Zoology alumnus receives 2010 George Mercer Award from Ecological Society of America (ESA)
Zoology alumnus Meghan Duffy (Ph.D '06) and former MSU postdoc Spencer Hall, have been awarded the 2010 George Mercer Award from the Ecological Society of America. Duffy was a doctoral student in the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior Program. She collaborated with Hall, a postdoctoral researcher at W.K. Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) on the study.
The award recognizes their findings, published in American Naturalist in 2008. Their paper defines the processes by which two species of parasites affect their host, Daphnia, in different ways. More specifically, that only outbreaks of the bacterium, and not the fungal parasite, influenced Daphnia population dynamics in natural lakes. The study communicated two fundamental messages for ecology: that evolution within an ecological framework can alter species interactions, and that examining parasites within a food web is essential to understanding the full extent of their dynamics.
Duffy is currently an assistant professor at Georgia Institute of Technology. Hall is currently an assistant professor at Indiana University and remains connected with MSU as an adjunct faculty member at KBS.