Luigi Provasoli Award

The Luigi Provasoli Award is presented annually to the author(s) of the three, or fewer, outstanding papers published in the Journal of Phycology during the previous calendar year.

History of Luigi Provasoli

The Luigi Provasoli Award was established in 1984 to honor the first editor of the Journal of Phycology as well as the 16th President of the Society, an individual who made many significant contributions to research on the algae. Luigi Provasoli was born in Milan, Italy, in 1908. Although born into a family involved in business activities (textile manufacture and marketing), he followed his own restless quest for a career in the natural sciences. His first direction was agriculture and included zoology and insect physiology. His early employment was working as an insect specialist for the Italian Ministry of Agriculture. He had a total of 17 publications by the time he earned his Ph. D. in 1939. It was his experience working on the nutrition of colorless flagellates in the lab of Andre Lwoff at the Pasteur Institute in Paris that oriented Provasoli toward his life-long research on the nutrition of algae and protozoa and their growth in culture. Provasoli received an appointment as Professor at the University of Camerino in 1942 but was caught in war-town Italy with his American-born wife Rose Desimini, an art student whom he had met in Paris.

After the end of the war, the Provasolis emigrated to New York City, where Luigi became an Instructor at St. Francis College in Brooklyn. By 1948 he had been promoted to head of his Department. It was during this period that Provasoli met Seymour Hutner of Brooklyn College and Caryl Haskins of the Haskins Laboratory in Manhattan. Over the next 25 years a most productive collaboration grew out of this like-minded trio of researchers, with many important discoveries on the nutrition, physiology, and cultivation of algae, protozoa, and invertebrates. Discoveries included the effect of antibiotics on the loss of chloroplasts in Euglena, the growth of Ulva in axenic culture and the effects of bacteria on its morphology, and the development of seawater media, both supplemented natural seawater and completely artificial formulations. But it was his having served as the founding editor of the Journal of Phycology which was Provasoli's real legacy to the Society. He served as editor from 1965 to 1974 and was instrumental in establishing the high standards for the Journal that persist. In 1970 Provasoli was installed as Adjunct Professor of Biology at Yale University, where his broad knowledge of the sciences and the arts influenced the graduate and undergraduate students who happened to encounter this charming Renaissance man. In 1982 Provasoli received the Gilbert Morgan Smith Award of the National Academy of Sciences. He reached retirement age in 1978, at which time he and Rose moved to the small village of Comerio in the Italian lake district. He passed away in October of 1992.

Past Recipients


  • 2019 - Xiaofei Yin, Andreas Ziegler, Klemens Kelm, Ramona Hoffman, Philipp Watermeyer, Patrick Alexa, Clarissa Villinger, Ulrich Rupp, Lothar Schlüter, Thorsten B.H. Reusch, Erika Griesshaber, Paul Walther, and Wolfgang W. Schmahl. 2018. Formation and mosaicity of coccolith segment calcite of the marine alga Emiliania huxleyi. J. Phycol 54:85-104.

  • 2018 - Pilar Diaz-Tapia, Heroen Verbruggen, John West, and Christine Maggs. 2017. Analysis of chloroplast genomes and a supermatrix inform reclassification of the Rhodomelaceae (Rhodophyta). J Phycol 53:920-937

  • 2017 - Colleen A. Durkin, Julie A. Koester, Sara J. Bender and E. Virginia Armbrust. 2016. The evolution of silicon transporters in diatoms. J. Phycol. 52:716-731.

  • 2016 - Paradas, W. C., Crespo, T. M., Salgado, L. T., de Andrade, L. R., Soares, A. R., Hellio, C., Paranhos, R. R., Hill, L. J., de Souza, G. M., Kelecom, A. G. A. C., Da Gama, B. A. P., Pereira, R. C. and Amado-Filho, G. M.. 2015. Mevalonosomes: specigic vacuoles containing the mevalonate pathway in Plocamium brasiliense cortical cells (Rhodophyte). J. Phycol. 51:225-235.

  • 2015 - Ryan C. Fawcett and Matthew W. Parrow. 2014. Mixotrophy and loss of phototrophy among geographic isolates of freshwater Esoptrodinium/Bernardinium sp (Dinophyceae). J. Phycol. 50:55-70.

  • 2014 - Carrine E. Blank. 2013. Origin and early evolution of photosynthetic eukaryotes in freshwater environments: reinterpreting proterozoic paleobiology and biogeochemical processes in light of trait evolution. J. Phycol. 49:1040–1055. AND Jennifer S. Clark, Alistair G. B. Poore, Peter J. Ralph and Martina A. Doblin. 2013. Potential for adaptation in response to thermal stress in an intertidal macroalga. J. Phycol. 49:630–639.

  • 2013 - Alena S. Gsell, Lisette N. de Senerpont Domis, Anna Przytulska-Bartosiewicz, Wolf M. Mooij, Ellen van Donk and Bas W. Ibelings. 2012. Genotype-by-temperature interactions may help to maintain clonal diversity in Asterionella formosa (Bacillariophyceae). J. Phycol. 48:1197–1208

  • 2012 - Sutherland, J. E., Lindstrom, S. C., Nelson, W. A., Brodie, J., Lynch, M. D. J., Hwang, M. S., Choi, H. G., Miyata, M., Kikuchi, N., Oliveira, M. C., Farr, T., Neefus, C., Mols-Mortensen, A., Milstein, D. and Müller, K. M. 2011. A new look at an ancient order: generic revision of the Bangiales (Rhodophyta). J. Phycol. 47:1131–1151. AND Ichinomiya, M., Yoshikawa, S., Kamiya, M., Ohki, K., Takaichi, S., and Kuwata, A. 2011. Isolation and characterization of Parmales (Heterokonta/heterokontophyta/Stramenopiles) from the Oyashio region, western North Pacific. J. Phycol. 47:144-151.

  • 2011 - 2011 Zechman, F. W., H. Verbruggen, F. Leliaert, M. Ashworth, M.A. Buchheim, M.W. Fawley, H. Spalding, C.M. Pueschel, J.A. Buchheim, B. Verghese and M.D. Hanisak 2010. An unrecognized ancient lineage of green plants persists in deep marine waters. J. Phycol. 46:1288–95.

  • 2010 - Materna, A.C., S. Sturm, P.G. Kroth and J. Lavaud 2009. First induced plastid genome mutations in an alga with secondary plastids: psbA mutations in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum (Bacillariophyceae) reveal consequences of the regulation of photosynthesis. J. Phycol.45:838–46.

  • 2009 - Park, M. G., J.S. Park, M. Kim and W. Yih 2008. Plastid dynamics during survival ofDinophysis caudata without its ciliate prey. J. Phycol. 44:1154–63.

  • 2008 - Hildebrand, M., L.G. Frigeri and A.K. Davis 2007. Synchronized growth of Thalassiosira pseudonana (Bacillariophyceae) provides novel insights into cell-wall synthesis processes in relation to the cell cycle. J. Phycol. 43:730–40.

  • 2007 - M.D. Johnson, T. Tengs, D. Oldach and D.K. Stoecker 2006. Sequestration, performance, and functional control of cryptophyte plastids in the ciliate Myrionecta rubra(Ciliophora). J. Phycol. 42:1235–46.

  • 2006 - Zingone, A., I. Percopo, P.A. Sims and D. Sarno 2005. Diversity in the genusSkeletonema (Bacillariophyceae). I. A re-examination of the type material of S. costatum with the description of S. grevillei sp. nov. J. Phycol. 41:140—50. AND Sarno, D., W.H.C.F. Kooistra, L.K. Medlin, I. Percopo and A. Zingone 2005. Diversity in the genus Skeletonema (Bacillariophyceae). II. An assessment of the taxonomy of S. costatum-like species with the description of four new species. J. Phycol. 41:151–76.

  • 2006 - Parker, M. and E.V. Armbrust 2005. Synergistic effects of light, temperature, and nitrogen source on transcription of genes for carbon and nitrogen metabolism in the centric diatomThalassiosira pseudonana (Bacillariophyceae). J. Phycol. 41:1142–53.

  • 2006 - Patron, N.J. and P.J. Keeling 2005. Common evolutionary origin of starch biosynthetic enzymes in green and red algae. J. Phycol. 41:1131–41.

  • 2005 - Noel, M. H., M. Kawachi and I. Inouye2004. Induced dimorphic life cycle of a coccolithophorid, Calyptrosphaera sphaeroidea (Prymnesiophyceae, Haptophyta). J. Phycol.40:112-29.

  • 2005 - Pel, R., V. Floris, H.J. Gons and H.L. Hoogveld 2004. Linking flow cytometric cell sorting and compoundspecific 13C analysis to determine population specific isotopic signatures and growth rates in cyanobacteria-dominated lake plankton. J. Phycol. 40:857�66.

  • 2004 - Higgins, M.J., P. Molino and R. Wetherbee 2003 The structure and nanomechanical properties of the adhesive mucilage that mediates diatom-substratum adhesion and motility. J. Phycol 39: 1181-1193.

  • 2004 - Higgins, M.J., J.E. Sader, P. Mulvaney and R. Wetherbee 2003 Probing the surface of living diatoms with atomic force microscopy: the nanostructure and nanomechanical properties of the mucilage layer. J. Phycol 39: 722-734.

  • 2004 - Okomoto, O.K. and J.W. Hastings 2003. Novel dinoflagellate clock-related genes identified through microarray analysis. J. Phycol. 39: 519-526.

  • 2004 - Schmid, A.-M. M. 2003. Endobacteria in the diatom Pinnularia (Bacillariophyceae). I. "Scattered ct-nucleoids" explained: DAPI_DNA complexes stem from exoplastidial bacteria boring into the chloroplasts. J. Phycol. 39: 122-138. AND Schmid, A.-M. M. Endobacteria in the diatomPinnularia (Bacillariophyceae). II. Host cell cycle-dependent translocation and transient chloroplast scars. J. Phycol. 39: 139-153.

  • 2003 - Litaker, W., M.W. Vandersea, S.R. Kibler, V.J. Madden, E.J. Noga and P.A. Tester2002. Life cycle of the heterotrophic dionflagellate Pfiesteria piscicida (Dinophyceae). J. Phycol. 38: 1261-1267.

  • 2003 - Burkholder, J. and H. Glasgow 2002. Life cycle and toxicity of Pfiesteria piscicidarevisited J. Phycol. 38: 442-463.

  • 2002 - Giordano, M., M. Kansiz, P. Heraud, J. Beardall, B. Wood and D. McNaughton 2001. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy as a novel tool to investigate changes in intracellular macromolecular pools in the marine microalga Chaetoceros muellerii (Bacillariophyceae). J. Phycol. 37: 271-279.

  • 2001 - Zirbel, M.J., F. Veron and M.I. Latz. 2000. The reversible effect of flow on the morphology of Ceratocorys horrida (Perindiniales, Dinophyta). J. Phycol. 36: 46-58.

  • 2000 - Santelices, B., J.A. Correa, D. Aedo, V. Flores, M. Hormazabal and P. Sanchez. 1999. Convergent biological processes in coalescing Rhodophyta. J. Phycol. 35: 1127-1149.

  • 2000 - Schaffelke B. 1999. Particulate organic matter as an alternative nutrient source for tropicalSargassum species (Fucales, Phaeophyceae). J. Phycol. 35: 1158-1161.

  • 1998 - Kobl, I., D.L. Kirk and R. Schmitt. 1998. Quantitative PCR data falsify the chromosomal endoreduplication hypothesis for Volvox carteri (Volvocales, Chlorophyta). J. Phycol. 34: 981-988.

  • 1997 - Lavau, S., G.W. Saunders and R. Wetherbee. 1997. A phylogenetic analysis of the Synurophyceae using molecular data and scale case morphology. J. Phycol. 33: 135-151.

  • 1996 - Goff, L.J., D.A. Moon, P. Nyvall, B. Stache, K. Mangin, and G. Zuccarello. 1996. The evolution of parasitism in the red algae: molecular comparisons of adelphoparasites and their hosts.J. Phycol. 32: 297-312.

  • 1996 - Richardson, T.L., A.M. Ciotti, J.J. Cullen and T.A. Villareal. 1996. Physiological and optical properties of Rhizosolenia formosa (Bacillariophyceae) in the context of open-ocean vertical migration. J. Phycol. 32:741-757.

  • 1995 - LaRoche, J. H. Murray, M. Orellana and J. Newton. 1995. Flavodoxin expression as an indicator of iron limitation in marine diatoms. J. Phycol. 31:520-530.

  • 1994 - Bothwell M., D. Sherbot, A.C. Roberge and R.J. Daley. 1993. Influence of natural ultraviolet radiation on lotic perphytic diatom community growth, biomass accrual, and species composition: short-term versus long-term effects. J. Phycol. 29-24-35.

  • 1994 - Maggs, C.A., S.E. Douglas and C.J. Bird. 1992. A molecular and morphological analysis of the Gymnogongrus devoniensis (Rhodophyta) complex in the North Atlantic. J. Phycol. 28:214-232

  • 1992 - Karentz D., J.E. Cleaver and D.L. Mitchell. 1990. Cell survival characteristics and molecular responses of Antarctic phytoplankton to ultraviolet-B radiation. J. Phycol. 27:326-341.

  • 1992 - Maberly, S.C. 1991. Exogenous sources of inorganic carbon for photosynthesis by marine macroalgae. J. Phycol. 26:439-449.

  • 1990 - S. R. Fain, L.D. Druehl and D.L. Baillie. 1988. Repeat and single copy sequences are differentially conserved in the evolution of kelp chloroplast DNA. J. Phycol. 24:292-302.

  • 1990 - Goff, L.J. and A.W. Coleman 1988. The use of plastid DNA restriction endonuclease patterns in delineating red algal species and populations. J. Phycol. 24:357-368.

  • 1988 - Wood, A.M., R. Lande and G.A. Fryxell. 1987. Quantitative genetic analysis of morphological variation in an Antarctic diatom grown at two light intensities. J. Phycol. 23:42-54.

  • 1986 - Goff, L.J. and A.W. Coleman. 1985. The role of secondary pit connections in red algal parasitism. J. Phycol. 21:483-508.