Nancy Moran awarded the 2017 Molecular Ecology Prize

Nancy Moran’s most cited paper used metagenomics to identify a possible cause of honeybee colony collapse disorder. (Flickr: Rachel Bonoan)

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:

Nancy Moran, from her Google Scholar citations page.

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.

About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy B. Yoder is an Associate Professor of Biology at California State University Northridge, studying the evolution and coevolution of interacting species, especially mutualists. He is a collaborator with the Joshua Tree Genome Project and the Queer in STEM study of LGBTQ experiences in scientific careers. He has written for the website of Scientific American, the LA Review of Books, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Awl, and Slate.
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