American Society of Naturalists

A membership society whose goal is to advance and to diffuse knowledge of organic evolution and other broad biological principles so as to enhance the conceptual unification of the biological sciences.

2024 ASN Early Career Investigator Awards

Posted on

The ASN Early Career Investigator Award was established in 1984 to recognize outstanding and promising work by investigators who received their doctorates in the three years preceding the application deadline or who are in their final year of graduate school. (Time since PhD degree can be extended by 1 year for each child born or adopted during this period if the applicant has been a primary care giver. Other forms of exceptional caregiving responsibility [e.g., partner, spouse, aged parent, etc]. or extenuating circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis.)

We are pleased to announce that this year’s recipients of the ASN Early Career Investigator Awards are Stepfanie M. Aguillon, Kyle David, Valentina Gómez-Bahamón, Chloé Schmidt, and Sheela P. Turbek!

Left to right: Chloé Schmidt, Valentina Gómez-Bahamón, Sheela P. Turbek, Kyle David, and Stepfanie M. Aguillon
Left to right: Chloé Schmidt, Valentina Gómez-Bahamón, Sheela P. Turbek, Kyle David, and Stepfanie M. Aguillon
  • Stepfanie M. Aguillon: Stepfanie’s work seeks to understand how and why reproductive isolation develops, which is key to understanding the diversity of life and how it evolves. She elegantly uses approaches across levels of organization, from individuals to species, leveraging genomics, field collections, museum specimens, and lab experiments.
  • Kyle David: Kyle’s work is highly novel, spans computational and laboratory techniques, field collections across a broad taxonomic range, and phylogenetic comparative methods. His work on duplications, and the circumstances under which they have been advantageous, as well as on uneven genomic sampling across taxa, has major implications for a range of researchers.
  • Valentina Gómez-Bahamón: Valentina’s research explores the role of migratory behavior on speciation. The combination of behavioral work in the field alongside genomic, phenotypic, and diversification analyses is creative, and her work asks important questions about the origin and persistence of animal morphological, taxonomic, and functional diversity, with findings that apply broadly across studies of speciation and gene flow.
  • Chloé Schmidt: Chloé’s research bridges data synthesis, high-resolution remote-sensing, and modern statistical methods, while also having some applications to biodiversity change. Her work has changed how we think about patterns of biodiversity, for example challenging the assumption that all types of diversity increase towards the tropics, and bridges fields and techniques in creative ways.
  • Sheela P. Turbek: Sheela’s work is bringing a new light to our understanding of speciation, and particularly the roles played by assortative mating and gene flow in that process. Her research occurs at the interface of ecology, evolution, behavior, and conservation biology and uses genomic tools to study what mechanisms generate and maintain species diversity in the face of anthropogenic change. The committee was particularly struck by the applications of her research to conservation.

We are very much looking forward to their participation in the ASN Early Career Investigator symposium at the annual meeting in Montréal, Québec, this July.