David C. White Research and Mentoring Award - 2008

Dr Mary Ann Moran

Mary Ann MoranMary Ann Moran is a Distinguished Research Professor, Department of Marine Sciences, University of Georgia, a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and a highly regarded leader in marine microbial biology. (Curriculum Vitae) She has played a unique and pivotal role in combining two historically separate schools of thought – the biogeochemical approach and an organismal approach – to develop new methodologies that allow a synthesis of these perspectives. This scope and impact of her research over the past two decades is reflected in more than 75 publications, including Nature and Science. In 2004, Moran was appointed a Moore Foundation Investigator in Marine Microbiology, a rare and prestigious honor that awarded $2.6 million for her work on the genomics of marine bacteria.

Moran is a world leader in the study of microbial and photochemical transformations of several types of organic substances, especially plant-derived lignins and their degradation products, that are highly resistant to biological degradation and that accumulate over long periods of time in aquatic ecosystems. Her interest in this area led her to develop new techniques for studying naturally occurring marine bacteria in situ, with which she identified a group of marine bacteria, the roseobacter clade. Her work on the roseobacters led to her 2005 appointment as Distinguished Research Professor.

Moran, who received her Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Georgia in 1987, has also distinguished herself as a mentor and role model. She served as Graduate Coordinator in her department from 1997 to 2005, and she has mentored eight graduate students, nine postdoctoral students, 25 undergraduate students, and five high school interns. For students and trainees at every level, she creates stimulating research environments that allow young scientists to fulfill their potential and excel.

Moran was nominated by William B. Whitman, Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology, Professor and Head, Department of Microbiology; and James T. Hollibaugh, Professor and Head, Department of Marine Sciences, The University of Georgia.


Dr Moran presented "Eavesdropping on Biogeochemistry" at the 108th General Meeting of the ASM.

Thanks to ASM for supplying biographical information.