Exposito-Alonso honored for outstanding early career achievements

Palo Alto, CA— Carnegie evolutionary geneticist Moises Exposito-Alonso was awarded a Max Planck Society’s Otto Hahn Medal for early career excellence. The prize is endowed with 7,500 euros.

Since 1978, the society has recognized outstanding scientific achievements among its recent Ph.D. recipients with the goal of motivating particularly talented individuals to pursue academic research careers. The 2020 award was given to six scientists in the biological and medical fields; 10 in human sciences; and 10 in the chemistry, physics, and technology sector. The recipients are nominated by the directors of the Max Planck Institutes at which they conducted their doctoral thesis work and selected by the office of the society president. 

Exposito-Alonso received his doctorate in 2018 from the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübigen. For his thesis research, published last year in Nature, he developed new predictive genetic models that may enable the early identification of populations at risk decline due to climate change.

After a short postdoc at University of California Berkeley, he joined Carnegie’s Department of Plant Biology as a staff associate, a prestigious appointment designed for early career scientists who are ready to take on bold, creative independent research pursuits. He continues to study how plant species will evolve to keep pace with climate change. He is also an Assistant Professor (by courtesy) of Biology at Stanford University.

“Congratulations to Moi on another recognition of his visionary approach,” said Zhiyong Wang, Acting Director of Carnegie’s Department of Plant Biology. “We choose staff associates for their creativity and readiness to tackle major research projects, both of which describe Moi perfectly. We are eager to see how his work keeps influencing the field of ecological and evolutionary genetics.