Helen Roy – new President of Royal Entomological Society

We are delighted to hear that Professor Helen Roy, long term advocate of sharing data through the NBN and NBN Trust Honorary Member, is the new President of the Royal Entomological Society.

Helen is the third woman to be elected as President in the history of the Royal Entomological Society, after Dame Miriam Rothschild and Professor Linda Field.

Helen’s passion for insects and fondness for ladybirds has led to a distinguished research career, so what does this honour mean to her?

Blog written by Professor Helen Roy and originally published on the CEH website

Insects have fascinated me for as long as I can remember. I am captivated by their diversity and beauty. Every day my encounters with insects, whether the glimpse of a winter active bumblebee, the emergence of ladybirds in spring or the succession of insects appearing throughout the summer months, are so enriching.

I have had the immense privilege of studying the ecology of insects throughout my career. I am intrigued by the ways in which insects interact with one another, other species and the environment, so ensuring the functioning of ecosystems for the benefits of people and nature.

Since my early days in research, as a PhD student at Rothamsted Research, I have benefited enormously from being part of the Royal Entomological Society. Today, more than twenty years later, I have the pleasure of becoming President of this historic Society (founded in 1833).

I proudly follow Dame Miriam Rothschild and Professor Linda Field to become the third female President. Both Dame Miriam and Lin have inspired many entomologists with their pioneering research and mentoring. The breadth of their contributions is incredible – spanning many insect groups and ranging from molecular biology and chemical ecology, to taxonomy and crop protection. I am most definitely standing on the shoulders of giants.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Lin through the Royal Entomological Council, to which she has given many years of service. Sadly I did not meet Dame Miriam but have read much about her and heard inspiring tales of her passion for entomology through the Entomological Club, a society whose members number only eight at a time – Dame Miriam was the first female member and I am the second.

Becoming President of the Royal Entomological Society is an incredible honour for me. I get to give a little back to a Society that has encouraged and supported me throughout my entomological endeavours. Over the six months as President-elect I have been expertly guided by the current President, Professor Chris Thomas. Working collaboratively across the Society, he has instigated many exciting new initiatives. I am looking forward to building on these and developing a shared vision with all members, and the wider entomological community, to celebrate our Society.

Helen Roy receiving NBN Trust Honorary Membership from former NBN Trust Chairman and ex RES President (2016-2018) Michael Hassell
Helen Roy receiving NBN Trust Honorary Membership from former NBN Trust Chairman and ex RES President (2016-2018) Michael Hassell

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