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UCSB Researcher Wins National Science Award

John Alroy is honored for developing The Paleobiology Database

John Alroy, associate researcher at UCSB’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, has been named the winner of the National Academy of Sciences’ Award for Scientific Reviewing.

The NAS news release stated that Alroy is being honored for developing The Paleobiology Database, which has produced an extraordinarily extensive synthesis of paleontological data that has been driving the field of paleobiology forward in ways that would have been previously impossible.

The prize of $10,000 — given this year in the field of geosciences — recognizes excellence in scientific reviewing.

Alroy soon will move to Australia’s Macquarie University to take a fellowship. Macquarie notes that The Paleobiology Database is the Internet’s key source of scientific data on the fossil record. It records names and classifications of fossil organisms and ages, and locations and environments of the places that yield these fossils.

Macquarie University will house the database as it expands to record evolutionary relationships of many species. The information will help estimate dates of origin for major groups such as mammals and birds.

Alroy, who has been with NCEAS since 1998, completed his bachelor’s degree in biology at Reed College, and his master’s and Ph.D. in evolutionary biology at the University of Chicago.

An awards ceremony for recipients will be April 25 during the academy’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

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