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Katherine Helliwell (right) collecting her award from Present of the SEB, Jim Murray. Photo by Simon Callaghan

Algal expert awarded experimental biology medal

A leading microbiologist at the University of Exeter has been recognised for her outstanding research into algae.

Dr Katherine Helliwell was named The Society of Experimental Biology (SEB) 2022 Cell President Medal winner – she collected her award last month at the Society’s annual conference which took place in Montpellier, France.

Her research has focused on the biology of photosynthetic marine microbes such as algae, which are important primary producers in marine ecosystems. Dr Helliwell is now combining her knowledge of algal physiology and signalling to investigate how abiotic and biotic factors control the growth and evolution of these organisms in the marine environment.

Dr Helliwell is a Research Fellow for the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and a joint Research Fellow at the University of Exeter and Marine Biological Association (MBA).

Dr Katherine Helliwell said: “I'm absolutely delighted to have received this award! The Society of Experimental Biology brings together a broad community of plant, animal and cell biologists. I feel very honoured for my research to have been recognized in this way. I am also grateful to the society for supporting my family and I to travel to the annual SEB meeting in Montpelier in order for me to present my work”

The Society for Experimental Biology was established in 1923 at Birkbeck College in London.

Their President's Medals are awarded annually to young scientists of outstanding merit for cell, plant, or animal research.

To find out more about the awards, visit the Society of Experimental Biology’s website:

Date: 26 August 2022

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