Sarah Fitzpatrick receives young investigators award

Published February 16, 2017

 

Sarah Fitzpatrick

Sarah Fitzpatrick, Michigan State University assistant professor of integrative biology, joins a distinguished group of scientists who have won the American Society of Naturalist’s Jasper Loftus-Hills Young Investigators Award.

The Jasper Loftus-Hills Young Investigators Award recognizes exceptional and promising scientists who have conferred their doctorates within the last three years or are in their final year of graduate school. Fitzpatrick was one of four recipients receiving the award this year.

“I am extremely honored to receive this award,” said Fitzpatrick, who is a faculty member at MSU's W.K. Kellogg Biological Station. “I'm excited for the opportunity to present my research as part of the Young Investigator Symposium at the joint American Society of Naturalists/Society for the Study of Evolution meeting this year. This is the first year that the award has gone to all women, and I feel privileged to be a part of this group." 

Fitzpatrick, who joined the Department of Integrative Biology (IBIO) in the College of Natural Science in January 2017, is broadly interested in evolution, ecology, and conservation of natural populations. Research in her lab combines genomic tools, mark-recapture methods, and experiments to study how interactions between gene flow, drift and selection affect population dynamics and diversity patterns. She is especially interested in gaining a mechanistic understanding of genetic rescue, which is the increase in population growth caused by the infusion of new genetic variation, and in implementing this tool in conservation and management.

“We are so pleased and proud to see Sarah get this well-deserved recognition,” said Tom Getty, IBIO chair. “The quality of her research and the way it integrates natural history, ecology, evolution and sophisticated genomics to address important problems is emblematic of the mission of the Department of Integrative Biology.”

The award includes a $500 prize and presentation of a research paper at the joint American Society of Naturalists/Society for the Study of Evolution in Portland, Ore., in June, in addition to free meeting registration and a travel allowance to the symposium.