who love entomology.

Moses Musonda (ELECTED)

Recently graduated from the Copperbelt University with a Masters of Philosophy in Biology with a focus in entomology, additionally, I have a bachelor’s of Science in Biology from the University of Zambia.

I developed a passion for entomology at a tender age back in the village, I would keep bees in a beehive near a cornfield little did I know that bees were important factors in agriculture as pollinators, and this lead to high yields in the crops that were cultivated near my beehives. Zambia being a malaria-endemic country, I have been fascinated with the major malaria vectors such as Anopheles gambiae, Anopheles funestus, and Anopheles arabiensis which have been responsible for malaria transmission in our country. I have always believed that entomologists play a critical role in ensuring that vector-borne diseases can be eradicated using the knowledge and skills from entomology, this lead me to pursue a master's of Philosophy in Biology with a focus on Entomology. I have been attending virtual Masterclasses with professors and doctors in the field of Gene Drive Technology on Mosquitoes from Liverpool University and other university around the world, these interactions have lead me to in-depth knowledge and understanding of the critical role that entomology plays in our societies to combat diseases.

Currently am working as a teacher in the ministry of education and a committee member of the Zambia Association of Science Educators at the regional level among my responsibilities were to develop strategies and work plans for the association ensuring that annual meetings are held.

If elected as a committee member of the Royal Entomological Society I will effectively contribute to the achievement of the aspirations of the society.

Professor Seirian Sumner (ELECTED)

I am a Professor of behavioural ecology at UCL, with over 20 years of research experience in entomology, specifically on social insects but with a particular fondness for wasps of all kinds. I have admired the work of the Royal Entomological Society since my PhD days and was thrilled to become a Fellow in 2019. As a Trustee of the RES I would be honoured to help develop areas of impact including outreach, with a special focus on promoting equality and diversity within the society. The work that the RES does in widening participation of the public’s engagement with entomology aligns with my own interests and expertise. I am committed to bringing entomology to a wider audience; examples include the citizen science project ‘Big Wasp Survey’ which I co-founded in 2017 with Prof Adam Hart; this now runs as an annual event with the support of RES and is engaging and training over 1500 citizens in entomology across the UK every year. My research has also directly addressed public perceptions of insects; e.g. my 2018 paper on ‘Why we love bees and hate wasps’ published in the RES journal Ecological Entomology is in the top 5% of all research outputs tracked by Altmetric (511 on 28th June 2021), and was one of the ‘most read articles’ at 2020 National Insect Week. More broadly, my outreach work has also focused on gender equality in science, as co-founder of the multi-award-winning science communication event ‘Soapbox Science’ which recently celebrated its 10th birthday, and runs in over 30 countries across the globe. Women are under-represented in entomology; working with the RES to change this would be one of my top priorities.

Dr Allan Watt (ELECTED)

I have been a Fellow of the Society for many years and my experience includes being a journal editor, Antenna editor, conference organiser and two-term trustee. The Society has grown enormously since I first became involved but needs to grow further, both in terms of becoming the natural home for all entomologists and also in promoting insect science more effectively. I know that the current President, trustees and staff are determined to implement the change, and I would like to contribute my experience through this period of transition. I am particularly keen on promoting better links between the various Society activities, particularly the promotion of insect science through the journals, the Special Interest Groups and outreach activities. I would also like to see the further development of online Society events, one of the notable successes of the last 18 months, bringing more entomologists into contact with each other, and to consider other new ways of supporting insect science. Finally, I believe it is the role of the trustees to ensure that the RES becomes a more membership-focused Society and I am keen to help implement the many good ideas that will, for example, come out of the current Grand Challenges exercise and the membership survey.

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