Members’ Distinctions

Distinctions, Major Prizes, and Grants awarded to ESEB members

Our aca­dem­ic mem­bers are highly act­ive and suc­cess­ful research­ers at all career levels, and their sci­entif­ic excel­lence is often recog­nized by spe­cif­ic dis­tinc­tions. Below you will find an over­view of major prizes, grants, and dis­tinc­tions awar­ded to ESEB mem­bers with­in the last three dec­ades. Please do not hes­it­ate to update our list by send­ing an email to the ESEB office ( at any time.

Prizes & Awards


Inter­na­tion­al prize, awar­ded by the Roy­al Swedish Academy of Sci­ences (

1999 – John Maynard Smith, UK

Darwin-Wallace Medal

Inter­na­tion­al prize, awar­ded by the Lin­nean Soci­ety of Lon­don (

2015 – Roger But­lin, UK

2013 – God­frey Hewitt, UK

2012 – Loren H. Riese­berg, CA

2010 – Bri­an Char­les­worth, UK

2009 – Nick Bar­ton, AT; John Maynard Smith, UK


Inter­na­tion­al prize, awar­ded by the Academy of Sci­ences Leo­pold­ina (

2015 – Detlef Wei­gel, DE

2013 – Nick Bar­ton, AT

Hamilton Award

Inter­na­tion­al prize, awar­ded by the Inter­na­tion­al Uni­on for the Study of Social Insects (

2018 – Jac­o­bus J. (Koos) Boomsma, DK

Humboldt Research Award

Inter­na­tion­al prize, awar­ded by the Alex­an­der von Hum­boldt Found­a­tion (

2001 – Jac­o­bus J. (Koos) Boomsma, DK

Karl Ritter von Frisch-Medal

Inter­na­tion­al prize, awar­ded by the Ger­man Zoolo­gic­al Soci­ety (

2016 – Dieth­ard Tautz, DE

Lilly Award in Biomedical Science

Span­ish sci­ence award, awar­ded by the Fun­dación Lilly (

2013 – Andrés Moya, ES

Linnean Medal

Inter­na­tion­al prize, awar­ded by the Lin­nean Soci­ety of Lon­don (

1995 – John Maynard Smith (†2004), UK

Marcel Benoist Prize

Swiss sci­ence prize, awar­ded by the Mar­cel Benoist Found­a­tion (

2015 – Laurent Keller, CH

Mexico Award for Science and Technology

Iberi­an-Amer­ic­an sci­ence prize, awar­ded by the Mex­ic­an Gov­ern­ment (

2015 – Andrés Moya, ES

National Latsis Prize

Swiss sci­ence prize, awar­ded by the Fond­a­tion Lat­sis Inter­na­tionale (

2000 – Laurent Keller, CH

1988 – Paul Schmid-Hempel, CH

NISTEP Award (The Researchers with Nice Step)

Japan­ese Sci­ence and Tech­no­logy Prize, awar­ded by the Nation­al Insti­tute of Sci­ence and Tech­no­logy Policy (NISTEP), Japan (

2015 – Kent­aro K. Shim­izu, CH

Premio Nacional de Genética (National Genetics Award)

Span­ish Sci­ence Prize, awar­ded by the Sociedad Española de Genét­ica (

2012 – Andrés Moya, ES

Elected EMBO Members

Nick Bar­ton, AT | Paul Brake­field, UK | Bri­an Char­les­worth, UK| Deborah Char­les­worth, UK | Dieter Ebert, CH | San­ti­ago Elena, SP | Laurent Keller, CH | Loeske Kruuk, AU| Isa­belle Olivieri (†2016), FR | Josephine Pem­ber­ton, UK | Nina Wedell, UK | Stu­art West, UK

Honorary doctorates

2016 – Andrés Moya, ES – Menén­dez Pelayo Inter­na­tion­al Uni­ver­sity (UIMP)

2015 – Steph­en Ste­arns, US – Uni­ver­sity of Zurich

2010 – Jac­o­bus J. (Koos) Boomsma , DK – Uni­ver­sity of Helsinki

European Research Council (ERC) Grants

ERC Grants are one of the most pres­ti­gi­ous sci­ence awards in Europe and are presen­ted by the European Research Coun­cil annu­ally. There are three main grant types: Start­ing Grants for “young research tal­ents with proven poten­tial of becom­ing inde­pend­ent research­ers”, Con­sol­id­at­or Grants for “excel­lent mid-career sci­ent­ists to con­sol­id­ate their research team”, and Advanced Grants for “top inde­pend­ent research lead­ers to pur­sue ground-break­ing, high-risk pro­jects”. All ERC grant types offer sub­stan­tial funds that allow the win­ners to tackle more com­plex research pro­jects over the 5‑year fund­ing period.

Until 2016, about 4% of the seni­or ESEB mem­bers received one of the ERC grants. For fur­ther inform­a­tion on each of the lis­ted pro­jects, please click on the acronym of the pro­ject title and fol­low the link.

Advanced ERC Grant Recipients

Nic­olas Bar­ton, AT: Selec­tion­In­form­a­tion – Lim­its to Selec­tion in Bio­logy and in Evol­u­tion­ary Computation

Jac­o­bus J. (Koos) Boomsma, SE: ANTS – Attine ANT SymbiomeS

Paul Brake­field, UK: EMARES – Explor­ing Morphos­paces in Adapt­ive Radi­ations to unravel Eco­lo­gic­al Speciation

Roger But­lin, UK: BARRIERS – The evol­u­tion of bar­ri­ers to gene exchange

Deborah Char­les­worth, UK: GUPPYSEX – Evol­u­tion­ary genet­ics of guppy sex chromosomes

Dieter Ebert, CH: Micro­bi­otaE­volu­tion – A phylo­gen­et­ic and exper­i­ment­al approach to under­stand the evol­u­tion of microbiota

John End­ler, UK: Sens­oryE­volu­tion – Using Sens­ory Bio­logy and Envir­on­ment­al Con­di­tions to Pre­dict the dir­ec­tion of Evolution

Tatiana Giraud, FR: Evol­Sex­Chrom – Test­ing new hypo­theses on the evol­u­tion of sex-related chromosomes

Chris­toph­er Jig­gins, UK: Spe­ci­ation­Gen­et­ics – The gen­om­ic archi­tec­ture of spe­ci­ation in trop­ic­al butterflies

Laurent Keller, CH: Social life – The evol­u­tion of social life and divi­sion of labour

Laurent Keller, CH: Resili­ANT – Resi­li­ence in ant societies

Josephine Pem­ber­ton, UK: WEG – Wild Evol­u­tion­ary Genomics

Craig Prim­mer, FI: MATURATION – Age at matur­ity in Atlantic sal­mon: molecu­lar and eco­lo­gic­al dis­sec­tion of an adapt­ive trait

Chris­ti­an Schlöt­ter­er, AT: ArchAd­apt – The archi­tec­ture of adapt­a­tion to nov­el environments

Paul Schmid-Hempel, CH: RESIST – Res­ist­ance sys­tems and pop­u­la­tion struc­ture of parasites

Dieth­ard Tautz, DE: New­Genes – The role of de novo evol­u­tion in the emer­gence of new genes

Mar­cel E. Vis­s­er, NL: E‑Response – Evol­u­tion­ary responses to a warm­ing world: physiolo­gic­al gen­om­ics of sea­son­al timing

Franz Weiss­ing, NL: Adapt­iveResponse – The evol­u­tion of adapt­ive response mechanisms

Stu­art West, UK: Cooper­a­tion – Evol­u­tion­ary explan­a­tions for cooper­a­tion: microbes to humans

Stu­art West, UK: Divi­sion – Divi­sion of Labour and the Evol­u­tion of Complexity

Rolf Zeller, CH: INTEGRAL – Sig­nal Integ­ra­tion by Gene Reg­u­lat­ory Landscapes

Consolidator ERC Grant Recipients

Samuel Alizon, FR: EVOLPROOF – Are HPV vac­cines ‘evol­u­tion-proof’? Mul­ti­level evol­u­tion­ary eco­logy of human oncoviruses

Andrea J Betan­court, UK: TE_INVASION – The evol­u­tion­ary genet­ics of trans­pos­able ele­ment invasions

Rita Cov­as, PT: COOPERATIVE PARTNER – Part­ner choice and the evol­u­tion of cooperation

Sylvia Cre­mer-Sixt, AT: EPI­DEM­IC­Son­CHIP – EPIDEMICS in ant soci­et­ies ON a CHIP

Juli­en Cote, FR: ECOFEED – Altered eco-evol­u­tion­ary feed­backs in a future climate

Juli­ette De Meaux, DE: Adapto­SCOPE – Using cis-reg­u­lat­ory muta­tions to high­light poly­gen­ic adapt­a­tion in nat­ur­al plant systems

Toni Gabal­don, ES: RETVOLUTION – Retic­u­late evol­u­tion: pat­terns and impacts of non-ver­tic­al inher­it­ance in euk­a­ryot­ic genomes.

Andy Gard­ner, UK: SOCIOCOMPLEXITY – Sociocom­plex­ity — new paradigms for under­stand­ing com­plex group-level adaptation

Ash­leigh Griffin, UK: SESE – Social Evol­u­tion and Social Engin­eer­ing of bac­teri­al Infections

Feli­city Jones, UK: EvolRe­com­bAd­apt – Recom­bin­a­tion in Adapt­ive Evolution

Rolf Küm­merli, CH: BactInd – Bac­teri­al cooper­a­tion at the indi­vidu­al cell level

Anna-Liisa Laine, FI: RESISTANCE – Res­ist­ance evol­u­tion in response to spa­tially vari­able patho­gen communities

Virpi Lum­maa, UK: Ele­phant Pro­ject – How ele­phants grow old

Sara Magal­hâes, PT: COMPCON – Com­pet­i­tion under (niche) construction

Alexei Mak­lakov, SE: Germ­lin­eAge­ing­Soma – Get­ting to the root of age­ing: somat­ic decay as a cost of germline maintenance

Judith Mank, UK: GuppY – Recom­bin­a­tion, sex-spe­cif­ic adapt­a­tion and evol­u­tion of the poe­ciliid sex chromosomes

Yehu Mor­an, IL: Anti­ViralEvo – Unrav­el­ling the evol­u­tion of anti­vir­al sensors and response sys­tems in anim­als using the phylum Cnidari

Ben­oit François Pujol, UK: ANGI – Adapt­ive sig­ni­fic­ance of Non Genet­ic Inheritance

Tanja Schwander, CH: No Sex No Con­flict  – Evol­u­tion­ary Con­sequences of Arres­ted Gen­om­ic Con­flict in Asexu­al Species

Gav­in Thomas, UK: ToL­ER­ates – Under­stand­ing evol­u­tion­ary rates on the Tree of Life in time and space

Karine Van Doninck, BE: RHEARoti­fers High­light the Evol­u­tion of Asexu­als: the mech­an­isms of gen­ome evol­u­tion in the absence of meiosis

Starting ERC Grant Recipients

Jes­sica Abbott, SE: Com­plex­Sex – Sex-lim­ited exper­i­ment­al evol­u­tion of nat­ur­al and nov­el sex chro­mo­somes: the role of sex in shap­ing com­plex traits

Thomas Batail­lon, DK: ADAPT – Ori­gins and factors gov­ern­ing adapt­a­tion: Insights from exper­i­ment­al evol­u­tion and pop­u­la­tion gen­om­ic data

Trine Bilde, DK: Eco­Ge­n­omicIn­breed­ing – Com­par­at­ive stud­ies of inbreed­ing effects on evol­u­tion­ary pro­cesses in non-mod­el anim­al populations

Michael Brock­hurst, UK: COEVOCON – Coe­volu­tion of bac­teria and con­jug­at­ive plasmids

Ying­guang Frank Chan, DE: Hybrid­MiX – Genet­ic Map­ping of Evol­u­tion­ary Devel­op­ment­al Vari­ation using Hybrid Mouse in vitro Crosses

Anne Char­manti­er, FR: SHE – Multi-Level Selec­tion in a Het­ero­gen­eous Environment

Sylvia Cre­mer-Sixt, AT: Social­Vac­cines – Social Vac­cin­a­tion in Ant Colon­ies: from Indi­vidu­al Mech­an­isms to Soci­ety Effects

Phil­ipp Engel, CH: Micro­BeeO­me – Evol­u­tion of the honey bee gut micro­bi­o­me through bac­teri­al diversification

Isa­bel Gordo, PT: ECOADAPT – Micro­bi­al adapt­a­tion with­in ecosystems

Angela Han­cock, DE: CVI_ADAPT – Unrav­el­ing the his­tory of adapt­a­tion in an island mod­el: Cape Verde Arabidopsis

Simone Immler Mak­lakov, SE: Hap­SelA – Hap­loid selec­tion in anim­als: invest­ig­at­ing the import­ance of genet­ic and epi­gen­et­ic effects in sperm

Jef­frey Jensen, US: DETECT – Describ­ing Evol­u­tion with The­or­et­ic­al, Empir­ic­al, and Com­pu­ta­tion­al Tools

Tobi­as Kais­er, DE: EVOCLOCK – From Evol­u­tion to Clockworks:Unravelling the molecu­lar basis of cir­calun­ar clocks

Kay­la King, UK: COEVOPRO – Drivers and con­sequences of coe­volu­tion in pro­tect­ive symbiosis

Sara Mitri, CH: EVOMICROCOMM – Evolving inter­ac­tions in micro­bi­al communities

Anna-Liisa Laine, FI: PATHEVOL – Link­ing Patho­gen Evol­u­tion and Epidemiology

Virpi Lum­maa, UK: Human lifespan – Moth­ers, grand­moth­ers and the evol­u­tion of pro­longed lifespan in humans

Rod­er­ick Craig MacLean, UK: RESISTEVO – The evol­u­tion of anti­bi­ot­ic res­ist­ance: integ­rat­ing molecu­lar mech­an­isms of res­ist­ance and evol­u­tion­ary context

Alexei Mak­lakov, SE: AGINGSEXDIFF – Aging Dif­fer­ently: Under­stand­ing Sex Dif­fer­ences in Repro­duct­ive, Demo­graph­ic and Func­tion­al Senescence

Judith Mank, UK: Avi­an Dimorph­ism – The gen­om­ic and tran­scrip­tom­ic locus of sex-spe­cif­ic selec­tion in birds

Alistair McGregor, UK: ESED – Evol­u­tion of sens­ory organ mor­pho­logy: genet­ic ana­lys­is of eye size evol­u­tion in Drosophila

Fre­der­ic Mery, FR: GEVM – Genet­ic and Envir­on­ment­al Vari­ation of Memory phases

Sara Mitri, CH: EVOMICROCOMM – Evolving inter­ac­tions in micro­bi­al communities

Steph­en Mont­gomery, UK: MuBo­Ex – Mush­room Body Expan­sion in Hel­ic­oni­us butterflies

Edward Mor­row, UK: 2Sexes_1Genome – Sex-spe­cif­ic genet­ic effects on fit­ness and human disease

Jane Reid, UK: Poly­In­breed – Coe­volu­tion­ary Quant­it­at­ive Genet­ics of Poly­andry and Inbreed­ing in the Wild: New The­ory and Test

Jens Rolff, DE: EvoRes­In – Mul­tidrug res­ist­ance and the evol­u­tion­ary eco­logy of insect immunity

Laura Ross, UK: PGErepro – How to break Mendel’s laws? The role of sexu­al con­flict in the evol­u­tion of unusu­al trans­mis­sion genetics

Marjo Saastamoin­en, FI: META-STRESS – Unrav­el­ling life-his­tory responses and under­ly­ing mech­an­isms to envir­on­ment­al stress in wild populations

Flori­an Schi­estl, CH: FLORSIGNALS – Evol­u­tion and con­sequences of flor­al sig­nal­ing in plants

Jon Slate, UK: AVIANEGG – Evol­u­tion­ary genet­ics in a ‘clas­sic­al’ avi­an study sys­tem by high through­put tran­scrip­tome sequen­cing and SNP genotyping

Tanja Slotte, SE: SuperGenE – Supergene evol­u­tion in a clas­sic plant sys­tem – bring­ing the study of distyly into the gen­om­ic era

Olivi­er Tenail­lon, FR: GENPHENBACT – Genet­ic and Phen­o­typ­ic Mod­el­ling of Bac­teri­al Evolution

Karin Wes­t­er­dahl, SE: Optim­al-Immunity – Optim­al diversity in immunity – to over­come patho­gens and max­im­ize fit­ness; mov­ing from cor­rel­at­ive asso­ci­ations to a more mech­an­ist­ic under­stand­ing using wild songbirds.

Beat­riz Vicoso, AT: Sex­Antag – Pre­val­ence and Influ­ence of Sexu­al Ant­ag­on­ism on Gen­ome Evolution