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Medals and Prizes

The Linnean Society seeks to encourage excellence in the natural sciences by awarding a series of medals and prizes to scientists and artists for outstanding work in their field.

Each year the closing date for nominations is the 30th November.

The Linnean Medal

Awarded to a biologist for service to science.

Awarded annually by Council alternately to one or two biologists (in any field), as an expression of the Society's esteem and appreciation for service to science. Any biologist, irrespective of nationality, who is not at the time a member of Council, is eligible to receive the Medal, which is presented at the annual Anniversary Meeting by the President, who specifies the grounds on which the medal has been awarded. Nominations should be made to Council using this online form.

Recipients of the Linnean Medal

  • Niels Kristensen and Walter Lack (2014)
  • Kingsley Dixon (2013)
  • Stephen Blackmore and Peter Holland (2012)
  • Brian Coppins and Charles Godfray (2011)
  • Dianne Edwards and Derek Yalden (2010)
  • Peter Ashton and Michael Akam (2009)
  • Jeffrey Duckett and Stephen Donovan (2008)
  • Phil Cribb and Thomas Cavalier-Smith (2007)
  • David Mabberley and Richard Fortey (2006)
  • Paula Rudall and Andrew Smith (2005)
  • Geoff Boxshall and John Dransfield (2004)
  • Pieter Baas and Bryan Clarke (2003)
  • Sherwin Carlquist and William Kennedy (2002)
  • Christopher Humphries and Gareth Nelson (2001)
  • Bernard Verdcourt and Michael Claridge (2000)
  • Philip Barry Tomlinson and Quentin Bone (1999)
  • Mark Chase and Colin Patterson (1998)
  • Rosemary Helen Lowe-McConnell and Enrico Coen (1997)
  • Keith Vickerman John Heslop-Harrison (1996)
  • Stuart Max Walters and John Maynard Smith (1995)
  • F.E. Round and Alec Jeffreys (1994)
  • Barbara Pickersgill and L.B. Brower (1993)
  • R.E. Schultes and A.J. Gould (1992)
  • W.G. Chaloner and R.M. May (1991)
  • G.T. Prance and F.G. Rees (1990)

The Bicentenary Medal

Awarded to a biologist under the age of 40 years in recognition of excellent work.

Struck in silver to commemorate the 200th anniversary in 1978 of the death of Linnaeus, the Bicentenary Medal is awarded annually in recognition of work done by a biologist under the age of 40 years. Any biologist who is not at the time a member of Council is eligible. Nominations should be made to Council using this online form.

Recipients of the Bicentenary Medal

  • Bonnie Webster (2014)
  • not awarded (2013)
  • Timothy Barraclough (2012)
  • Paul Barrett (2011)
  • Beverley Glover (2010)
  • Michael Engel (2009)
  • William Baker (2008)
  • Max Telford (2007)
  • Vincent Savolainen (2006)
  • Peter Hollingsworth (2005)
  • John Stothard (2004)
  • R T Pennington (2003)
  • Per Ahlberg (2002)
  • Mark Wilkinson (2001)
  • Mike Fay (2000)
  • Paul Kenrick (1999)
  • Roderic Dugald Morton Page (1998)
  • David Gordon Reid (1997)
  • Paul Hugh Williams (1996)
  • Marie Helena Kurmann (1995)
  • R.M. Bateman (1994)
  • A.B. Smith (1993)
  • S. Blackmore (1992)
  • R. Rollinson (1991)
  • C.E. Jarvis (1990)

The Darwin-Wallace Medal

Awarded to persons who have made major advances in evolutionary biology.

Previously awarded to commemorate the 50th,100th and 150th anniversaries of the reading of the joint paper by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace "On the Tendency of Species to form Varieties; and the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Means of Selection", which was read on 1st July 1858, and published by the Linnean Society. In recognition of the continuing importance of research on evolutionary biology, the Council of the Society announced in 2008 that the medal would be awarded annually from 2010. Previously awarded in 1908, 1958 and 2008. Nominations should be made to Council using this online form.

Recipients of the Darwin-Wallace Medal

  • Dolph Schluter (2014)
  • Godfrey Hewitt (2013)
  • Loren Henry Rieseberg (2012)
  • James Lake (2011)
  • Brian Charlesworth (2010)

The H H Bloomer Award

Awarded to an amateur naturalist for an important contribution to biological knowledge.

Established in 1963 from a legacy by the late Harry Howard Bloomer FLS. Awarded to an amateur naturalist who has made an important contribution to biological knowledge. Nominations are made to Council who award the medal at intervals to any person not at the time a member of Council.

Recipients of the H H Bloomer Award

  • Sir Christopher Lever (2014)
  • not awarded (2013)
  • Libby Houston (2012)
  • Brendan Sayers and Michael Fibiger (2011)
  • not awarded (2010)
  • Markku Hakkinen (2009)
  • Basil Harley (2008)
  • John Tennent (2007)
  • Eric J Clement (2006)
  • Peter Chandler (2005)
  • Rosemary FitzGerald (2004)
  • David Pearman (2003)
  • T L Blockeel and Anthony Galsworthy (2002)
  • Hans Hess (2001)
  • not awarded (2000)
  • Richard Henry Roberts (1999)
  • William Claud Wright (1998)
  • John Richard Ironside Wood (1997)
  • John Henry Barrett (1996)
  • Betty Eleanor Gosset Molesworth Allen (1995)
  • D.R. Seaward (1994)
  • D.C. McLintock (1993)
  • K.A. Spencer (1992)
  • H.D. Wilson (1991)
  • M.J. Roberts (1990)

The Irene Manton Prize

A prize of £1000 to a PhD student for the best botany thesis in an academic year.

Awarded for the best thesis in botany examined for a doctorate of philosophy during a single acaemic year (October to September). It is open to candidates whose research has been carried out whilst registered at any UK institution. Theses on the full range of plant sciences are eligible. Nominations are received from the Head of Department, or the supervisor of the candidate. Guidelines on nominations are available.

Recipients of the Irene Manton Prize

  • Simon Renny-Byfield (2014)
  • Janine Pendleton (2013)
  • Alexander S T Papadopulos (2012)
  • Tiina Sarkinen (2011)
  • Christopher Thorogood (2010)
  • Chris Yesson (2009)
  • James Clarkson and Silva Pressel (2008)
  • Lionel Navarro (2007)
  • Yuki Yasumura (2006)
  • Alex Wortley (2005)
  • Mark Clegg (2003)
  • Julie King (2002)
  • Alison Gwen Roberts (2001)
  • James Edward Richardson (2000)
  • Melissa Spielman (1999)
  • Alexander Weir (1998)
  • Colin Edward Hughes (1997)
  • Dorothy Steane (1996)
  • Sally Glockling (1995)
  • William Justin Goodrich (1994)
  • William Justin Goodrich (1993)
  • Sharon Anita Robinson and Robert Winning Scotland (1992)
  • not awarded (1991)
  • Christine Masterson (1990)

The Jill Smythies Award

A prize of £1000 to a botanical artist for outstanding illustrations.

Established in 1986 by the late Mr B E Smythies FLS, in honour of his wife, the late Florence Mary Smythies ("Jill"), whose career as a botanical artist was cut short by an accident to her right hand. Awarded to a botanical artist in recognition of excellence in published illustrations, such as drawings or paintings, in aid of plant identification, with the emphasis on botanical accuracy and the accurate portrayal of diagnostic characteristics.

The silver medal and prize of £1000 is usually awarded annually by Council to anyone not at the time a member of Council. Illustrations of cultivars of garden origin are not eligible. Recommendations for the prize are scrutinized by a Committee appointed by Council and chaired by a Secretary of the Society.

Recipients of the Jill Smythies Award

  • Esmee Somers Winkel (2014)
  • not awarded (2013)
  • not awarded (2012)
  • Margaret Tebbs (2011)
  • Susan Sex (2010)
  • Halina Bednarek-Ochyra (2009)
  • Patricia Eckel (2008)
  • Jan van Os (2007)
  • Bobbi Angell (2006)
  • Lesley Elkan (2005)
  • Lucy Theres Smith (2004)
  • Maya Koistinen (2003)
  • Jenny Brasier (2002)
  • Juan Luis Castillo (2001)
  • Bo Mossberg and Jean Annette Paton (2000)
  • Pandora Sellars (1999)
  • Rodella Anne Purves (1998)
  • Celia Elizabeth Rosser (1997)
  • Bent Jonsen (1996)
  • Rosemary Wise (1995)
  • Joy Claire Allison Dalby (1994)
  • Caroline Mary Bates (1993)
  • John Mark Fothergill (1992)
  • Dale Edna Evans (1991)
  • Gillian Condy (1990)
  • Christabel King (1989)
  • Ann Farrer (1988)

The John C Marsden Medal

Awarded for the best doctoral thesis in biology.

Dr John C Marsden was the Executive Secretary of the Society from 1989 to 2004 and was elected as a Fellow honoris causa in 2005 in recognition of his services to the Society. The medal is awarded annually in Dr John C Marsden's memory for the best doctoral thesis in biology examined during a single academic year (October to September). It is open to any candidate whose research has been carried out whilst registered at any UK institution. Theses on the full range of biology are eligible. Nominations are received from the Head of Department or the supervisor of the candidate.

The medal was awarded for the first time in 2012.

  • Orly Razgour (2014)
  • Haris Saslis Lagoudakis (2013)
  • Joshua Coulcher (2012)

The Linnean Gold Medal

Awarded in special circumstances for services to the Society.

The Linnean Society's highest honour and is presented in recognition of outstanding service to the Society. It has only been awarded three times in the history of the Society.

  • Dr Doris Kermack, on the occasion of the Bicentenary of the Society in 1988
  • Professor David Cutler in 1999
  • Professor Grenville Lucas, on the occasion of the Tercentenary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus in 2007

The Trail-Crisp Award

In recognition of an outstanding contribution to biological microscopy that has been published in the UK.

Established in 1966, from the amalgamation of The Trail Award and The Crisp Award (both founded in 1910), the Trail-Crisp Award is presented at intervals with preference to the younger worker. A bronze medal and purse is presented to the recipient of the award. Nominations should be made to Council using this online form.

  • Silvia Pressel (2014)

The Linnean Tercentenary Medal

Presented in 2007 on the occasion of the Tercentenary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus.

In celebration of Linnaeus' Tercentenary, the Society recognised the continuing importance of the communication of natural history, and biological sciences, to raise both professional and public awareness in our understanding of the natural world, its wonders and the threats facing it.

Specially commissioned to commemorate the 300th anniversary, the Linnean Tercentenary Silver Medals were presented on 13th December 2006 by HRH The Princess Royal to three world-class biologists:

  • Sir David Attenborough CBE, Hon. FLS, FRS
  • Professor Steve Jones FLS
  • Professor Edward O Wilson FMLS, ForMemRS

The Linnean Tercentenary Bronze Medals were presented by the President, Professor David Cutler, to seven Fellows of the Society on 2nd May 2008 in recognition of significant help provided to the Society during the 2007 Tercentenary.

  • Ms Gina Douglas FLS
  • Dr Jenny Edmonds FLS
  • Professor Carl-Olof Jacobsen FLS
  • Professor Bengt Jonsell FLS
  • Dr Martyn Rix FLS
  • Mr Nigel Rowland FLS
  • Ms Elaine Shaughnessy FLS