Dr. Robert Thomson Awarded the University of Hawaii Board of Regents' Medal for Excellence in Research
Dr. Kathleen Cole shares the many contributions and accomplishments of Dr. Thomson
"Biology Department’s Dr. Robert Thomson has been awarded the highly prestigious University of Hawaii Board of Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research at the Assistant Professor Level for 2015. Dr. Thomson joined our department in January 2012 and has since established a research track record that is of high quality, originality and significance. Before joining us, he finished a PhD at the University of California, Davis late in 2010 and had just started a postdoctoral position when he accepted a faculty position in our department. Bob’s research areas cover evolutionary bioinformatics and computational biology, the evolutionary history of amphibians and reptiles, and conservation biology. A common thread running through all of his work is the goal of improving statistical methods for inferring evolutionary history and applying these methods to evolutionary and conservation-related questions.
Dr. Thomson’s work has received considerable attention since his arrival at the University of Hawaii. In 2013, he was integrally involved in the publication of the first turtle genome. In 2014, he published an influential paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy which was covered by a news story in Nature, and a supporting commentary in PNAS. In this same year, he was awarded two separate research grants from the National Science Foundation that focus on improving statistical methods for inferring evolutionary history. Receiving two successful proposals with federal granting agencies in one year is uncommon, and signifies that Dr. Thomson’s peers highly value the significance and originality of his research. In addition to Dr. Thomson’s success in federal funding, since his arrival he has been co-author on ten publications and is the principle adviser of three graduate students and a post-doctoral fellow.
Dr. Thomson’s research program, although early in its development, already provides a stellar example of outstanding excellence in research, and in receiving the 2015 Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research, has brought both our colleague and our department significant recognition."
- Dr. Kathleen Cole, Chair of the Department of Biology, University of Hawaii at Manoa
To learn more about Dr. Thomson's research, please click on the link here: The Thomson Lab
To learn more about the Regents' Medal for Excellence in Research award and other 2015 recepients, please click on the link here: Regent's Medal for Excellence in Research