Washington, DC—May 28, 2008—The 2008 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) USFCC/J. Roger Porter Award is being presented to James T. Staley, Founding Director, Astrobiology Program and Professor, Department of Microbiology, University of Washington, Seattle. This award recognizes outstanding efforts by a scientist who has demonstrated the importance of microbial biodiversity through sustained curatorial or stewardship activities for a major resource used by the scientific community.
For more than two decades, Dr. Staley has served on the Editorial Board of Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology. In 2000, he was appointed Chair and he has played a crucial role in guiding the Manual's transition to taxonomy based on phylogeny (ribosomal RNA). Over the past four decades, Dr. Staley's research interests have been wide-ranging, from the degradation of polyaromatic hydrocarbons and gas vacuolated bacteria, to rock-weathering microorganisms and heterotrophs living in Antarctic ice. He played a key role in recognizing and identifying the Planctomycetes, including the discovery of new members of this group in various depths of the Black Sea, and he has a longstanding interest in the study of prosthecate bacteria. Dr. Staley was the Founding Director of the Astrobiology Program at the University of Washington, a position he held from 1998-2005. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.
Dr. Staley received his M.Sc. in Microbiology from Ohio State University, and his Ph.D. in Bacteriology from the University of California, Davis.
The USFCC/J. Roger Porter Award will be presented during the 108th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), June 1 – June 5, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts. ASM is the world's oldest and largest life science organization and has more than 43,000 members worldwide. ASM's mission is to advance the microbiological sciences and promote the use of scientific knowledge for improved health and economic and environmental well-being.