Dr Nicola Hemmings

Nicola Hemmings is a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow in the Department of Animal & Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, where she also completed her PhD. She leads a group that studies how and why animals vary in their ability to reproduce, with particular emphasis on the causes of infertility and embryo death in wild birds. Nicola’s work has been applied to a range of different bird species across the world, from the critically endangered kākāpō and hihi in New Zealand to threatened populations of migratory waders that breed here in the UK. She collaborates widely with conservation organisations, including the RSPB, WWT, New Zealand Department of Conservation, and Zoological Society of London, to co-develop conservation strategies for improving reproductive success in threatened bird species.

Alongside her research, Nicola is committed to developing equitable approaches for engaging people with science, via her science communication and outreach work in local Yorkshire communities and beyond. She has been involved with a number of major science outreach projects, including developing a bird ecology research programme with schools in Rotherham that was featured in the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition (presented by the pupils themselves) and delivering the University of Sheffield’s Schools Christmas Lecture to over 1000 local children. Nicola is active on social media (@HemmingsNicola1) and has previously featured on BBC radio and television talking about her work.

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