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Darwin Medal

Charles Darwin FRS

Darwin medallist 2021

Darwin-Dolph-SchluterProfessor Dolph Schluter FRS (credit Sylvia Heredia)

The Darwin Medal 2021 is awarded to Professor Dolph Schluter FRS for major and fundamental contributions to the understanding of the how species originate, adaptive radiations develop, and geographical patterns of biodiversity emerge and are maintained.

Professor Schluter's achievement will be celebrated at Anniversary Day on 30 November 2021. The prize is given with a medal and gift of £2,000.

Return to this year's Royal Society medal, award and prize winners.

The award

The Darwin Medal is awarded for work of acknowledged distinction in evolution, population biology, organismal biology and biological diversity. The Darwin Medal was created in memory of Charles Darwin FRS and was first awarded in 1890 to noted biologist and naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace FRS 'for his independent origination of the theory of the origin of species by natural selection.' The medal is of silver gilt, was awarded biennially until 2018 and is now awarded annually, and is accompanied by a gift of £2,000. 


The call for nominations is now closed. The next round of nominations opens in November 2021. 

Past winners

Professor Robert Martienssen FRS was awarded the Darwin Medal 2020 for outstanding contributions to genetics and epigenetics, including defining the role of RNA interference in inherited gene silencing and in genomic stability in the germ line.

Professor Peter Holland FRS was awarded the Darwin Medal 2019 for his work with many organisms and genes elucidating key aspects of how changes in the genome influence evolution of animal development.

Professor William Hill OBE FRS was awarded the Darwin Medal 2018 for his contribution to our understanding of the genetics of quantitative traits and response to selection. This work is fundamental for evolutionary biology, as well as having great economic significance.  

See full list of all past winners of the Darwin Medal.

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