American Genetic Association presents the annual Stephen J. O’Brien Award

At the 2014 AGA Symposium, the Council of the American Genetic Association granted the annual Stephen J. O'Brien Awards for best student-authored articles published in Journal of Heredity’s 2013 volume.  The award honors Dr. Stephen J. O’Brien, who served as Editor-In-Chief for the Journal from 1987-2007.

An Award Committee made up of the current Editor-In-Chief, Scott Baker, an Associate Editor, Jill Pecon-Slattery, and a Council member, David Baum, evaluated 15 eligible articles.  Council voted to present this year’s award to two authors for their outstanding papers:  Dr. Sara Hanson for her article, “Inventory and Phylogenetic Analysis of Meiotic Genes in Monogonont Rotifers” (supervisor, Dr. John Logsdon), and Dr. Alexander Nater for his article “Marked Population Structure and Recent Migration in the Critically Endangered Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii)” (supervisor, Dr. Michael Krützen).

The Award Committee, in presenting their recommendation to Council, had the following comments:

“The panel had a difficult time choosing a single top paper, as the strongest candidates differed markedly in subject and approaches.  One article emphasizes genomics of rotifers, and the other the conservation genetics of Sumatran orangutans.  The rotifer paper was refreshingly different from approaches taken by the other papers, examined an interesting evolutionary problem, and featured impressive methodology, including 454 sequencing of 2 genomes and rtPCR experiments for gene expression.   The orangutan paper was nicely written and included comprehensive molecular ecology data across the full range of an endangered ape. It illustrated the insights possible by the integration of genetic and behavioral data of critically endangered, long-lived species.

The award included a $1,500 prize to each author, as well as up to $1,500 reimbursement to attend the AGA Symposium, and a one-year AGA membership and subscription to Journal of Heredity.

About the Journal

Journal of Heredity cover

View Current Issue

Issue 114-5 now online!

Check out this month's Editor's Choice by Remy Nguyen and others

A computational approach for positive genetic identification and relatedness detection from low-coverage shotgun sequencing data

Workshops & Meetings:


Fifth Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance Conference (GIGA V)

Oct 31 – Nov 3, 2023 in Cartagena, Colombia
Get your abstract in by



AGA Member Benefits:

  • Free Journal of Heredity access and discounted Open Access
  • Eligibility for awards
  • Discounted symposium registration and access to presentation videos
  • AGA Newsletter
  • Supporting a society that supports your community


Join the AGA or renew your membership

Any questions?  Contact the Managing Editor at


Read the AGA Council's statements on diversity - see About the AGA.