Spector Prize shared by Anderson, Simpson

Danica Anderson and Cory Simpson are sharing the 2003 Spector Prize, an annual award bestowed by the Department of Biology in Arts & Sciences.

The Spector Prize began in 1974 to recognize academic excellence and outstanding undergraduate achievement and research. It was named in memory of Marion Smith Spector, a 1938 alumna who studied zoology under the famed biologist Viktor Hamburger.

Anderson’s and Simpson’s theses were judged to be the most outstanding among eight nominated for the prize.

Anderson’s thesis is called “Conserving the Sacred Medicine Mountains: A GIS Vegetation Analysis of Tibetan Sacred Sites in Northwest Yunnan.” Simpson’s is “Using a P-element Transposon to Investigate DNA Packaging Domains of the Fourth Chromosome in Drosophila Melanogaster.”

As part of the departmental recognition of their work, the two presented research talks at a special biology department seminar.

Anderson worked with Jan Salick at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Anderson’s study will soon be submitted for publication in one of the prominent ethnobotany journals.

She plans to apply to graduate school and study ethnobotany and forest ecology. She anticipates a career in academic research and looks forward to teaching.

Simpson worked with Sarah C.R. Elgin, Ph.D., professor of biology. He will be a co-author on a paper that will be submitted to a top molecular biology journal.

Simpson has applied to M.D./Ph.D. and M.D. programs. He hopes to continue to work in research, hopefully as an academic physician-scientist.