By L. Anne Newell
Arizona Summer Wildcat June 25, 1997
UA entomology professor is newest 'genius' award recipient
The MacArthur Foundation recently named UA Professor Nancy Moran one of 23 new "geniuses" for her work in entomology.
Moran was awarded $265,000 for her research on the relationship between aphids, small insects that suck juice from plants, and their host vegetation. Her work has led to many new understandings in reproductive and evolutionary forces.
"It's wonderful and very well deserved," Entomology Department head Bruce Tabashnik said.
"Her work is remarkable and has provided much insight into the relationships between aphids and symbionts."
Symbiosis, or mutualism, is a prolonged and intimate relationship in which both parties live off of one another.
Moran's recent work has centered on microorganisms which live symbiotically inside the aphids.
She has proven that this relationship is millions of years old.
"It's terrific to have a scholar of her caliber at the university," Tabashnik said.
The John D. And Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation awards its grants annually to persons the foundation describes as worthy of the title "genius."
MacArthur Fellowships are unrestricted, and may be used by the recipient in any manner, but are designed to support the individual, not projects or organizations.
This is the third year in a row that a UA faculty member has been granted a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.
Astronomy Regents Professor J. Roger Angel received the award in 1996, and neurobiology Professor Nicholas J. Strausfeld received it in 1995.