UC Merced Update

Medina Awarded Prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship


Mónica MedinaMarine biologist Mónica Medina was awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship earlier this month, joining a diverse group of 180 scholars, artists and scientists to receive the fellowship this year out of nearly 3,000 applicants.

Medina, a professor in the UC Merced School of Natural Sciences, is one of just three in the field of organismic biology and ecology to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011, the 87th year of the competition for the United States and Canada. The fellows were chosen based on prior achievement and exceptional promise.

"I am deeply touched by the recognition," said Medina, the first UC Merced professor to receive the fellowship. "The Guggenheim is a fellowship of long tradition, and many of its fellows have moved on to do really great things. I feel extremely fortunate to have been invited to be one of them."

The fellowship will allow Medina to apply systems biology theory — which she studies, using the relationship between coral and algae as a model — to symbiosis in general. She will collaborate on the project with two internationally prominent scientists: Roberto Iglesias-Prieto, a coral reef ecophysiologist from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and Hiroaki Kitano, a systems biologist from the Systems Biology Institute in Tokyo.