MBL scientist Julie Huber receives 2007 L'Oréal USA Fellowship for Women in Science

May 24, 2007

MBL, WOODS HOLE, MA--MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) Assistant Scientist Dr. Julie Huber has been selected to receive a $40,000 fellowship as part of the L'Oreal USA Fellowships for Women in Science Program. Laurent Attal, President and CEO, L'Oréal USA, and Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone, President, National Academy of Sciences honored Dr. Huber and four other young women researchers, at a ceremony today (May 24, 2007) at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Dr. Huber is a researcher in the MBL's Josephine Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution where she investigates microbial communities within the subseafloor, a largely undiscovered environment that represents a unique and ubiquitous habitat on Earth. Due to the challenges of understanding this habitat, a range of techniques must be applied to every sample to advance scientists' knowledge of resident microbial communities. Dr. Huber's research applies a combined molecular diversity, metagenomic, and geochemical approach to provide a window into this world. Her work is a part of the International Census of Marine Microbes, a project of the Census of Marine Life, a 10-year global initiative started to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of life in the oceans--past, present, and future.

"The MBL is extremely proud of Julie and congratulates her on this remarkable accomplishment," said MBL Director and CEO Gary G. Borisy. "The MBL has a long history of educating and training some of the world's most distinguished women scientists. Julie's successful past and promising future continues this tradition and sets a wonderful example for young investigators everywhere."

As part of her L'Oréal USA Fellowship grant, Dr, Huber will be studying large insert DNA libraries, which will allow her to understand the metabolic capacity, genomic context, and phylogenetic relationships of subseafloor communities. This new application of "metagenomics" to microbial ecology is important for understanding how microbial populations function in and regulate the world's oceans. Dr. Huber's work relates to fundamental questions about the origin of life, limits of life in extreme environments, and the connection between life and geological processes that extend to global and extra-terrestrial scales.

Having logged over six months at sea on research cruises around the Pacific, Dr. Huber has professional and research experience that rivals those of peers beyond her age. As a graduate student at the University of Washington, she was instrumental in the formation and success of the NASA Astrobiology program. In addition, seven publications--four of which she first-authored--resulted from her graduate work.

Dr. Huber received her Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Washington in 2004. She received an undergraduate degree at Eckerd College, where she graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Dr. Huber has been awarded a National Research Council Research Associateship, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and was a Ford Foundation and NASA Scholar.

"It is vital that we encourage emerging scientists who hold the key to future discoveries," said Dr. Cicerone, President, National Academy of Sciences. "L'Oréal USA's visionary Fellowships program cultivates women scientists and provides essential support as they embark on their careers."

In addition to Dr. Huber, 2007 L'Oréal USA fellowships were also awarded to earth scientist and geochemist Dr. Jaime D. Barnes of the University of New Mexico; neuroscientist Dr. Sarah Clinton of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; physical chemist Dr. Maria Krisch of the University of California, Irvine; and biomedical engineer Dr. Kim Woodrow of Yale University.
The MBL® is a leading international, independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to discovery and to improving the human condition through creative research and education in the biological, biomedical and environmental sciences. Founded in 1888 as the Marine Biological Laboratory, the MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the Western Hemisphere. For more information, visit www.MBL.edu

Now in its fourth year, the highly selective L'Oréal USA Fellowships annually recognize and reward five up-and-coming female scientists who are conducting innovative and groundbreaking research in the life and physical/material sciences, as well as mathematics, engineering and computer science. The program supports its awardees financially, by granting them $40,000 each to put toward their independent scientific research. It also helps them strengthen their networks in the scientific community. And it provides coaching and professional development workshops with accomplished women leaders in corporate, academic and government fields to help these Fellows be better prepared as they publish research, apply for grant funding and advance their careers. A distinguished jury of nine eminent scientists--presided over by Dr. Cicerone--reviews the applications, and selects fellowship recipients.

Marine Biological Laboratory

Related Natural History Articles from Brightsurf:

The colorful history of plastids
Emerging genome data provides new insight into plastid evolution.

The magnetic history of ice
The history of our planet has been written, among other things, in the periodic reversal of its magnetic poles.

Ancient natural history of antibiotic production and resistance revealed
The study is the first to put antibiotic biosynthesis and resistance into an evolutionary context.

The ancient history of Neandertals in Europe
Parts of the genomes of two ~120,000-year-old Neandertals from Germany and Belgium have been sequenced at the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology.

Hydrogen-natural gas hydrates harvested by natural gas
A recent study has suggested a new strategy for stably storing hydrogen, using natural gas as a stabilizer.

The history of humanity in your face
The skull and teeth provide a rich library of changes that we can track over time, describing the history of evolution of our species.

Astronomers use Earth's natural history as guide to spot vegetation on new worlds
By looking at Earth's full natural history and evolution, astronomers may have found a template for vegetation fingerprints -- borrowing from epochs of changing flora -- to determine the age of habitable exoplanets.

Amish nemaline myopathy natural history study finds promise for gene therapy treatment
A new comprehensive natural history study about Amish nemaline myopathy (ANM) in the Old Order Amish population focuses on the promise of gene therapy for this lethal disorder.

Applying network analysis to natural history
By using network analysis to search for communities of marine life in the fossil records of the Paleobiology Database, the team, including researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was able to quantify the ecological impacts of major events like mass extinctions and may help us anticipate the consequences of a 'sixth mass extinction.'

Research gives new understanding of 17th century Scottish natural history
A new examination of a pre-industrial Scottish natural history book gives a new understanding of post-industrial environmental change in the country.

Read More: Natural History News and Natural History Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.