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Moran receives SEC Faculty Achievement Award

Distinguished Research Professor Mary Ann Moran has earned a number of honors over the course of her career. The latest is being named UGA’s recipient of the 2018 Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award:

The SEC award, which is administered by provosts at the 14 universities in the conference, recognizes professors with outstanding records in teaching and scholarship who serve as role models for students and other faculty members. Winners receive a $5,000 honorarium.

Earlier this spring Moran, who joined the faculty of the department of marine sciences in the Franklin Colleges of Arts and Sciences in 1993, was named Regents’ Professor, an honor bestowed by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia on faculty members whose scholarship or creative activity is recognized nationally and internationally as innovative and pacesetting.


Moran conducts path-breaking research that has created a better understanding of marine ecosystems and the roles of the ocean microbiome, including how microbes interact with organic matter and influence climactically active gases in the ocean. Her work combines three complementary approaches: biogeochemistry, microbiology and molecular biology.

She has led teams of researchers who have accomplished a number of notable firsts: the first to sequence the genome of a heterotrophic marine bacterium, the first to use metagenomic sequencing to measure bacterial community response to environmental perturbations and the first to analyze gene expression patterns in microbial communities by direct sequencing of environmental mRNA. This last accomplishment has led to the emerging field of environmental transcriptomics, which measures the activity of genes in natural systems to provide a comprehensive view of the functional diversity of microbial communities.

Moran, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Academy of Microbiology, has served as principal investigator or co-principal investigator for grants totaling $16.7 million over the past decade. The results of her research have been reported in more than 160 refereed journal publications.

A worthy honor to one of the leading marine science researchers in the world who also calls UGA and the Franklin College home. Huge congratulations.

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