MacArthur Fellows Program

Nancy A. Moran

Evolutionary Biologist and Ecologist | Class of 1997

Evolutionary Biologist and Ecologist
Tucson, Arizona
43 at time of award
Published July 1, 1997

About Nancy's Work

Nancy Moran is an ecologist and evolutionary biologist whose work ranges from the evolutionary genetics of bacteria to animal behavior.

Moran's research interests focus on the ecological and evolutionary relationships between aphids and their host plants.  Her analyses indicate that the diversity of these life-cycle patterns among species of aphids, originally thought to result from independent evolutionary paths, can be understood within a single conceptual framework that combines developmental and evolutionary components.  Further, her study of obligately asexual strains of aphids has shed new light on the evolutionary forces maintaining sexual reproduction.  Results from Moran’s investigations demonstrate the coevolution of bacteria and their hosts while providing a unique mechanism for measuring the rate of evolution in asexual bacteria.


Moran is the Regents Professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, and a professor of entomology at the University of Arizona, where she has been since 1986.  Her articles have appeared in such journals as Genetics, the Journal of Bacteriology, Molecular Ecology, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

Moran received a B.A. (1976) from the University of Texas and an M.S. (1978) and Ph.D. (1982) from the University of Michigan.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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