Professor of Behavioural Ecology in the Faculty of Life Sciences, School of Biological Sciences
[Andy is] always approachable and there to help you with any problem that you have, whilst also helping you to push your boundaries and help you realise that you can do things you didn’t realise you were capable of. Not only is he encouraging of any academic pursuits you have, he also encourages you to pursue what you are passionate about outside of the research.
With all the decisions that we need to make about our research and our careers, Andy will always bring the decision back to how it will affect the balance of our lives inside and outside of research. This has given me immense comfort and security to explore the topics I find interesting and to come to him with new ideas, no matter how underdeveloped they be!
A key requirement for a stimulating research environment is that a research group should be a happy place to be. Andy has clearly taken this to the next level. He has fostered a brilliant group atmosphere, and quietly but effectively promoted a community of mutual support amongst his students and postdocs, who regularly meet as friends outside of work.
Andy has established this incredibly warm, open, friendly, motivating, stimulating, fun and encouraging environment in his research group. Every member is valued for their unique skills and contribution to the group, nurtured and supported through difficulties in their academic or personal life, and championed for their achievements. With this environment that Andy seems to effortlessly achieve with such grace comes a constant working and facilitating behind the scenes to make sure each of us are given our greatest chances of succeeding.
We asked Andy how he felt being nominated & shortlisted.
Working with early-career researchers is an absolute highlight of my job, and those in our group are an inspiration – brilliant scientists, communicators and colleagues. Most impressive is how they have adapted to such challenging times during the pandemic, continuing to be positive and excited by possibilities, developing their skills and confidence, retaining a sense of fun and being endlessly supportive of one another. It is a privilege to work with them – meetings are always intellectually stimulating, thought-provoking and filled with laughter – and humbling to have been nominated for this award by such amazing people.