Dr. Leasure K. Darbaker, a physician of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, who was for many years a member of the Botanical Society of America and who died in 1952, bequeathed funds to the Society to provide an annual sum (to be known as the Darbaker Prize) for a "grant or grants in Microscopical Algae." The award or awards will be made annually by a committee of the Society; the first Committee on The Darbaker Prize in 1955 consisted of William Randolph Taylor, chairman, Harold C. Bold, John D. Dodd, Ruth Patrick, and Gilbert M. Smith. Nominations for the 1955 award were accompanied by a statement of the merits of the case and by reprints supporting the candidacy. The recipient receives a certificate and a $1,000 award.
The Botanical Society of America and the Phycological Society of America are pleased to join together in seeking nominations for the 2021 Darbaker Prize in Phycology. This award is presented for meritorious work in the study of microscopic algae, based on papers published by the nominee during the last two full calendar years (2019-2020). The award is limited to residents of North America, and only papers published in the English language are considered.
Nominations for the 2021 prize should include a list and .pdf copies of all of the nominee's work to be considered for the 2019-2020 period, and a statement in regards to the merits of the nominee's research.
More information on how to submit a nomination will be updated here when the award is opened in early 2021.
2021 - No Award Given in 2021
2020 - No Award Given in 2020
2019 - Dr. Louise Lewis, University of Connecticut, Dr. Lewis' impact on the field of phycology is remarkable. Her work spans ecology, physiology, ultrastructure, phylogenetic diversification, and organellar genomics. Dr. Lewis did some of the earliest molecular systematic research on microalgae in her graduate work at The Ohio State University, at the time using groundbreaking techniques in the nascent field of gene sequencing and analysis. Dr. Lewis has maintained a steady and prolific output of high-impact publications throughout her career, including a 2004 paper in the American Journal of Botany that as recently as last year was the most-read paper in the journal, more than a decade after its appearance.
2012 - Dr. Walter Adey, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. Dr. Adey has been a pioneer of modern phycology. His development of modern coralline taxonomy and the structural analysis have provided the underpinnings for our present understanding of this group that is now being enhanced by molecular methods. He has further pioneered the system of using filamentous algae as scrubbers toward clean water production and biofuels generation.
2011 - Dr. Sallie (Penny) Chisholm, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Chisholm’s recent and past publications are on the significant role of the microalgal group Prochlorococcus. She and her collaborators have elucidated their wide distribution in the oceanic environment, and have demonstrated essential critical environmental factors, including light and nutrients which account for the varied distribution and certain ecotypes and species. Their most recent emphasis is on the genomic characterization with respect to phosphate uptake, and the potential involvement of the cyanophages in the transfer of genetic material. She has also offered her well considered opinion in influential scientific journals to discourage oceanic Fe fertilization since it likely will seriously impact the ecosystem.
2010 - Dr. Brian Palenik, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, CA. Dr. Palenik is a leader in the field of oceanographic phytoplankton genomics. He has focused mostly on cyanobacterial organisms, but he was also first author on a seminal paper on Ostreococcus, the smallest eukaryotic phytoplankter whose genome was sequenced in its entirety. Palenik was the lead scientist in that effort, published in PNAS. In addition to his research, Dr. Palenik is active in communicating the science of genomics and oceanography to the general public. He was also instrumental in designing and implementing an exhibit in a public aquarium on DNA sequencing and genomics of marine organisms.
2009 - Dr. Patrick Keeling, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Evolutionary Biology Program, Department of Botany, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Dr. Keeling’s research has contributed in a substantial and meaningful way in the area of organelle evolution, genetransfer, and genome evolution, including plastid evolution, in the microalgae of the Chromalveolates and Ulvophyceae.
2008 - The two Darbaker prize winners for 2008 are Debashish Bhattacharya and Virginia (Ginger) Armbrust
Dr. V. Armbrust was cited for several notable research contributions on the biology of diatoms in 2006 and 2007, including the following: Oudot-Le Secq, M.-P., J. Grimwood, H. Shapiro, C. Bowler, E. V. Armbrust and B R. Green. 2007. Chloroplast genomes of the diatoms Phaeodactylum tricornutum and Thalassiosira pseudonana: comparison with other plastid genomes of the red lineage. Molecular Genetics and Genomics 277:427-429.
2007 - Dr. JoAnn Burkholder, Center for Applied Aquatic Ecology, North Carolina State University
2006 - Charles F. Delwiche, University of Maryland at College Park
2005 - Tracy A. Villareal , University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute
2003 - John C. "Jack" Meeks, University of California at Davis
2002 - Arthur Grossman, Carnegie Institution of Washington
1998 - R. Jan Stevenson, University of Louisville
1997 - Robert G. Sheath
1996 - Gary W. Saunders
1995 - Daniel Wujek
1993 - G. L. Floyd & E. F. Stoermer
1991 - David Howard Turpin
1990 - Peter Allan Siver, Connecticut College
1989 - Rose Ann Cattolico, Professor of Botany at the University of Washington.
1983 - Dr. Beatrice M. Sweeney, University of California, Santa Barbara
1982 - Robert Haselkorn, University of Chicago
1981 - Elisabeth Gantt, Radiation Biology Laboratory, Smithsonian Institution and
1979 - G. Benjamin Bouck, University of Illinois at Chicago Circle
1978 - R. Malcolm Brown, Jr., University of North Carolina "for his numerous innovative studies on microscopial algae, and especially for his recent investigations on cell wall synthesis as studied in Pleurochrysis and Oocystis. His other fine research contributions have been remarkably diverse, including studies on biochemical systematics, algal viruses, airborne algae, and sexual reproduction."
Patricia L. Walne, University of Tennessee
1977 - Alfred R. Loeblich III of Harvard University
1976 - Karl R. Mattox and Kenneth Stewart of Miami University
1975 - Sarah P. Gibbs of McGill University
Larry R. Hoffman of the University of Illinois "for his account of fertilization in the Chlorophycean alga Oedogonium, spanning plasmogamy, polyspermy and karyogamy. He has provided perhaps the most complete description of karyogamy in any alga to date. greatly adding to our information concerning this significant event in plants in general."
1974 - Jeremy David Pickett-Heaps of the University of Colorado
1973 - John West of the University of California at Berkeley.
1972 - Michael Neushul of the University of California in Santa Barbara
1971 - Richard W. Eppley of the Institute of Marine Resources in LaJolla,
1970 - Bruce C. Parker Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Virginia
1969 - Isabella A. Abbott Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, California
1968 - Robert R. L. Guillard Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Woods Hole, Massachusetts
1967 - Dr. Joyce Lewin, Department of Oceanography, University of Washington
1966 - Dr. Richard D. Wood, Department of Botany, University of Rhode Island
1965 - To Dr. Francis R. Trainor
1964 - DR. ROBERT F. SCAGEL of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
1963 - DR. E. YALE DAWSON of the Beaudette Foundation for Biological Research, Santa Ynez, California.
1962 - MARY BELLE ALLEN of the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute, Richmond, California.
1961 - Dr. Paul B. Green of the Universtiy of Pennsylvania for his meritorious work in the study of algae.
1960 - Dr. Janet R. Stein
1959 - Dr. Jack Myers, University of Texas
1957-58 - Dr. Paul Silva and Dr. Ralph Lewin
1956 - Robert W. Krauss, University of Maryland
1955 - At the annual dinner of the Botanical Society held at Brody Hall. Michigan State University, on September 8, 1955, award of the Darbaker Prize to Professor Richard C. Starr was announced by President Oswald Tippo. This is the first time the prize has been given.
The award had been recommended by an ad hoc committee of which Professor William Randolph Taylor served as chairman. Dr. Starr was presented with a check for $150.00. The Darbaker Prize funds are available to the Society under the terms of the will of the late Dr. Leasure K. Darbaker of Wilkinsburg, Pa. The award is made for meritorious work in the study of algae, particularly the microscopic algae. Dr. Starr has published a number of contributions dealing with the morphology and taxonomy of the Chlorococcales and, more recently, papers on the sexuality and genetics of desmids. An assistant professor of Botany at Indiana University, Starr also is in charge of the Culture Collection of Algae there. Dr. Starr has served on the staff of the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Mass. for four seasons. As Fulbright Scholar, Starr studied with Dr. E. G. Pringsheim at Cambridge University. Announcement of the date and place for submitting nominations for subsequent awards of the Darbaker Prize will be made in the near future.