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Bristol academics awarded a hat-trick of Royal Society fellowships

12 August 2014

Three academics from the University of Bristol have been awarded prestigious research fellowships from the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science.

Professors Richard Apps, Alistair Hetherington and Jonathan Keating are among the seven Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship holders from across the country to be announced this year.

Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the scheme is designed for scientists who would benefit from a period of full-time research without teaching and administrative duties.

Fellowships cover all areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering, but excluding clinical medicine.

Neuroscientist Professor Richard Apps, from the School of Physiology and Pharmacology, will use the very latest technology and recording methods to carry out research into how the cerebellum - the largest motor structure within the brain – processes information to control movement and perform its many other functions.

Professor Alistair Hetherington, from the School of Biological Sciences, will investigate how plants respond to changes in their environment. His research will focus on stomata - microscopic valve like structures on the surface of leaves - to determine the cellular and molecular details of how changes, such as a light to dark transition, cause the ‘valve’ to close.

Professor Jonathan Keating, from the School of Mathematics, will be using techniques from Random Matrix Theory to answer long-standing questions about integers and prime numbers. These techniques were first developed by mathematical physicists to analyse complex quantum mechanical systems, such as large atomic nuclei and electrons subject to random forces.

The Leverhulme Trust was established in 1925 under the Will of the First Viscount Leverhulme with the instruction that its resources should be used to support 'scholarships for the purposes of research and education'.

Further information

About the Royal Society

The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, engineering, and medicine. The Society’s fundamental purpose, as it has been since its foundation in 1660, is to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.

The Society’s strategic priorities emphasise its commitment to the highest quality science, to curiosity-driven research, and to the development and use of science for the benefit of society. These priorities are:

  • Promoting science and its benefits
  • Recognising excellence in science
  • Supporting outstanding science
  • Providing scientific advice for policy
  • Fostering international and global cooperation
  • Education and public engagement
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