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Biology research garners award

by Arturo Garcia Sierra

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San Diego State professor Dr. Forest Rohwer was winner of the 2011 College of Sciences Monty Award, an Alumni Association award, given to outstanding faculty members from each of SDSU’s seven colleges. The Alumni Association honored Rohwer for a record of research accomplishments along with service and teaching at SDSU and the greater scientific community.

According to, a website created to present the research being completed by Rohwer, his coworkers and collaborators, Rohwer has been credited with 89 research publications.

In 1997, Rohwer received his doctorate from a joint program in molecular biology at the University of California San Diego and SDSU. He has three bachelor’s degrees from the college of Idaho in biology, chemistry and history.

Rohwer’s professional experience began at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where he developed metagenomic approaches to study marine viruses. Since 2001, he has been a professor at SDSU.

Rohwer has won many awards including the prestigious Young Investigators Award of the International Society of Microbial Ecology.

According to Dr. Stanley Maloy, dean of the College of Sciences at SDSU, Rohwer’s research has helped the scientific community understand the importance of microbes and human activities on the demise of coral reefs throughout the world.

“He is an outstanding research mentor for students at all levels, and an exceptional classroom teacher,” Maloy said. “He encourages students to think critically and creatively, and seamlessly integrates current discoveries into the classroom.”

Expert sources on the necessity of coral reefs also document the usefulness of Rohwer’s research in the way it impacts all people

“Coral reefs provide humans with billions of dollars in economic and environmental services such as food protection for coasts, and tourism,” according to “Coral ecosystems face serious threats, mainly from the impacts from climate change, unsustainable fishing, and land-based pollution. Together, these and other threats are decimating corals faster than they can adapt for survival.”

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