British-Indian Oxford scholar appointed trustee of Natural History Museum


Yadvinder Malhi (Courtesy: Twitter)
Yadvinder Malhi (Courtesy: Twitter)

THE UK government has appointed British-Indian academic Yadvinder Malhi as a trustee of London’s Natural History Museum.

The 52-year-old expert will take on the unpaid advisory role for a period of four years until May 2024.

Malhi is a professor of Ecosystem Science at the University of Oxford, Jackson Senior Research Fellow in Biodiversity and Conservation at Oriel College, Oxford, and the director of the Oxford Centre for Tropical Forests and the Oxford University Biodiversity Network.

“I have been enthralled by the Natural History Museum since my first visits as a child, and I am delighted to be now joining it as a trustee,” he said.

“I believe no entity in the UK better celebrates the magnificence of the natural world. I am particularly excited in helping the Museum become a leader and partner in helping address what I see as the great challenges of our time: tackling climate change and the restoration of the natural world, both within the United Kingdom and internationally.

“The museum brings a wealth of scientific expertise, practical experience and public reach that has so much potential to make a really significant contribution to tackling these challenges.”

Malhi’s research interests have focused on the impacts of climate change and other types of change on the biosphere, and how the protection and restoration of the biosphere can contribute to mitigating and adapting to climate change, noted the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

“Much of his work has focused on the tropics, and he has established a network of intensive study and monitoring of tropical ecosystems spanning Amazonia, Africa and Asia,” it added.

“More locally, he has a strong interest in the many possible forms of ecosystem restoration in the UK and Europe, how such restoration can be scaled up, and how it can best contribute to biodiversity recovery and climate change goals.”

Malhi — a former president of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, chair of Trustees of the Global Biodiversity Foundation and a dellow of the Royal Society — has authored and co-written over 400 scientific papers on ecosystems and climate change.

“I’m honoured and excited to be appointed a trustee of the glorious
NHM, London
I hope to use this to work out how we can maximise the contribution this loved and respected institution can make to the big Anthropocene challenges of biodiversity recovery and climate change,” says Yadvinder Malhi (Courtesy: Oxford Ecosystems Lab)

“The broad scope of my research interests is the impact of global change on the ecology, structure and composition of terrestrial ecosystems, and in particular temperate and tropical forests, though recently I have been spotted a few times in the Antarctic and Arctic,” said his website.

His appointment has been made in accordance with the UK Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments, which requires that any significant political activity undertaken by an appointee in the last five years is declared.

Malhi has not declared any political activity that would fall under holding office, public speaking, making a recordable donation or candidature for election.