Kent State Geology Professor Wins Outstanding Research and Scholar Award
Crabs, lobsters, crayfish and shrimp comprise the order of animals known as decapod crustaceans, groups underrepresented in the paleontological research world, but a Kent State University professor has helped shine a spotlight on understanding their evolution.
Carrie Schweitzer, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Geology at Kent State University at Stark, recently received an Outstanding Research and Scholar Award for her work on decapod crustaceans and her research in paleontology, which centers on systematics and biogeography.
Kent State’s Outstanding Research and Scholar Awards recognize outstanding faculty members for their notable scholarly contributions that have brought acknowledgement to their fields of study and to Kent State.
“This is a great honor,” says Schweitzer. “It’s really nice to be recognized for the hard work.”
Schweitzer has published more than 120 technical books and papers since 1997. She is co-author on the revision of the Decapoda volume of the “Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology,” which is the benchmark for research in the field.
Schweitzer says this group of animals is underrepresented in paleontology research, which sparked her interest to research decapod crustaceans.
She has worked diligently to develop new ways of using the morphology of the preservable remains of crabs and other decapods to search out phylogenetic relationships. Her skills and abilities have twice won her nominations for the Schuchert Award, given annually to the most promising paleontologist under the age of 40 by the Paleontological Society.
In his nomination of Schweitzer, Daniel Holm, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Geology, says, “Her incredible research productivity is a testimony to her careful field work all over the world, her keen mind, and her diligent, nonstop work ethic.”
Schweitzer has been co-principal investigator on grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), including the prestigious Assembling the Tree of Life grant and the National Geographic Society (NGS). Currently, she is principal investigator on an NSF grant to study diversity patterns in fossil decapods and co-principal investigator on an NGS grant to continue research in China.
For more information about Kent State’s Department of Geology, visit www.kent.edu/geology.