UCL Division of Biosciences


Two new UCL Excellence Fellows appointed

29 September 2020

Dr Marius Somveille and Dr Lucy van Dorp have been appointed as the new Wolfson UCL Excellence Fellow and the new UCL Excellence Fellow respectively.


UCL Excellence Fellows are outstanding researchers, with exceptional research track records. The UCL Excellence Fellowships provide a means for fellows to establish themselves at UCL and consolidate their position.
Dr Marius Somveille (Wolfson UCL Excellence Fellow) is a biologist aiming to advance our understanding of the forces driving where and when species exist on earth and how they respond to global change. To address this challenge, he focuses on the seasonal migration of birds as a study phenomenon.
He will join the Center for Biodiversity and Environment Research where he will develop innovative models that leverage large datasets on the seasonal movements and genomics of migratory birds to better understand how climate shapes the evolution of migration. His research will provide new fundamental understanding of the spatio-temporal distribution of species but also generate migration forecasts under scenarios of climate change to inform conservation actions for protecting biodiversity
Dr Lucy van Dorp (UCL Excellence Fellow) is a Senior Research Fellow at UCL Genetics Institute. Her UCL Excellence Fellowship will deliver an interdisciplinary framework to determine the factors responsible for the past through to present distribution of major malarial parasites of genus Plasmodium. To do so she will make use of unusual historic samples and ancient DNA sequencing to uncover the historical range and diversity of Plasmodium sampled from human and non-human primate hosts.

New data generated, supported by the Excellence Fellowship, will allow spatio-temporal reconstruction of the dynamics of Plasmodium, including tracing the emergence and spread of drug-resistance and the identification of host jumps between human and animal parasite reservoirs.
Professor Geraint Rees (Dean of UCL Life Sciences and Academic Director of the Academic Careers Office) said:

“Our Excellence Fellowship Programme seeks to recruit the highest calibre early career researchers and to support them in becoming the research leaders of the future. Since the programme’s inception, we have recruited more than twenty fellows engaged in innovative and visionary research. Many of these colleagues have gone on to establish important independent careers or research groups. Lucy and Marius are exceptional researchers. I am delighted to welcome them as our newest fellows”

UCL Excellence Fellowship Programme