10/2/01

Ross Moore

AU POSTDOC WINS EUROPEAN, INTERNATIONAL EVOLUTION AWARDS

AUBURN -- Alexander Badyaev, a postdoctoral associate in the Auburn University Department of Biological Sciences, has received two prestigious awards for his study of the evolution of birds.

Badyaev won the 2001 Theodosius Dobzhansky and John Maynard Smith prizes, becoming the first person to ever win both awards in a career.

The Dobzhansky Prize, awarded by the International Society for the Study of Evolution, is considered the most prestigious award available to young evolutionary biologists. Only one winner is selected each year from a pool of nations that includes the United States, Europe, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

Badyaev was unanimously selected for the John Maynard Smith Prize, the European equivalent of the international Dobzhansky Prize.

Badyaev received both awards in recognition of his research in the evolution of sexual dimorphism in birds, focusing on the evolutionary links between secondary sexual traits and sexual behavior. He research addressed topics including parental care, song complexity, population differentiation and genetic aspects of growth.

A native of Moscow, Badyaev received his undergraduate degree at the University of Moscow before immigrating to the United States in 1992. He earned a master's degree from the University of Arkansas in 1994 and his Ph.D. from the University of Montana in 1999.

Badyaev has published 37 scholarly articles, most appearing in leading journals such as Evolution, American Naturalist, Ecology and Audubon. His current work is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Badyaev has accepted an assistant professorship at the University of Arizona, where he will begin teaching in August.

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CONTACT: Badyaev, 334/844-4830.