John Maynard Smith Prize

Every year the European Society for Evolutionary Biology distinguishes an outstanding young evolutionary biologist with the John Maynard Smith Prize.

The prize is named after John Maynard Smith (1920 - 2004), eminent evolutionary biologist, and author of many books on evolution, both for scientists and the general public. He was professor at the University of Sussex, UK, Fellow of the Royal Society, winner of the Darwin Medal, laureate of the Crafoord Prize of the Swedish Academy of Sciences, and President of ESEB. See the interview by Robert Wright for an account of his life long fascination with evolution, and here for a biography.


The next call for nominations will be announced approximately in Fall 2015 on the ESEB web site.

Current and previous winners of the JMS Prize are listed below.

Winner 2015

Picture Matthew HartfieldMatthew Hartfield is a theoretical evolutionary biologist with an interest in the evolution of mating systems, adaptation, and infectious diseases. He completed his doctoral studies in 2012 under the supervision of Peter Keightley at the University of Edinburgh. Here, he investigated how recombination acting over whole genomes in large populations can explain the evolution of sex.

He was subsequently a CNRS Research Fellow with Samuel Alizon at IRD Montpellier, and is now a Marie Curie Fellow with Aneil Agrawal, Stephen Wright (University Toronto) and Thomas Bataillon (Aarhus University), studying genealogies of facultative sexual organisms.

Visit Matthew Hartfield's website

Matthew's prize will be celebrated at the XV ESEB Congress in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he will give the John Maynard Smith Prize 2015 Lecture. on "Mathematical adventures in sex and disease evolution".

Winner 2014

Picture Laurie StevisonLaurie Stevison is an evolutionary geneticist interested in speciation, recombination rate evolution and hybridization. She researched hybridization in macaques for her masterís degree at Rice University with Michael Kohn. During her doctoral research, she studied how chromosomal inversions reduce recombination between species of Drosophila, increasing interspecies nucleotide divergence and facilitating speciation.

After completing her PhD at Duke University with Mohamed Noor, she joined the lab of Jeff Wall at UCSF where she now studies comparative recombination rate variation in great apes.

Visit Laurie Stevison's website

Laurie's prize will be celebrated at the XV ESEB Congress in Lausanne, Switzerland, where she will give the John Maynard Smith Prize 2014 Lecture. on "The Time-Scale Of Recombination Rate Evolution In Great Apes".

Previous winners



Last updated April 20, 2015. For suggestions or comments please send an e-mail .