Boulder, CO - Dr. Tanja Bosak, Assistant Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (September 2007) is recipient of the 2007 Geological Society of America Subaru Outstanding Woman in Science Award. The award will be given at the GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, CO, at the Presidential Address and Awards Ceremony on Saturday, 27 October 2007.
A native of Zagreb, Croatia, Dr. Bosak recently completed post-doctoral research at Harvard University where she was awarded a Microbial Sciences Initiative fellowship. She previously served as a graduate research assistant at the California Institute of Technology and as a summer undergraduate research fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Bosak holds a B.Sc. degree in geophysics from the University of Zagreb and completed her Ph.D. in geobiology at CalTech.
In partnership with Subaru of America, Inc., GSA grants the Outstanding Woman in Science Award to women who have made a significant impact on the geosciences with their Ph.D. research. The Award is given in memory of Doris M. Curtis, GSA's 103rd and first female President, and includes a cash prize.
Dr. Bosak's Ph.D. research used laboratory models to examine microbial biosignatures in carbonate rocks. Her approach to interpreting signs of life in ancient rocks included developing a laboratory system that mimicked the chemistry of the Precambrian ocean. Her experiments determining whether bacteria left unique biosignatures in carbonate rocks that formed under these conditions challenged conventional wisdom and changed assumptions about formation of ancient stromatolites.
"Tanja Bosak is immensely talented," said Dianne Newman, Professor of Geobiology and Biology, California Institute of Technology, who nominated Bosak for the award. "Not only is she creative, broadly curious, engaging and rigorous, but she exudes a special optimism that raises the spirit of whatever group she joins. There can be little doubt that she will excel in her chosen field and be a positive role model to both men and women in the earth sciences."
The Geological Society of America, founded in 1888, is a scientific society with 20,700 members representing academia, government, and industry in more than 90 countries. Through its meetings, publications, and programs, GSA enhances the professional growth of its members and promotes the geosciences in the service of humankind. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, GSA also fosters public dialogue on geoscience issues and supports all levels of earth science education.
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A photo of Dr. Bosak may be downloaded from the GSA Web site at www.geosociety.org/news/pr/07-37.htm.