Researcher’s fertility project wins Society of Biology science communication prize

nicola-hemmingsA researcher who created a new way to teach children as young as five about fertility has won a major award.

Dr Nicola Hemmings, an animal behaviour researcher in Animal and Plant Sciences, has won the Established Researcher Prize in the Society of Biology’s Science Communication Awards 2014.

Thousands of local school children have been able to learn about fertility through hands-on activities involving fossils and solar panels, developed by Dr Hemmings.

She has mentored undergraduates to run these activities alongside regular lectures, and developed workshops to help adult audiences understand how studying sperm can help save endangered species.

Dr Hemmings said: “I’m delighted and honoured to receive this award. It is wonderful to gain recognition for something I love doing! I hope my work inspires other scientists to engage the public with their research too.”

The awards will be presented at the Society of Biology’s Annual Award Ceremony on Tuesday 14 October, during Biology Week 2014.

Dr Steve Cross, head of public engagement at University College London and chair of the judging panel, said: “We were really impressed by the process that Nicola uses to engage with communities outside academia.

“She is utterly committed to learning, improving and refining her work, to help people connect with both her research and what it is to be a scientist.”

Earlier this year, Dr Hemmings won the University of Sheffield’s My Research Story competition for a short film she made, ‘The Secrets Of Successful Sperm’.

Related: Researcher shares ‘The Secrets of Successful Sperm’ to take film prize

She has also been playing at active part in Festival Of The Mind, which runs until Sunday, by helping run tours of the Alfred Denny Museum and taking part in the Tales From The Ivory Tower talks.


Find out more about Dr Hemmings’ research – visit her lab webpage

Follow @hemmingsnicola1 on Twitter

Society Of Biology Annual Awards Ceremony

Society Of Biology