Farooq Azam, professor of marine microbiology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Tiedje Award from the International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME). He received the award and presented a special plenary lecture at the society's tenth triennial meeting in Cancun, Mexico, on Aug. 26.
ISME established the award to honor scientists who have made outstanding, long-term contributions to microbial ecology. Azam is being recognized for his "outstanding contribution on the role of microbial activities on oceanic cycles." The award is named for James Tiedje, University Distinguished Professor of Microbiology at Michigan State University, who is a groundbreaking researcher in microbial ecology and physiology and an international leader in the field of microbial ecology.
Azam is associated with Scripps's Marine Biology Research Division and Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine. His research focuses on the ecology, diversity and population dynamics of marine bacteria and viruses, particularly on the role played by marine bacteria and viruses in the oceanic carbon cycle through their control of organic matter decomposition, which can lead to a better understanding of the effects of global climate change on the marine food web.
Azam received his doctorate in microbiology from the Czech Academy of Science in Prague in 1968, then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. He arrived at Scripps as a postdoctoral fellow in marine biology in 1969, and has held research and faculty appointments at the institution.
Earlier this year, Azam was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and received an honorary doctorate from Sweden's University of Kalmar.
Azam's other past awards and honors include the UCSD Excellence in Research Award (1997), the G. Evelyn Hutchinson Medal from the American Society for Limnology and Oceanography (1995), and the Rosenstiel Medal in Oceanographic Sciences from the University of Miami (1984). He is a member of the American Society for Limnology and Oceanography.
The International Society for Microbial Ecology, the key international society for microbial ecology and environmental microbiology, promotes communication between microbial ecologists and informs the general public about microbes in the environment.