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Henrietta Hutton Research Grant

Up to three grants of £500 are offered annually to undergraduate or postgraduate students undertaking overseas field research as an individual or as part of a team.

About the Award

The Henrietta Hutton Memorial Fund was established in 1964, in memory of Henrietta Hutton, née Cooke, a University of Oxford student of Lady Margaret Hall. Henrietta was a keen ornithologist, Chair of the Oxford Ornithologist Society and a founding member of the University of Oxford Women's Exploration Club.

Preference will be given to support field research with a significant geographical, social and/or environmental science, or natural history element. Applicants should be undertaking an independent field research project. This should be made clear in the application. Where the applicant is part of a larger, organised expedition it should be made clear how the applicant’s field research is distinct from that of the wider project. Applicants should show strong evidence of host country participation. The field research must last longer than four weeks, but does not have to be related to the student’s academic studies. Applicants must be registered at a UK Higher Education Institution.

Deadline: 3 February annually


Apply now

All prospective grant applicants are encouraged to read our Advice and Resources pages, which include more information about the grants programme, its conditions, how to apply for a grant and what is expected if your application is successful. Please read this information carefully and send your application, or any enquiries, by email to


2024 recipients

Kendall Jefferys (University of Oxford) The role of functional traits and vegetation cover in structuring plantpollinator networks in the Brazilian Cerrado

Pollinators are critical to global food production and ecosystem function. Metrics related to pollination network structure lend insight into the complexity and resilience of plant-pollinator interactions. To better understand how vegetation characteristics affect pollination network structure, we will characterise plant-pollinator interactions, vegetation structure and functional diversity along a tree cover gradient in the Brazilian cerrado. Our research will investigate not only influences of vegetation cover but also whether functional traits of plants and pollinators are associated with network metrics of resilience and complexity. This functional trait perspective will provide new insights into drivers of pollination network structure across environmental gradients.

Pasha Taylor (University of Cambridge) ‘Our National Park’- Positioning the Local Community in a National Movement, Observations from Cahuita, Costa Rica

National parks are presented as a sustainable solution to environmental degradation, providing an opportunity to maintain the ‘natural’ environment and stimulate economic growth through tourism. However, the concept of creating parks, through land grabs, and ‘enclosing’ selected areas, based off their natural ‘values’, presents ideas of environmental reductionism, exclusion and governmentality. Cahuita National Park, on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, presents an example of resistance to traditional state seizures and management of land. The community here co-manage the park, (re)defining social contracts. This project will look at the origins, success, and
reproducibility of this approach. 


2023 recipients

Innes Manders (Univerity of St Andrews): 'Mapping Mountain Woodlands in Norway, and applications in reforesting the Western Highlands of Scotland'

Mountain woodlands are a significant component of Norway’s biogeography. Increasingly, comparisons have been drawn between these woodlands and the treeless Scottish uplands. However, vegetation maps of Norwegian mountain woodlands lack detail, reflecting economic rather than ecological values. This research will comprehensively map mountain woodlands in a small area of Vestlandet, Norway using NVC methodology. GIS will then be used to apply these understandings to create a potential natural vegetation map of Corrour Estate, Scotland. This research trials an original approach to overcoming the absence of data on mountain woodland potential in Scotland, opening a space for further research on a national scale.

Michelle Taylor (University of Abderdeen): 'Investigating the diversity and function of an understudied marine ecosystem: novel insights into Caribbean coral rubble beds'

Anthropogenic pressure is accelerating the destruction of marine ecosystems and coral rubble beds are increasing in size as a result. Despite being created of dead skeletons, the ecosystem maintains a high biodiversity including all major marine phyla. Although coral rubble beds are much less structurally complex than live coral reefs, the presence of interstitial spaces in the rubble provide heterogeneity and rugosity in the system. Climate change and its subsequent effects on coral reefs will only increase the abundance and scale of coral rubble beds globally, creating an urgent need to understand the ecosystem function and diversity for future conservation.


2022 recipients

Jasmine Brown (University of Glasgow): 'Investigation into the abundance, distribution, richness and evenness of invertebrates in several habitat types'

This study aims to expand on previous invertebrate data collected in Iceland. Arctic invertebrates are an essential part of northern ecosystems due to their roles in soil nutrient cycling, pollination, decomposition and linking terrestrial and aquatic environments. Arctic invertebrate populations are in decline and are particularly susceptible to climate change. Further baseline information on the distribution, relative abundance, species richness and evenness of arctic invertebrate information is essential to understand how invertebrate communities may be affected by anthropogenic threats and how this can be compensated through conservation efforts.

Holly Elgar (University of Essex): 'Conducting baseline assessment for new seagrass conservation area'

This project will collate field data on seagrass distribution and species richness/abundance off the Vanga coastline, with the aim to provide a baseline assessment to be used to help implement a locally managed protected area for this ecosystem. This is in addition to the existing and well established Mikoko Pamoja project in Kenya, and the fieldwork for this project will focus on characterising the seagrass meadows in the Vanga province.

Aavika Dhanda (University of Oxford): 'Evaluating the impacts of land-use land-cover changes on eastern Indian Himalayan birds'

Land-use land-cover change severely impacts forest-dependent birds by altering vegetation and microclimate. The effects are expected to be more prominent in tropical mountain areas which are centres of tremendously high biodiversity, yet often understudied. Using field data, I aim to investigate how changes in vegetation structure, microclimatic conditions, and human-induced disturbances due to land-use land-cover change shape bird diversity and community patterns in eastern Indian Himalaya (Dibang Valley of Arunachal Pradesh), a global biodiversity hotspot. The project will expand our existing knowledge on Himalayan species and their environments. This is the first comprehensive study on birds of Dibang Valley.


2021 recipients

Dominic Phillips (University of Southampton): 'Investigating the effects of fragmentation and environmental change on tropical montane Lepidoptera'

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) play a crucial role as pollinators, providing an important ecosystem service in the habitats they reside within. Furthermore, they can act as bioindicators due to their vulnerability to changes in the environment coupled with their reliance on a host-plant species. This has contributed to them being used to predict changes in a variety of ecosystems since they are very widespread and fill a host of ecological niches. By investigating how habitat fragmentation and environmental changes effect communities of moths we can determine how best to mitigate biodiversity loss in Peninsular Malaysia.

Sophie Plant (University of Glasgow): 'Investigating intraspecific variation in geochemical tracers of past bleaching in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System'

Mass coral bleaching events - the large-scale breakdown of the algal-coral symbiosis in response to prolonged high sea surface temperatures - threaten the functional diversity of coral reef ecosystems. This project aims to reconstruct past bleaching events and contribute to our understanding of coral resilience and recovery prospects under future climate change. Individual colony-scale variability will be investigated by different geochemical tracers recorded in the coral skeleton. Short-core samples will be taken from single colonies on the Belize Mesoamerican Barrier Reef in collaboration with local NGOs, then brought back to the University of Glasgow to undergo growth rate and isotopic analyses.


2020 recipients

Natalie Anderson (University of York): 'Pemba Island’s Unexpectedly Resilient Reefs'

Climate change is one of the biggest threats to coral reefs globally, making it vital to identify and protect reefs which are better adapted or less vulnerable to thermal stress and ocean acidification so that they can be protected and managed. Preliminary studies suggest that the coral reefs of Pemba may be climate resilient due to the presence of cool-water upwellings along the western coast. This study examines the current status of these reefs by exploring the characteristics, mechanisms and processes which are making them unusually resilient, and restoration measures suited to this unique location.

Oliver Baines (University of Nottingham): 'Does geodiversity buffer biodiversity? Spatiotemporal geodiversity–biodiversity relationships in the Arctic' (awarded but unable to take up)

The importance of geodiversity – the diversity of the abiotic environment – is increasingly being recognised within ecology. However, questions remain concerning which scales geodiversity acts at, and whether it can provide a buffering effect against biodiversity responses to climate change. This is particularly pertinent in the Arctic, whereby the impact of climatic changes may be mitigated in areas of higher geodiversity. Using fine-scale topographical, pedological, hydrological and geomorphological datasets from fieldwork and remote sensing across a network of tundra vegetation plots, geodiversity–biodiversity relationships will be assessed.

Previous recipients

Download list of recipients 1964-2019