Jizhong Zhou, Ph.D., a George Lynn Cross Research Professor and the director of the Institute for Environmental Genomics at the University of Oklahoma, has received the BioCluster Grand Prize Award, jointly selected by the International Society for Microbial Ecology and the International Water Association. The prestigious ISME-IWA BioCluster Award recognizes interdisciplinary research of outstanding merit at the interface of microbial ecology and water/wastewater treatment. The prize will be conferred in Sept. during the IWA World Water Congress and Exhibition 2022 in Copenhagen, Denmark and he was recognized in the opening presentation of the 18th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology conference on Aug. 14 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
“It is a great honor to receive the ISME-IWA BioCluster Award for recognizing the importance and impact of our water-related interdisciplinary research in microbial ecology and genomic technologies, particularly in studying global microbiome diversity of wastewater treatment plants, and the responses of groundwater microbial communities to heavy metal contamination,” Zhou said. “ISME and IWA are the two major international societies in microbial ecology and water research, respectively, and it is a strong representation of the impact of the work we are leading at OU’s Institute for Environmental Genomics.”
Zhou is an international leader in genomics-enabled microbial environmental sciences, known for his pioneering advances in developing both cutting-edge experimental and computational metagenomic technologies to address frontier environmental, engineering, and ecological questions. His research involves both water and soil. He recently received the 2022 Soil Science Research Award from the Soil Science Society of America which recognizes outstanding soil science research contributions, and he is internationally recognized as a highly cited researcher, within the top 0.1% globally, by all three major complementary metrics based on Elsevier's Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. He is the only microbiologist among the 2021 Reuters List of World’s Top 1,000 Climate Scientists.
Also in recognition of his achievements in research, Zhou has received a number of prestigious awards, such as the 2019 ASM Award for Environmental Research for recognizing an outstanding scientist with distinguished research achievements in environmental microbiology, The Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award for Biological and Environmental Research in 2014 from U.S. Department of Energy, an R&D 100 Award in 2009 as one of 100 most innovative scientific and technological breakthroughs, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2001 from the President of the United States. He is a Fellow of the International Water Association, the Ecological Society of America, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
He has been a U.S. Ambassador to the International Society of Microbial Ecology and an Honorary Director for the Chinese Association of Microbial Ecology – a major professional organization for microbial ecology in China. CAME established an award under his name in 2017 to recognize Outstanding Microbial Ecologists. His science leadership is also demonstrated by his professional service, as an editor-in-chief for mLife, a senior editor for The ISME Journal, an associate editor for Microbiome, a former senior editor for mBio and former editor for Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
His research on water-related microbiology and technologies is primarily supported by ENIGMA: Ecosystems and Networks Integrated with Genes and Molecular Assemblies, a multi-institution science program organized by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, supported by DOE-BER Contract DE-AC02-05CH11231, NSF’s Understanding the Rules of Life Program (EF-2025558), and the OU Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships.
Learn more about Zhou’s work through the Institute for Environmental Genomics at ou.edu/ieg.