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Excellence awards for impact of research on global policies

Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, presenting the Award for Exceptional Research Impact to Professor Ryszard Piotrowicz.

The pioneering work of two researchers in the areas of global biodiversity and regulating human trafficking has been selected for special recognition.

The Aberystwyth Unviersity annual Award for Exceptional Research Impact in the Arts and Social Sciences was presented to Professor Ryszard Piotrowicz from the Department of Law & Criminology for his outstanding work on human trafficking regulation law and policy at the Founders Day celebrations held on Friday 13 October.

The Award for Exceptional Research Impact in Science was presented to Michael Christie, Professor of Environmental and Ecological Economics in the Aberystwyth Business School for his contribution to a landmark report for the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Presenting the awards, the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Elizabeth Treasure said: “Our annual awards for exceptional impact recognise how research made in Aberystwyth makes a difference to the wider world. I am delighted today to congratulate Professor Christie and Professor Piotrowicz on the outstanding quality of their research and the way in which they take their work beyond the University for the benefit of society.”

Biodiversity and Values of Nature

Professor Christie was one of four co-chairs of a global assessment prepared for the IPBES examining the social and cultural values of nature as well as its contribution to the wider economy.

Published in 2022, their report presented policy makers with robust evidence on protecting all nature’s values in response to the worldwide climate and biodiversity crisis.

It provides a framework to embed the economic and socio-cultural values of nature and its services into public policy and decision-making. 

Regulating Human Trafficking

Professor Piotrowicz’s research clarifies the rights to legal protection for people who have been, or are at risk of being, trafficked, and the obligations of States to provide such protection.

His work has had significant impact on human trafficking law and policy in four important areas: in monitoring states’ compliance with their obligations under the Council of Europe anti-trafficking convention; in informing state policy; in embedding the principle of non-punishment of trafficked people in national legal systems and in providing training and guidelines for states on the legal issues surrounding human trafficking.

Professor Piotrowicz has also devised and contributed to training programmes on human trafficking for NGOs and international organisations.

Both Professor Christie’s and Professor Piotrowicz’s projects were submitted as impact case studies for the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF).