In her career, Dr. Emma Perry, Professor of Marine Biology at Unity College, has taught thousands of students, discovered new species of tardigrades, and even taken on the alter ego of Dr. Tardigrade in a recent Unity Magazine article. Now, she adds another feather to her cap, having been inducted to The Linnean Society of London, the oldest active biological society in the world.

As a fellow, Dr. Perry can use the post-nominal title of FLS (Fellow of the Linnean Society), a great honor for scientists, horticulturalists, artists, and historians dedicated to natural history. But arguably the most exciting part of her induction is that Dr. Perry can say that she is a Linnean Fellow alongside Charles Darwin. In fact, if Perry, originally from England, returns to her native country for a visit, she could have the opportunity to be formally inducted into the Linnean Society and sign her name in the same book as Darwin once did.  

“This is the bigtime,” said Dr. Perry. “With names like Darwin and Carl Linnaeus, you don’t get any bigger than that in our field. Now I’m in the same club as them. It’s a validation of all the work I’ve been doing over the years, and it’s an incredible honor.”

“We’re all really proud of Dr. Perry for being inducted into the Linnean Society, and for all the work she has done here at Unity College,” said Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury. “I know that she has inspired many of our students over the years, and has gotten several of them involved in groundbreaking tardigrade research that sets Unity College graduates apart when applying for jobs or for grad school.”

Dr. Perry applied to the Linnean Society after a tardigrade symposium in Denmark, where colleagues who were already members encouraged her to put her name in based on the work that she has done in her career. From there, the Linnean Society voted on the applicants, and accepted Dr. Perry into the society on October 18, 2018.