Biological Sciences

Professors Sarah Reece and Donal O’Carroll elected fellows of The Royal Society of Edinburgh

Sarah Reece, Chair of Evolutionary Parasitology, and Donal O’Carroll, Professor of Stem Cell Biology have been elected to join the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).

The RSE, Scotland’s National Academy, today announces the addition of 62 new Fellows. 

They join an existing Fellowship of over 1600 individuals who give their time and expertise for free to support RSE’s mission of ‘knowledge made useful’. 

RSE elected 13 new Fellows from the University of Edinburgh, including two from the School of Biological Sciences.

Professor Sarah Reece

Professor Sarah Reece

Sarah Reece’s research focuses on malaria parasites, using evolutionary biology approaches to understand the strategies that parasites have evolved to survive and spread.

Malaria (Plasmodium) parasites and their relatives cause serious diseases in humans, livestock and wildlife, that persist despite widespread and continuous efforts to eradicate them.

Professor Reece’s group investigate two critical features that underpin the parasites’ success – their ability to cope with challenges, and exploit the opportunities of their lifestyle.

Insights into the parasites’ biological rhythms, lifecycle, social interactions and reproductive strategies could lead to new ways of tackling these diseases.

Professor Reece’s findings could also reveal wider insights into the biology of other species such as insects, birds and mammals.  


I’m delighted to be elected to the RSE and look forward to working with them to undertake public engagements activities and promote the world class biological research carried out in Scotland.

Professor Sarah Reece

Professor Donal O’Carroll

Professor Donal O'Carroll

Donal O’Carroll studies germ cells in developing embryos, which eventually form egg and sperm cells in adults.

Germ cells transfer genetic information from one generation to the next. The processes involved in their development and safeguarding genetic information are essential for the long-term health and success of all animal species.

Professor O’Carroll’s group carry out detailed studies of germ cells, investigating the role of molecules, called PIWI-interacting RNAs and chemical RNA modifications, that contribute to healthy germ cell development and fertility.

His group are also interested in population of cells that underpin male fertility throughout adult life. Spermatagonial stem cells make a continual supply of sperm cells in all adult male mammals.


It is a great honour to be elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and I very much look forward to help advance the Society, their aims and Scotland.

Professor Donal O'Carroll

Related Links

Professor Sarah Reece’s Research Group  

Professor Donal O’Carroll - MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine  

Professor Donal O’Carroll - The Wellcome Centre for Cell Biology