28. april 2023

British Ecological Society journal prize winner: Aya Permin

The prizes are awarded for the best paper by an early career researcher in seven of the BES journals: Journal of Applied Ecology, Ecological Solutions and Evidence, Functional EcologyPeople and Nature, Methods in Ecology and Evolution, Journal of Ecology and Journal of Animal Ecology. And this year’s exceptional winning papers span topics as diverse as mapping mosquito borne diseases, the importance of under-threat mosses in tropical mountain cloud forests, and mapping the areas sensitive to plant invasions.

Photo: Aya Tora Foged Permin

The Haldane Prize: Aya Permin, University of Copenhagen

Aya Permin is a guest researcher and completed her PhD in the section of Terrestrial Ecology, Department of Biology. 

The Functional Ecology Haldane Early Career Researcher Award is given each year to the best paper in the journal from an early career author.
The paper High nitrogen-fixing rates associated with ground-covering mosses in a tropical mountain cloud forest will decrease drastically in a future climate lead by Aya receives this year’s prize.

The team’s research reveals the importance of bryophytes (mosses and liverworts) as a nitrogen source in tropical mountain cloud forests. Nitrogen is a critical nutrient for plant productivity but its availability is often limited. Bryophyte-associated nitrogen-fixing bacteria could fill this nitrogen gap. But until now, the role of bryophytes in ecosystem nitrogen cycling has been largely overlooked.

Worryingly, the findings from Aya’s research suggest that predicted future declines in precipitation in tropical mountain cloud forests will reduce nitrogen inputs from bryophytes. Research in this area, like Aya’s, can help inform conservation efforts to preserve these critical ecosystems.

The other journal prize winners are as follows:

The Southwood Prize: Dr. Paula Prist, EcoHealth Alliance

The Georgina Mace Prize: Luke Potgieter, University of Toronto Scarborough

The Rachel Carson Prize: Michelle Evans, University of Georgia 

The Robert May Prize: Tanya Strydom, University of Montreal

The Harper Prize: Angela Illuminati, University Rey Juan Carlos 

The Elton Prize: Pablo Augusto Antiqueira, University of Campinas


The winning papers are selected by the Senior Editors of the journals and the awards will be presented to the winners at the BES Annual Meeting in Belfast at the end of the year.

The winners receive a prize of £250, membership of the BES, a year’s subscription to the respective journal, and free attendance to the BES Annual Meeting to present their work and receive their award from the President of the BES.


British Ecological Society
Founded in 1913, the British Ecological Society (BES) is the oldest ecological society in the world. The BES promotes the study of ecology through a range of scientific literature, funding and events, education initiatives and policy work. The society has over 7000 members from nearly 130 different countries. www.britishecologicalsociety.org Twitter and Instagram: @BritishEcolSoc



Aya Permin
Terrestrial Ecology, Department of Biology
Tel: +45 3532 3218
Mail: aya.permin@bio.ku.dk

Associate professor Kathrin Rousk 
Terrestrial Ecology, Department of Biology
Tel: +45+46705290367
Mail: kathrin.rousk@bio.ku.dk

Helle Blæsild
PR & Communication, Department of Biology
Tel: +45 2875 2076
Mail: helleb@bio.ku.dk