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Oklahoma State University

Tobler wins Oak Ridge faculty enhancement award

Thu, July 07, 2011

Michael Tobler, an assistant professor of zoology at Oklahoma State University, has received a Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from Oak Ridge Associated Universities.  The $5,000 unrestricted research award, which will be matched by OSU, is intended to enrich the research and professional growth of young faculty in the first two years of a tenure track position, according to ORAU.  Tobler is one of only 30 professors nationwide to receive the award this year.

“I was positively surprised about receiving this award,” Tobler said.  “Since I just started at OSU, it will help us getting our research projects off the ground.” 

The award will further his study of evolutionary ecology – work that has taken him across the South Central U.S., Mexico and South America in an effort to understand patterns and mechanisms in the evolution of biological diversity.  Tobler joined the OSU faculty in 2010, following a prestigious post-doctoral fellowship through the Swiss National Science Foundation.  He earned his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Zurich in 2008.  

“I believe Dr. Michael Tobler is especially deserving of the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award,” said Loren Smith, head of the zoology department at OSU.  “He is a very productive individual and has over 40 publications in peer-reviewed literature, which is very impressive for someone at this stage in their career.”

ORAU is a consortium of major Ph.D.-granting institutions created to cultivate collaborative partnerships that enhance scientific research and the education enterprise of our nation.  In a statement, Dr. Arlene A. Garrison, ORAU vice president of university partnerships, said: “The Powe awards focus on young faculty who are seeking to establish research credentials and compete for funding opportunities.  Supporting these emerging academic leaders as they further our nation’s research efforts is a direct investment in the future of science and education.”

For more information on Tobler and his work, visit