Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

March 13, 2006

Prof Earns Prestigious Steacie Award

A University of Guelph ecology professor has received a 2006 E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship, considered one of Canada’s premier science and engineering prizes.

John Klironomos is one of six Canadian scientists to receive a Steacie fellowship this year, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) announced in Ottawa today. Awarded since 1964, it is the most prestigious honour given by the federal agency to outstanding young scientists whose research has already earned them an international reputation.

Klironomos is the second professor to earn a Steacie fellowship while at Guelph. “This is wonderful recognition for John and for the entire University and a remarkable demonstration of the high quality of our faculty,” said president Alastair Summerlee.

Known for his pioneering studies on the relationship between plants, fungi and other soil organisms and the functioning of ecosystems, Klironomos said he was “grateful and surprised” to learn of the award.

The fellowships are named for physical chemist and former NSERC president Edgar William Richard Steacie, who believed that promising young scientists should be given every opportunity to develop their ideas. Nominations are received from universities across Canada are judged by a distinguished panel of independent experts.
Recipients of Steacie fellowships are relieved of their teaching and administrative duties for two years to concentrate on research.

Klironomos will continue to focus his efforts on the biology and ecology of soil organisms, as well as the interactions and feedbacks between plant communities and ecosystems.

“The organisms that interact with plants below ground are often out of sight, out of mind,” he said. “New research is increasingly showing that below-ground plant antagonists and mutualists can have strong effects on plant populations and the organization of communities.”

The work may yield ideas for improving food production, sustainable forestry and environmental quality, for mediating climate change and for restoring degraded ecosystems, he said.

Prof. Michael Emes, dean of the College of Biological Science, said Klironomos’s research has profound implications not only for the discipline of ecology but also for global environmental change. “John’s work on fungi and soil interactions is internationally recognized, and this award speaks strongly to the quality of his achievements and to the strength of life science research on this campus.”

A faculty member at Guelph since 1996, Klironomos has received numerous other awards, including a prestigious Canada Research Chair in 2003, an Ontario Premier’s Research Excellence Award and other discovery and strategic grants from NSERC. His research has been published in Nature, Science, and Ecology, and other prestigious journals.

Klironomos will be formally presented with his Steacie award during a March 20 NSERC ceremony in Ottawa.

Read NSERC's profile of Prof. Klironomos

Prof. John Klironomos/Department of Integrative Biology
(519) 824-4120, Ext. 56007

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824- 4120, Ext. 53338, or Rebecca Kendall, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

Email this entry to:

Message (optional):

Powered by FeedBlitz