The winner of the 2014 DuPont Industrial Biotechnology Award in Applied and Environmental Microbiology is Douglas G. Capone, Ph.D., University of Southern California, Los Angeles, for his outstanding accomplishments as a marine microbiologist. “His contributions to our understanding of the factors controlling biological nitrogen fixation in the oceans have strongly influenced numerous researchers and the development of important ideas in biogeochemistry and biological oceanography,” says Bess Ward, Princeton University.
After receiving his Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Miami, he joined the faculty of Stony Brook University where he remained until 1987. From 1987 to 1999, he was at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Studies. Since 1999, he has held the Wrigley Chair of Environmental Biology at USC and in 2007 became Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences. A fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, Capone is currently an editor for mBio and Aquatic Microbial Ecology. He has published over 180 peer-reviewed articles.
His research focuses on the importance of marine microbes in major biogeochemical cycles, particularly those of nitrogen and carbon, with particular reference to physical, chemical, and biotic controls on key microbial processes. He is a leading expert on the marine N cycle and has produced two highly regarded edited volumes on the topic. Capone has studied diverse ecosystems at remote field stations and on over 30 oceanographic expeditions. He has also made a major contribution to the development of human resources in oceanography and environmental science by mentoring students of all levels.