October 24, 2016
Dr. Rita Colwell will be recognized by the Mahathir Science Award Foundation and the Academy of Sciences Malaysia for her work on tropical medicine. Colwell is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland and served as president of AIBS in 2008. She is also former director of the National Science Foundation.
Colwell's pioneering research on cholera includes many notable discoveries, including that the bacteria occurs naturally in the environment and that climate change impacts waterborne microbes. Her groundbreaking use of computational tools to study biology helped establish the field of bioinformatics.
The Mahathir Science Award is being awarded for her "... groundbreaking research and innovation, and decades of scientific leadership in defining our current understanding of the ecology of infectious diseases and the use of advanced technologies to halt their spread."
Dr. Judith Weis, AIBS President in 2001, received the Merit Award from the Society of Wetland Scientist in June. The award recognizes individuals demonstrating outstanding original research, achievement, or contribution to wetland science while inspiring future efforts.
Weis is professor emerita at Rutgers University. Her research focuses on the effects of environmental contaminants, invasive species, parasites, and other stressors on the behavior and ecology of estuarine organisms.