Karen Lloyd Receives Prestigious Award for Ocean Science Work

KarenLloydKaren Lloyd’s work with subsea floor mud and frozen Siberian soil has earned her an extraordinarily competitive award.

The assistant professor of microbiology at UT has been selected as a 2015 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Ocean Sciences. The announcement was made today in a full-page advertisement in the New York Times and on sloan.org.

The awards involve nominations for the very best early-career scientists from the United States and Canada. Lloyd is one of eight to receive the recognition in ocean sciences. Thirty-nine past Sloan fellows have won Nobel Prizes later in their careers.

“Karen is an outstanding early-career woman scientist who has already made significant contributions to ocean sciences. She has developed a record of independent research accomplishments that demonstrate creativity, initiative and the potential to become a leader of the scientific community in her field,” said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Theresa Lee.

Lloyd’s research examining how microorganisms influence marine geochemical cycles holds promise for understanding the physiology and ecology of marine microbial life. For example, past research has uncovered how microscopic life-forms in the subseafloor called archaea eat tiny bits of protein, revealing clues about the absolute minimum conditions required to sustain life as well as the global carbon cycle.

In the past year, Lloyd has received several funding awards, including three from the National Science Foundation. Her other projects have produced groundbreaking results by expressing and characterizing the first protein from an uncultured archaeon, seeking to quantify uncultured archaea and bacteria, and examining extant and extinct microbial communities in the Siberian permafrost.

Lloyd is also actively involved in establishing an environmental field program for high school students at Malcom X Shabazz High School in Newark, New Jersey. The program allows students from this underperforming school to work one-on-one with university professors and produce publishable primary data.

Established in 1955, the Sloan Research Fellowships seek to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise.

For more information, visit sloan.org.