Queen's New Year Honours 2019 congratulations

8 January 2019

NERC would like to congratulate members of the environmental science community who have been recognised in the Queen's New Year honours list 2019.

Professor Alexander HallidayProfessor Alexander Halliday, lately professor of geochemistry at the University of Oxford, has been awarded a knighthood for services to science and innovation.

Professor Halliday, formerly Vice-President of the Royal Society and NERC Council member from 2004 to 2011, is now the Director of Columbia University's Earth Institute, based in New York. Professor Halliday is an influential, internationally-renowned leader in the discipline of isotope geochemistry. His pioneering research involves the use of isotopic methods to study Earth and planetary processes. Some of his most influential work has involved delivering understanding of the origin of the Earth, Moon and the birth and formation of our solar system, made possible by his development and application of the Multi-Collector Mass Spectrometer at Oxford.

Professor Halliday said:

It's a great honour to be receiving a knighthood - naturally I'm delighted. This award is principally about research and innovation, which is both creative and individualistic. Nonetheless, you can't do it alone. I've been fortunate to have amazing colleagues, friends and, above all, family members, who have supported and often inspired me. You also need funding agencies like NERC, who put resources behind novel ideas - a core component for innovation, our understanding of the planet, and making progress towards a sustainable future. Whether in the UK or elsewhere, we need to meet several global challenges right now. I look forward to continuing this important but exciting work in 2019 and beyond.

Professor Stephen MobbsProfessor Stephen Mobbs, Director of the NERC National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) and professor of atmospheric dynamics at the University of Leeds, has been awarded an MBE for services to atmospheric sciences.

Stephen Mobbs is a physicist and applied mathematician who has made important scientific contributions in the field of meteorology. Through his inspirational leadership at NCAS and the University of Leeds, Professor Mobbs has been a major player in elevating UK atmospheric science to become an internationally-respected academic community. Professor Mobbs led the development of the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurement (FAAM) atmosphere research aircraft, which provides a national platform for experimental atmospheric research and UK emergency capability. Following the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull Icelandic volcano eruption, Professor Mobbs deployed FAAM, demonstrating dust loading to be far smaller than feared, leading to the early reopening of UK airspace to civilian flight.

Professor Mobbs said:

I am delighted to be awarded an MBE, which recognises my work on behalf of NCAS and NERC. I have been fortunate to have the support of a tremendous team of staff in NCAS; collectively we have established NCAS as an internationally-recognised research organisation in atmospheric science.

To find out about the honours across the remit of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) visit the UKRI website - external link .

Further information

Mary Goodchild
External Communications Manager
01793 411939
07710 147485


1. NERC is the UK's main agency for funding and managing research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. Our work covers the full range of atmospheric, Earth, biological, terrestrial and aquatic science, from the deep oceans to the upper atmosphere and from the poles to the equator. We coordinate some of the world's most exciting research projects, tackling major environmental issues such as climate change, environmental influences on human health, the genetic make-up of life on Earth, and much more. NERC is part of UK Research & Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.