2021 President Medallist

The SEB President’s Medals are awarded annually to young scientists of outstanding merit. This year’s awards will be presented at the SEB Annual Conference 2021, which takes place from 29 June - 8 July 2021. There is one award per section of the SEB (Animal, Cell, Plant).
Many congratulations to our very worthy winners of the 2021 SEB President’s Medal awards:



Growing up surrounded by nature in British Columbia, Canada, Erika Eliason fell in love with fish at a young age. Erika received her B.Sc. in Biological Sciences from Simon Fraser University, Canada and her M.Sc. in Zoology from the University of British Columbia, Canada studying cardiorespiratory physiology and digestion in fish. Her Ph.D. was conducted in Zoology at the University of British Columbia, focusing on local adaptation and temperature tolerance in migrating salmon. Erika was an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Sydney, Australia and at Carleton University, Canada where she examined phenotypic plasticity, energetics, and anthropogenic stress in various species of fish.

Since 2016, Erika has been an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The Eliason Lab studies conservation physiology in fish. Their work examines how environmental stressors influence performance traits and species distribution. They are particularly fascinated by how the cardiorespiratory system mediates performance and environmental tolerance limits. Their research addresses both basic and applied questions and can help inform conservation policy and manage natural resources.



Dr Lundgren is a plant environmental physiologist fascinated by the remarkable diversity of photosynthetic mechanisms that have evolved in nature. In particular, she is interested in evolutionary intermediary states between C3 and C4 photosynthetic types (i.e., C3-C4 intermediates) that use the rare C2 type of photosynthesis.

Marjorie started her career as a plant physiologist at Mendel Biotechnology in California prior to commencing her PhD in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield. There, she made important contributions to our understanding of how C4 photosynthesis evolves via C3-C4 intermediate states, including the characterisation of incredible physiological diversity within a single taxon, which has brought new insights into how the C4 pathway is assembled from its constituent parts, and evidence about the ecological consequences of this transition. This work is of broad significance for current efforts to engineer improvements in crop photosynthesis, giving insights into how such changes arise in nature. After finishing her PhD in June 2015, Marjorie completed postdoctoral research at the University of Sheffield, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard University.

Marjorie joined the Lancaster Environment Centre in 2018 as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow studying the potential for an engineered C2 photosynthetic pathway to improve crop yields. She is now a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow working to engineer the rare C2 mode of photosynthesis into important C3 food and bioenergy crops to sustainably improve yield and environmental resilience.



Daphne completed her BS (Biology) and MSc (Molecular Biology/Biomedicine) studies in University of Crete (Greece). During her Ph.D. studies she worked with Prof. Tavernarakis on transposon-mediated mutagenesis methodologies and host-pathogen interactions using the C. elegans model.

Interested in cross-disciplinary approaches, she joined Dr. Chronis’ lab in the Mechanical Engineering Dept. of University of Michigan where she received training in bioMEMS (microelectromechanical systems for biological applications) and developed biochips for C. elegans behavioral, neuronal function and ageing studies. In Dr. Jakob’s lab , she continued working in the ageing research field by exploring on the role of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) as an adaptive signal for improving homeostasis, stress resistance and longevity in C. elegans and mammalian systems.

In 2020 she held an Assistant Professor position in Durham University (UK) and more recently she joined the Department of Biology in University of Crete (Greece) at the same academic rank. Her lab will focus on the interplay between redox regulation and epigenetic dynamics in the context of healthspan and host pathogen interactions. Daphne is also the co-founder and CEO of Microkosmos LLC, a startup with a mission to accelerate discoveries by automating experimental protocols using microfluidic technologies.