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David Bricker
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Friday, October 3, 2003

Biologist Loren Rieseberg named a 2003 MacArthur Fellow

Loren Rieseberg, Class of '54 Professor of Biology at Indiana University Bloomington, whose intricate studies of sunflowers have revealed clues about early Native American cultures and suggested new ways evolution produces species, has been named one of this year's 24 MacArthur Fellows by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The five-year, unrestricted $500,000 award and title are given to scientists deemed to have made "exceptionally creative contributions to their respective fields," according to a statement by the foundation. The fellowships are awarded yearly to about 25 researchers, who are selected from a pool of hundreds of nominations.

Articles published by Rieseberg in Science, which provided evidence that cross-species mating is likely to have been important in the evolution of new species, were singled out by the MacArthur Fellowship selection committee as being among the scientist's outstanding successes.

"Loren is an amazing scientist whose novel insights into the mechanisms of speciation have taken the field in new directions," said IU Biology Department Chair Elizabeth Raff. "In addition to being a well-deserved personal triumph for Loren, who is a leader in evolutionary biology, the award emphasizes this department's reputation as one of the best biology departments in the country."

Rieseberg is the fifth IU professor to receive the fellowship, sometimes referred to as the MacArthur "Genius" Award. He follows Central Eurasian Studies Chair Elliot Sperling, Religious Studies Professor Gregory Schopen, Central Eurasian Studies Professor Christopher Beckwith and School of Music composer John Eaton. Bassist and composer Edgar Meyer, an alumnus of the IU School of Music, received the honor last year.

To speak with Rieseberg and for information about his research, contact David Bricker at 812-856-9035 (office), 812-333-0718 (home) or