Professor Dr. David Leslie Hawksworth
Profesor Contratado Doctor, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
Commander of the British Empire (1996), Acharius Medal (International Association for Lichenology, 2002).
Current research: A member if the SYSTEMOL (molecular systematics of plants and fungi) research group, contributing to studies on various lichen-forming fungi in Parmeliaceae, particularly the resolution of species concepts in some species complexes in the genus Bryoria. Also working on the systematics of various other lichenicolous and lichenized fungi, using molecular and cultural approaches, the total inventory of fungi in a single reserve (using different methods), and the development of lists of generic names of fungi to be accorded special nomenclatural protection under the International Code of Nomenclature (2011).
Scientific profile: A mycologist with wide interests in biodiversity, systematics, and conservation, especially lichenized and non-lichenized ascomycete fugi. He developed methods for the estimation of sulphur doxide air pollution levels using lichens, and contributed to the integration of the classification of lichenized fungi in the overall fungal classification system. His biodiversity interests include estimates of species numbers of fungi which are now generally accepted, and he was instrumental in the current resurgence of interest in lichenicolous fungi. He has been involved in the improvement of the naming procedures for all organisms, and an editor of the last six editions of the now International Code of Nomenclature. He also applies his mycological expertise in forensic science, and environmental mycology.
Experience: David has worked in different capacities in the department since 2000, when he came as a visiting professor. Prior to that, he was a Mycologist and then Director of the International Mycological Institute (Kew and Egham, 1969–81, and 1983-97), and also a Council Member of English Nature (1996-99). He has also served as President or Chair of various scientific organizations including the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS), IUBS/IUMS International Committee on Bionomenclature, and International Mycological Association. In addition he is a Scientific Associate of the Natural History Museum (London), a Research Associate of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, a Visiting Professor in Birkbeck University of London, and Professor of Ecology in the University of Gloucestershire. He also has wide experience as an editor, and for many years was responsible for The Lichenologist, Mycological Research and the special volume book series of the Systematics Association; he is currently on the editorial boards of six journals, and Editor-in-Chief of two peer-reviewed journals, Biodiversity and Conservation (Springer) and IMA Fungus (International Mycological Association).
Fieldwork: In addition to excursions in Spain (including the Canary Islands) and the UK, David has collected in many countries including: Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Taiwan, Trinidad & Tobago, Ukraine, and the USA.
Awards and Honours: CBE (Commander of the British Empire), 1996 [appointed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for "services to science"]; FD(hc) (Filosophie Hedersdoktor, Honorary Higher Doctorate, Umeå University, Sweden, 1996), DSc (Leicester University, 1980); Josef von Arx Award (Royal Academy of Sciences of The Netherlands, 2011), Acharius Medal (International Association for Lichenology, 2002), and Bicentenary Medal (Linnean Society of London, 1978). Distinguished by his peers with the dedication of 12 eponymous taxa..
Publications: Author/editor (alone or conjointly) of 57 books; and author/co-author of over 500 refereed papers in the fields of fungal systematics, bionomenclature, and biodiversity (including eight items in Nature). These include authorship of 876 new scientific names.