JBS Haldane Lecture 2022 – Prof Mike Fay

The Genetics Society is delighted to announce Professor Mike Fay, Kew Gardens, as the winner of the 2022 JBS Haldane award.

Professor Fay graduated from the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, in Genetics and Plant Breeding, and then carried out research on genetic resources in clover for his PhD at the Welsh Plant Breeding Station (now Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences (IBERS), Aberystwyth University).  After two years working for the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux International as a Scientific Information Officer, he moved to Kew (where he still works) in 1986, as Head of the Micropropagation Unit.  In 1995, Mike established a program in Conservation Genetics in the Jodrell Laboratory.  Subsequently, he became Head of Genetics, and is now Senior Research Leader in Conservation Genetics and Molecular Ecology.

For many years, Mike’s research has focused on the application of genetic and other data in the formulation of conservation management plans, working extensively with Natural England and other organisations.  Major projects include population genetics of orchids and studies of polyploidy, hybridization and apomixis in endemic whitebeams and rowans (Sorbus species).

Mike has published > 220 publications in peer-reviewed journals, and he is joint author of Plant of the World – An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Vascular Plants (2017).  He has been Chair of the Orchid Specialist Group of the Species Survival Commission of IUCN since 2006 and Chief Editor of the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society since 2008.

Mike’s interest in genetics extends beyond his professional life, and he is a keen amateur genealogist.


  • Bicentenary Medal, Linnean Society, 2000
  • Individual Merit Promotion, 2011 (to date)
  • Adjunct Professorship, University of Western Australia, 2016 (to date)

Professor Fay will present the JBS Haldane Lecture in the Autumn, 2022 (Date and Venue to be announced).