Martha Muñoz receives the George A. Bartholomew Award from the Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology
In November, Martha Muñoz, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale, received the George A. Bartholomew Award from the Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology for her work in the field of comparative physiology. The Bartholomew award is presented annually to a young investigator for distinguished contributions to comparative physiology and biochemistry or to related fields of functional and integrative biology. The award offers the awardee a fantastic opportunity to communicate this research via a large lecture at this year’s SICB conference. She also received the 2021 Carl Gans Award, becoming the first to sweep the society’s top two awards.
Muñoz’ work showed that behaviors function as vital “pacemakers” for evolution. When organisms — like the Caribbean and Central American anoles she studied — use behavioral strategies to shield themselves from natural selection, their physiological evolution is surprisingly sluggish. By contrast, when lizards are less behaviorally active, they are exposed to greater selection and their physiology evolves much more rapidly. In essence, the day-to-day behaviors of organisms create ripples across millions of years of evolution. “The lizards are both targets and agents of evolution,” she said.