Marlene Zuk Has Received the Frontiers of Knowledge Award From the BBVA Foundation

Marlene Zuk, a professor in the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences, received the Frontiers of Knowledge Award from the BBVA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria. The BBVA Foundation’s annual award recognizes world-class researchers who have made field-shaping discoveries in a broad array of disciplines of scientific knowledge, technology, humanities, and artistic creation. Professor Zuk was honored for outstanding contributions to the field of behavioral and evolutionary ecology.

Professor Zuk’s work addresses how interactions — between males and females or parasites and their hosts — drive the spread of novel traits, the elaboration of sexual ornaments (decorative traits used in mate selection, such as the tail feathers of a peacock) and evolutionary diversification more broadly. She is the author of Dancing Cockatoos and the Dead Man Test: How Behavior Evolves and Why It Matters (W.W. Norton, 2022).

In addition to over 17,500 citations of her work, Professor Zuk is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Throughout her career, Dr. Zuk has also been a strong advocate for advancing women’s equity in science.

Dr. Zuk joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 2012 after teaching at the University of California Riverside. She is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara and earned a Ph.D. at the University of Michigan.

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