RSE honour for Dundee academics

Two academics from the University of Dundee are among the newly announced Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Professor Niamh Nic Daeid, of the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID), and Professor Colin Palmer, from the University’s School of Medicine, have both been elected Fellows.

Niamh is Professor of Forensic Science, based within the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID) at Dundee. She is a leading forensic science researcher who is renowned across the national and international landscape.

“I am deeply honoured to receive this recognition from the Royal Society of Edinburgh,” said Professor Nic Daeid. “It is also further recognition for CAHID, which is now firmly established as one of the world’s leading research centres in forensic science and forensic anthropology.”

Professor Nic Daeid holds leadership positions with INTERPOL and the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI), where she has chaired the European fire and explosion investigation working group for four years. She has been heavily involved in policy development, particularly in fire science investigation at national and international level.  

She acts as a consultant for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and is vice-chair of the scientific advisory board for the International Criminal Court.  

Professor Palmer is Chair of Pharmacogenomics in the University’s Medical School. His work focuses on the role of genes and how these can impact an individual's susceptibility to disease or their reaction to treatment. His work in human genetics has led to him being one of the world’s most highly cited researchers of the 21st Century according to a study published by Thomson Reuters.

He is a Director of SHARE - the Scottish Health Research Register - a major project to harness health data for patient and public benefit (, which has enlisted over 50,000 volunteers throughout Scotland help with health research.

“This honour is directly related to how the population of Tayside have helped to deliver new knowledge of genes involved in a wide range of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and asthma,” said Professor Palmer. “I look forward to working with the Royal Society of Edinburgh to promote such research to improve the health and wealth of the people of Scotland.”

Professor Pete Downes, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dundee, said, “These are honours that are richly deserved and which further confirm Dundee’s leading position at the forefront of forensics and genetics research.”

Professors Nic Daeid and Palmer are among 56 distinguished individuals newly elected to become Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Spanning the arts, business, and science and technology sectors, they join the RSE in its work to place the advancement of learning and useful knowledge at the centre of public life in Scotland.

President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, said, “I am delighted to welcome such a wide range of outstanding individuals to the Fellowship. Each of our new Fellows is elected on the distinguished merit of their work. In joining the RSE, they strengthen our capacity to support excellence across all areas of academic and public life, both in Scotland and further afield.”

New Fellows are elected each year through a rigorous five-stage nomination process. The breadth of the Fellowship, which numbers over 1640 individuals from Scotland, the UK and abroad, enables the RSE to provide a wide range of leadership and expertise.


About the RSE

The Royal Society of Edinburgh is a leading educational charity which operates on an independent and non-party-political basis to provide public benefit throughout Scotland. Established by Royal Charter in 1783 by key proponents of the Scottish Enlightenment, the RSE now has around 1640 Fellows from a wide range of disciplines. The work of the RSE includes awarding research funding, leading on major inquiries, informing public policy and delivering events across Scotland to inspire knowledge and learning.

The RSE’s Fellowship comprises Honorary Fellows (members of the Royal House or persons eminently distinguished in any subject within our disciplinary domains), Corresponding Fellows (those who have attained high international standing in any subject within our disciplinary domains, and are not normally resident in the UK) and Fellows.

Roddy Isles
Head of Press
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