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UGA professor wins 2024 Sloan Fellowship

Alan Flurry

UGA faculty member Natalie Cohen has been awarded a prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship to support her research for the next two years, the Sloan Foundation announced on Feb. 20.

Cohen, assistant professor in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences department of marine sciences will receive $75,000 from her fellowship over the next two years. One of 126 Sloan Fellows nationwide for 2024, Cohen is the 14th Sloan recipients from UGA since the organization began its fellowship program in 1955.

“Sloan Fellowships are signal achievements for young faculty members as well as a prominent distinction for the university and I congratulate Dr. Cohen for being recognized in this remarkable way,” said Anna Stenport, Dean of the Franklin College. “Innovative young scientists anchor research programs that bring great opportunity for our students as they advance our understanding of the world, both of which are pillars of our vitality as major research institution.”

Cohen's research addresses how unicellular eukaryotes (also known as protists) respond to changes in their chemical environment and the resulting implications for biogeochemical nutrient cycling in the ocean. Since 2021, her lab group at the UGA Skidaway Institute of Oceanography has initiated projects on marine mixotrophy, harmful algal blooms in coastal Georgia, and the metal physiology of phytoplankton. 

"It's a great honor to be recognized by the Sloan Foundation, and it's motivating for our lab group at UGA," Cohen said. "This award will allow us to further research efforts in understanding mixotrophy, which is the combination of eating and photosynthesizing, in marine microeukaryotic cells. Mixotrophy is poorly characterized in the ocean, and our group has been involved in measuring it in several different marine ecosystems, including the northeastern US continental shelf, on the coast of California, and off the Azores Islands in the North Atlantic Ocean."

Sloan Fellowships are open to scholars in eight scientific and technical fields: chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences and physics. Candidates are nominated by fellow scientists, and winning fellows are selected by independent panels of senior scholars based on candidates’ research accomplishments, creativity and potential to become a leader in her or his field.

Image: Natalie Cohen

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