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OU Professor Elected as Fellow of Ecological Society of America

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NORMAN – A University of Oklahoma professor, Jizhong Zhou, has been elected as a 2018 Fellow of the Ecological Society of America for outstanding accomplishments in environmental genomics and microbial ecology. Zhou and other ESA fellows will be recognized during the society’s annual meeting in New Orleans, Aug. 5-10.

“Professor Zhou is a renowned researcher who has made seminal contributions to our understanding of the role played by microbes in the environment, including climate change. Being elected an ESA Fellow is a highly prestigious and well-deserved honor for Professor Zhou and also reflects the quality of the faculty, students and staff in our Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology,” said OU Vice President for Research Kelvin Droegemeier.

Zhou, a George Lynn Cross Research Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology, OU College of Arts and Sciences, and director of the Institute for Environmental Genomics, is responsible for innovative metagenomics technologies for environmental sciences, groundbreaking discoveries to understand the feedbacks, mechanisms and fundamental principles of microbial systems in response to environmental change. His transformative leadership to elucidate microbial ecological systems has led to the link between biodiversity and ecosystem functions.

Zhou, an adjunct senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and adjunct professor at Tsinghua University, is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2014, the U.S. Secretary of Energy awarded the prestigious Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award to Zhou for outstanding contributions in the biological and environmental sciences—the highest scientific recognition by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Zhou received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2001, Environmental Sciences Division Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award in 2001 and the R&D 100 Award for development of the GeoChip—one of the top 100 most outstanding technology developments of 2009, and the first award of its kind in Oklahoma.

For more information about the 2018 ESA Fellows, visit Learn more about the OU Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology at


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