Dr Daniel Streicker named as Emerging Explorer

Daniel Streicker holding a common vampire bat in the Peruvian Andes.A University of Glasgow academic has been selected as one of National Geographic’s Emerging Explorers.

The programme recognises and supports gifted and inspiring adventurers, scientists and innovators—all early in their careers—whose achievements are making a difference in the world.

Terry Garcia, National Geographic’s chief science and exploration officer said: “Our Emerging Explorers are inspiring young visionaries and innovators who will help lead a new age of discovery.”

Each Emerging Explorer receives a $10,000 award to aid further research and exploration.

Daniel Streicker, a Wellcome Trust/Royal Society Sir Henry Dale Research Fellow has been named as one of the 14.

The awards were presented at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., during the Society’s annual Explorers Week, which ran from 8-12 June.

National Geographic relies on a network of experts who nominate new candidates each year. Candidates are not notified that they’ve been nominated, so when Dr Streicker received an email saying he’d been selected it came as something of a surprise.

He said: “I almost deleted it without reading. It’s not too often that you get a totally unsolicited and unexpected email saying that you won an award.”

"It’s not too often that you get a totally unsolicited and unexpected email saying that you won an award.”

Thinking about how he might use the money Dr Streicker said: “In the last few months I have been building collaborations with new partners in Peru, and a lot of ideas for small projects have come from that.

"I think these kinds of flexible funds would be great to support those projects and get Peruvian students and assistants more actively involved."

Dr Daniel Streicker’s Research

Daniel Streicker studies the transfer of disease between bat species and from bats to humans and domestic animals.

Last year, he was awarded the Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists for his work on the transmission of the vampire bat rabies virus in Peru.

Many pathogens of humans and animals come from other animal species — the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa likely originated from bats, and HIV was originally a virus from non-human primates — and Streicker’s research on cross-species disease transmission may help health care workers anticipate and prevent the next pandemic while also guiding control measures for diseases like rabies that recurrently jump from animals to people.

Streicker strives to integrate his fieldwork data into the decisions of health policymakers by maximizing the visibility of his work through websites and blog posts and working directly with governmental partners in Peru.

Streicker is a Wellcome Trust/Royal Society Sir Henry Dale Research Fellow, jointly hosted by the Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine at the University of Glasgow and the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research in Scotland.

Find out more

Daniel Streicker's National Geographic Explorer profile and interview

First published: 11 June 2015

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