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Congratulations to Dolores Piperno and Helene Muller-Landau!

December 30, 2021

Congratulations to Dolores Piperno and Helene Muller-Landau!

Dolores Piperno Receives Society for American Archaeology’s Fryxell Award

The Society for American Archaeology (SAA) will honor STRI staff scientist emeritus Dolores Piperno for her outstanding, lifelong contributions to a broad range of disciplines with an award and half-day symposium at its April meeting.

The SAA’s statement reads: “Dr. Dolores Piperno is this year’s recipient of the Fryxell Award in Interdisciplinary Research. Dr. Piperno’s work is truly interdisciplinary in nature and the scope of her research has extended beyond the field of archaeology. Her fieldwork and lab work extends across continents; however, there has been a continued focus on the archaeology of Panama and the origins of agriculture in the lowland Neotropics. Dr. Piperno has published articles on the domestication of maize (Zea mays), the early use of gourds and squashes (Cucurbita sp.; Lagenaria sp.), beans (Phaseolus sp.), chili peppers (Capsicum spp. L.), and manioc (Manihot esculenta var. Crantz), among others. This list does not include her research into grains in the Old World as well as questions about the origins of rice (Oryza sativa L.) agriculture in China. Dr. Piperno’s research has reached around the world, established a robust new science that is utilized by scientists both within and outside of archaeology, and pushed the boundaries of research in previously under documented regions of the world. This has been a career of scientific firsts and dogged pursuit of the best evidence with which to construct our vision of the past.”

Secretary’s Research Prize to plant ecologist Helene Muller-Landau

On December 9, Lonnie Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution presented the Secretary’s Research Prizes for 2021 to recognize outstanding scholarship across disciplines. STRI staff scientist, Helene Muller-Landau, was chosen for the award as the author of the chapter “What Determines the Abundance of Lianas and Vines?” She was joined by 17 other Smithsonian Institution scholars who wrote on a broad range of topics from embryo transfer in cheetahs to girlhood, and from human evolution to contemporary African artists.

These pan-Institutional prizes recognize excellence in recent research by the Institution’s employees and carry a $2,000 research award for each recipient. The work of the Secretary’s Research Prize recipients undergoes peer review, and a committee of the Smithsonian Congress of Scholars representing expertise across the diverse spectrum of Smithsonian scholarship, recommends the finalists.

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