June 19, 2024

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UK PM Sunak reappoints Indian-origin academic to Natural History Museum Board

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has reappointed a leading Indian-origin academic in the field of environmental science as the Trustee of the Natural History Museum Board in London.

Yadvinder Malhi, a University of Oxford professor, was formally reappointed earlier this month for a second four-year term. The unpaid advisory role will see him continue his mission to oversee the institution’s role to champion the natural world.

“I am very pleased to serve for a further four years on the Board of the Natural History Museum. My goal is to support this amazing, respected and much-loved institution in its research and public and policy engagement,” said Professor Malhi.

He added: “This can enable it to maximise the contribution it can make, with the unique leverage it has, to tackle what I believe is the most fundamental question of our century: how can we understand and restore our relationship with the natural world so that people and nature thrive within a vibrant biosphere and a stable climate?” Malhi, who was conferred a CBE for his services to ecosystem science in the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Birthday Honours List in 2020, is Professor of Ecosystem Science at the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford.

He is also Director of Oxford’s Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery and a Jackson Senior Research Fellow at Oriel College, University of Oxford.

“His research interests focus on how the living world is responding to global environmental change including climate change, how protecting and working with nature can help mitigate and adapt to climate change and how we can enable nature recovery at scale and reverse the ongoing global decline in biodiversity,” the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said of Malhi.

“Much of his research has focused on tropical forests and savannas, but recent work has also explored the challenge of nature recovery in the UK,” it notes.

Malhi, in his mid-50s, is a past-President of the British Ecological Society and the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation and is passionate about increasing global equity in the practice of science and conservation.
When he was first appointed to the Natural History Museum Board in May 2020, he shared that he has been “enthralled” by it since his first visits as a child.

His appointment has been made in accordance with the UK Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments, which requires that any significant political activity undertaken by an appointee in the last five years is declared. Malhi has not declared any political activity that would fall under holding office, public speaking, making a recordable donation or candidature for election.