Nancy A. Moran

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Nancy A. Moran (born December 21, 1954, Dallas, Texas) is an American evolutionary biologist, University of Texas Leslie Surginer Endowed Professor, and co-founder of the The Yale Microbial Diversity Institute.[1][2]

Nancy began her undergraduate studies at the University of Texas in 1972.[1] She started out as an art major, and later switched to philosophy. For an elective requirement she took an introduction to biology course. From this, she became interested in biology. During her senior year at college, she undertook an honours project, and tried something in biology. The class was on animal behaviour, and provided her with an opportunity to experience independent research, and solidified her interest in evolution and behaviour.[1] She applied to graduate school and ended up at the University of Michigan, where she studied under W.D. Hamilton and Richard D. Alexander.

Nancy Moran graduated from the University of Texas with a bachelor's degree in biology in 1976, and from University of Michigan with a Ph.D. in zoology in 1982. She was a research professor at the University of Arizona from 1986-2010, and at Yale University from 2010-2013. Her research has focused on the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum and its bacterial symbionts.[3] In 2013, she returned to the University of Texas at Austin, where she continues to conduct research on bacterial symbionts in aphids, bees, and other insect species. She has also expanded the scale of her research to bacterial evolution as a whole. She believes that a good understanding of genetic drift and random chance could prevent misunderstandings surrounding evolution.[1]


  • 1988 American Society of Naturalists President's Award
  • 1997 MacArthur Fellows Program
  • 2001 University of Arizona Regents' Professor
  • 2008 University of Arizona Amumni Association Extraordinary Faculty Award
  • 2010 International Prize for Biology
  • 2014 James Tiedje Award for lifetime contribution in Microbial Ecology (International Society for Microbial Ecology)


  • Moran, N. A.; Degnan, P. H.; Santos, S. R.; Dunbar, H. E.; Ochman, H. (2005). "Inaugural Article: The players in a mutualistic symbiosis: Insects, bacteria, viruses, and virulence genes". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 102 (47): 16919–16926. doi:10.1073/pnas.0507029102. 
  • Hamilton, W. D., Henderson, P. A. & Moran, N. A. (1980) Natural Selection and Social Behavior: Recent Research and New Theory, eds. Alexander, R. D. & Tinkle, D. W. (Chiron Press, New York), pp. 363–382.
  • Moran, N. A. (1989). "A 48-Million-Year-Old Aphid--Host Plant Association and Complex Life Cycle: Biogeographic Evidence". Science. 245 (4914): 173–175. doi:10.1126/science.245.4914.173. PMID 17787877. 
  • Munson, M. A.; Baumann, P.; Clark, M. A.; Baumann, L.; Moran, N. A.; Voegtlin, D. J.; Campbell, B. C. (1991). "Evidence for the establishment of aphid-eubacterium endosymbiosis in an ancestor of four aphid families". Journal of Bacteriology. 173 (20): 6321–6324. PMC 208962free to read. PMID 1917864. 
  • Moran, N. A. (1996). "Accelerated evolution and Muller's rachet in endosymbiotic bacteria". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 93 (7): 2873–2878. doi:10.1073/pnas.93.7.2873. PMC 39726free to read. PMID 8610134. 
  • Oliver, K. M.; Russell, J. A.; Moran, N. A.; Hunter, M. S. (2003). "Facultative bacterial symbionts in aphids confer resistance to parasitic wasps". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 100 (4): 1803–1807. doi:10.1073/pnas.0335320100. 
  • Oliver, K. M.; Moran, N. A.; Hunter, M. S. (2005). "Variation in resistance to parasitism in aphids is due to symbionts not host genotype". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 102 (36): 12795–12800. doi:10.1073/pnas.0506131102. 
  • Dale, C.; Plague, G. R.; Wang, B.; Ochman, H.; Moran, N. A. (2002). "Type III secretion systems and the evolution of mutualistic endosymbiosis". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 99 (19): 12397–12402. doi:10.1073/pnas.182213299. 
  • Daubin, V.; Moran, N. A.; Ochman, H. (2003). "Phylogenetics and the Cohesion of Bacterial Genomes". Science. 301 (5634): 829–832. doi:10.1126/science.1086568. PMID 12907801. 


  1. ^ a b c d Zagorski, N. (2005). "Profile of Nancy A. Moran". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 102 (47): 16916–16918. doi:10.1073/pnas.0508498102. PMC 1288003free to read. PMID 16286644. 
  2. ^ "Moran Lab • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology • Yale University". Retrieved 2011-07-28. 
  3. ^ "Carrots Share Trait With Tiny Pea Aphid", The New York Times, HENRY FOUNTAIN, May 3, 2010

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