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The purpose of the New Investigator Award is to recognize scientists who have obtained a doctoral degree and are actively conducting academic, industrial, consulting, or regulatory studies.

To be eligible for the award, the scientist must have obtained his or her doctorate no more than five years before the time of the Fall ACS National Meeting. Thus, for 2024, applications will be considered from scientists who have obtained their doctorates no earlier than the year 2018.

  • A panel consisting of at least three AGRO members will chose up to three finalists based on their extended abstracts, 1-page curricula vitae, and letter(s) of recommendation.
  • Each finalist will receive up to $1275 for travel and meeting expenses.
  • Each finalist will deliver an oral presentation (which will be judged by the panel) in one of the AGRO Program symposia.
  • The winner, who will receive a plaque, will be chosen after all finalists have presented their papers.

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Nomination Deadline:
For 2024 NIA applicants, the extended abstract, curriculum vitae, and letter(s) must be received by the New Investigator Award (NIA) Coordinator no later than April 1, 2024. A 300 word abstract should also be submitted via the ACS website prior to April 1, 2024.

For more information see the Call for Nominations or, please contact:
Aaron Gross, NIA Coordinator, Virginia Polytechnic University

***Accepting Applications for 2023***

2022 New Investigator Finalists – Previous Year

Cera Fisher is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Entomology at Cornell University. She received her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut in 2019 under the advisement of Elizabeth L. Jockusch. Cera’s primary research interests lie in understanding how nucleotide sequence-level changes contribute to the origin of new traits, whether morphological or physiological.  Her dissertation project investigated the evolution of the novel treehopper helmet from an evo-devo perspective, using RNA-seq and functional genomics. This work compared developmental gene expression across several species separated by as much as 300 million years of evolution.

As a postdoctoral researcher, Cera has turned from the macroevolutionary scale to the microevolutionary, characterizing the genomic basis of insecticide resistance mediated by enhanced detoxification in Aedes aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito. This project integrates classical genetics and toxicology in a multi-strain congenic system with cutting-edge high-throughput single molecule and whole-genome shotgun sequencing, to provide an unparalleled level of resolution of mutations associated with resistance.



Anais Le Mauff is currently a postdoctoral research scholar in the Emerging Pathogens Institute and Department of Entomology and Nematology at the University of Florida.  I earned my Ph.D. in Biology in 2021 at the University of Orleans under the supervision of Pr. Steeve H. Thany where I performed a pharmacological characterization of tick nicotinic acetylcholine receptor through microtransplantation methods. I obtained my Master’s degree in 2018, in Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution at the University of Poitiers, and I received my Bachelor’s degree in 2016, in Life Sciences at the University of Montpellier.

My postdoctoral research aims to understand the physiological mechanisms driving tick salivary gland function to enable blood feeding and how these physiological pathways are altered during Rickettsia infection.  To do this, we use fluorescent microscopy to determine the cellular and sub-cellular expression of potassium ion channels and ion transporters across salivary gland acini.  Secondly, we use two-electrode voltage clamp electrophysiology after tissue microtransplantation to determine the pharmacological profile of ion channels expressed in tick salivary gland acini.


Ellis Johnson received his PhD in Entomology from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 2021 under the supervision of Dr. Troy Anderson. His dissertation research focused on the potential management application and modes of action of specific plant oils and their volatile organic compounds against mosquitoes.

Ellis is currently a postdoctoral research associate in the Insect Physiology Lab under the supervision of Dr. Troy Anderson at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. His current research interests focus on the mechanisms of naturally derived compounds that can alter mosquito behavior and disrupt mosquito development. The goal of this research is to provide tools to manage mosquitoes, as well as reduce insecticide resistance selection pressures.

Past Awardees


  • Cera Fisher, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (Winner)
  • Anais Le Mauff, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (Finalist)
  • Ellis Johnson, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE (Finalist)


  • Gareth Thomas, Rothamsted Research, UK (Finalist)
  • Marla Bianca, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, MD (Finalist)
  • Zijiang Yang, University of Maryland, College Park, MD (Winner)


  • Alex Gaffke, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Gainesville, FL (Winner)
  • Edmund Norris, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (Finalist)
  • Jose Luis Rodriquez Gil, University of Manitoba, Manitoba, Canada (Finalist)


  • Edmund Norris, University of Florida, Gainesville (Finalist)
  • Scott O’Neal, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Winner)
  • Leslie Rault , University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Finalist)


  • Liu Yang, University of Florida, Gainesville (Winner)
  • Scott O’Neal, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Finalist)
  • Leslie Rault , University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Finalist)


  • Maykel Hernández-Mesa,L’Université Nantes Angers Le Mans, France  (Winner)
  • Emily Woodward, US Geological Survey, Sacramento, CA (Finalist)
  • Caitlin Rering, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Gainesville, FL (Finalist)


  • Aaron Gross, Iowa State University (Winner)
  • Anson Main, University of Missouri-Columbia (Finalist)
  • Ana María Vélez, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Finalist)


  • Bartek Troczka, Rothamsted Research (Winner)
  • Weiying Jiang, California Environmental Protection Agency (Finalist)
  • Fang Jia, Bayer CropScience (Finalist)
  • John Sivey, Towson University (Finalist)


  • Lacey Jenson, Virginia Tech (Winner)
  • Natasha Andrade, University of Maryland, College Park (Finalist)
  • Helene Hopfer, University of Technology, Austria (Finalist)


  • Daniel Swale, University of Florida, Gainesville (Winner)
  • Chloé de Perre, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (Finalist)
  • Chitvan Khajuria, University of Nebraska, Lincoln (Finalist)


  • Xin Zhang, Kansas State University (Winner)
  • Jeremy Conkle, University of California, Riverside
  • Fan Tong, Iowa State University


  • Cody Howard, University of California, Davis


  • Kyoung Sup Yoon, University of Massachusetts, Amherst


  • Jennifer Anderson, Iowa State University


  • Ashli Brown, Mississippi State University
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