Professor Sue Page has been honoured for her substantial ecological work all over the world.

Posted by kha5 at Sep 30, 2015 11:35 AM |
The Society for Ecological Restoration has awarded Professor Sue Page, from our Department of Geography, the Theodore M. Sperry Award. The award was made at the SER conference in Manchester in August at a Gala Awards Dinner.

Professor Page, who recently stepped down as Head of the Department of Geography, was recognised for her research into wetland ecology and functioning and wildlife conservation, in particular, peatlands in Southeast Asia, South America and Central Africa as well as lowland peatlands in the UK.

Professor Page said: “I am delighted to receive this award from the SER and I feel extremely privileged to be following in the footsteps of former recipients of this accolade.

When I first began my research on tropical peatlands in Southeast Asia I had no insight that the rapid pace of land use change would see my initial fieldwork in peat swamp forests replaced by two decades of research on degraded and developed peatlands. Land drainage, devastating wildfires and the rapid expansion of plantations led me to refocus my research on understanding and quantifying the carbon emissions arising from land use change as well as exploring opportunities and techniques for ecosystem restoration. Along the way, I have had the privilege to work with scientists and students from across the world. This is as much their award as mine and I look forward to future collaborations as we grapple with the challenges involved in conserving and rehabilitating tropical peatlands”.

The citation reads: “SER recognises Professor Susan Page from the University of Leicester for her extensive body of work on peatlands and in particular, tropical peatlands. Having conducted research at diverse sites around the world and authored more than 100 journal articles, books, book chapters, and technical reports, including as a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Professor Page has contributed greatly to our understanding of peatland ecology and the role of tropical peatlands in the global carbon cycle.

“Her research, and that of the many students she has supervised, has also yielded important insights into the drivers and impacts of peatland degradation as well as approaches and barriers for their successful restoration. She has been a partner in several EU-funded research programs and has acted in an advisory role to government bodies and NGOs, including in the UK, where she is a key contributor to a DEFRA-funded project evaluating the carbon balance of lowland peatlands across England and Wales to help inform government policies on peat land use options.”

Named for Theodore M. Sperry, the American botanist and ecologist who pioneered early efforts to restore tallgrass prairie in the Midwestern U.S., this award honours individuals that have made a significant contribution to the science and/or practice of ecological restoration. Recipients must have demonstrated innovation and pioneering in the development of a new approach to restoration, new restoration methods or tools, useful restoration criteria and standards, and/or the development of effective ways of integrating volunteers or involving the public in restoration programs.

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