09 Jan David Nobles Awarded 2022 J. Roger Porter Award
EAU CLAIRE, Wis., US – January 9, 2024
David Nobles, Curator of the Culture Collection of Algae (UTEX) at the University of Texas at Austin, USA, has been awarded the 2022 J. Roger Porter Award in recognition of his outstanding leadership in maintaining and improving the products and services at UTEX and for his contribution to the advancement of algae research on a global scale.
The award – managed by the U.S. Culture Collection Network (USCCN) – recognizes outstanding efforts by a scientist who has demonstrated the importance of microbial biodiversity through sustained curatorial or stewardship activities for a major resource used by the scientific community.
The 70-year-old UTEX collection maintains more than 3,000 different strains of cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae. Under David Nobles’ leadership since 2010, the collection expanded considerably, with the inclusion of diverse and rare algal strains, and the rescue of algae from four orphaned collections, significantly enhancing the genetic diversity and research potential of the collection.
In addition to maintaining and expanding a historic and highly utilized collection, Nobles has played a crucial role in developing state- of-the-art preservation techniques for algae, ensuring their long-term viability and accessibility for scientific study. He significantly broadened the range of resources and services offered by UTEX to facilitate algae research and meet emerging research needs. Since 2010, the UTEX collection has distributed over 36,000 living algae cultures to over 5,000 users in 70 countries.
David Nobles has actively fostered and supported research collaborations with researchers and institutions globally, facilitating cutting-edge research projects and promoting the exchange of knowledge and resources. These collaborations have significantly contributed to the advancement of global scientific discoveries and promoted the translation of algae research into practical applications, resulting in numerous scientific publications and advancements in the field. UTEX has been referenced in over 11,500 scientific publications and patents.
Through leadership in organizations such as the USCCN and the Biodiversity Collections Network (BCoN), Nobles advocates for microbe and biological specimen collections in general. As an active member of USCCN, Nobles contributes to many workshops, has co-authored several publications, and currently serves on the USCCN Long-Term Planning Committee.
Furthermore, Nobles participates in local education and outreach activities to raise awareness about the importance of algae and their potential applications in fields such as biofuels, bioremediation, and biotechnology. He regularly gives presentations at public schools, conducts tours of UTEX facilities, assists teachers and students in conducting high school science projects, and provides presentations on the scientific importance of algae to hundreds of K-12 students at local open house events.
About the J. Porter Award
The prestigious J. Roger Porter Award recognizes outstanding efforts by a scientist who has demonstrated the importance of microbial biodiversity through sustained curatorial or stewardship activities for a major resource used by the scientific community. It honors the memory of the internationally known microbiologist J. Roger Porter (1909-1979) and his remarkable contributions to science. More information including purpose, eligibility, nomination process, and past laureates are available at usccn.org/porter-award
The United States Culture Collection Network (USCCN) is a Research Coordination Network supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation through grants #1534564 and #2124633. The mission of the USCCN is to facilitate the safe and responsible utilization of microbial resources for research, education, industry, medicine, and agriculture for the betterment of humankind. For more information visit usccn.org and follow the network on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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