The 2017 Molecular Ecology Prize will go to Professor Nancy Moran of the University of Texas at Austin. The Prize is awarded by the Editorial Board of Molecular Ecology to recognize “an outstanding scientist who has made significant contributions to Molecular Ecology,” as selected by an independent award committee. Professor Moran’s nomination statement particularly highlights her extensive work on symbiosis and microbial community genetics:
The 2017 Molecular Ecology Prize has been awarded to Professor Nancy Moran for her pioneering studies of symbiosis and bacterial genome evolution. Her discoveries provide a clear link between bacterial lifestyle and population size with rates of evolution and genome degradation. Her work has also provided some of the most convincing demonstrations of the molecular basis for ecologically important traits, including defense, nutrition, and thermotolerance, inclucing remarkable examples of convergence mediated via symbiosis. Professor Moran’s more recent work on the honeybee system is now setting the standard for molecular studies of complex symbiotic gut communities.
Previous Molecular Ecology Prize recipients include Godfrey Hewitt, John Avise, Pierre Taberlet, Harry Smith, Terry Burke, Josephine Pemberton, Deborah Charlesworth, Craig Moritz, Laurent Excoffier, Johanna Schmitt, Fred Allendorf and Louis Bernatchez.