International Prize for Biology
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)

International Prize for biology

Past Recipients


The Committee on the International Prize for Biology of Japan Society for the
Promotion of Science awards
the 2013 International Prize for Biology in the field of "Biology of Evolution"
Dr. Joseph Felsenstein

Universityof Washington, USA

  On Tuesday, September 17, 2013, the Committee on the International Prize for Biology (chaired by Dr. Takashi Sugimura, Secretary General, The Japan Academy) of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science decided to present the 29th (2013) International Prize for Biology to Dr. Joseph Felsenstein, Professor of University of Wahington, USA.

The field of specialization for the 29th Prize is "Biology of Evolution".

Dr. Joseph Felsenstein
DATE OF BIRTH :  May 9, 1942
NATIONALITY :  United States of America
PRESENT POSITION :  Professor, University of Washington

Education and Professional Positions

1967-1973   Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics, University of Washington
1968 Ph.D. University of Chicago
1973-1978 Associate Professor, Department of Genetics, University of Washington
1978-2001 Professor, Department of Genetics, University of Washington
2001-present Professor, Department of Genome Sciences, University of Washington
2001-present Professor, Department of Biology, University of Washington
(on joint basis with Department of Genome Sciences)


1993   Sewall Wright Award, American Society of Naturalists
1999   Elected to membership, National Academy of Sciences
2000   Weldon Memorial Prize, University of Oxford
2002   President's Award for Excellence in Systematics, Society of Systematic Biology
2009   Darwin-Wallace Medal, Linnean Society of London
2009   John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science, National Academy of Sciences

Representative Publications:

  1. Felsenstein, J. 1974. The evolutionary advantage of recombination. Genetics 78: 737-756.
  2. Felsenstein, J. 1976. The theoretical population genetics of variable selection and  migration. Annual Review of Genetics 10: 253-280.
  3. Felsenstein, J. 1978. The number of evolutionary trees. Systematic Zoology 27: 27-33. Correction, vol. 30, p. 122, (1981)
  4. Felsenstein, J. 1978. Cases in which parsimony or compatibility methods will be positively misleading. Systematic Zoology 27: 401-410.
  5. Felsenstein, J. 1981. Evolutionary trees from DNA sequences: a maximum likelihood approach. Journal of Molecular Evolution 17: 368-376.
  6. Felsenstein, J. 1981. Skepticism towards Santa Rosalia, or Why are there so few kinds of animals? Evolution 35: 124-138.
  7. Felsenstein, J. 1982. Numerical methods for inferring evolutionary trees. Quarterly Review of Biology 57: 379-404 1982.
  8. Felsenstein, J. 1984. Distance methods for inferring phylogenies: a justification. Evolution 38: 16-24.
  9. Felsenstein, J. 1985. Confidence limits on phylogenies: an approach using the bootstrap. Evolution 39: 783-791.
  10. Felsenstein, J. 1985. Phylogenies and the comparative method. American Naturalist 125: 1-15.
  11. Felsenstein, J. 1988. Phylogenies and quantitative characters. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 19: 445-471.
  12. Kuhner, M. K. and J. Felsenstein. 1994. A simulation comparison of phylogeny algorithms under equal and unequal evolutionary rates. Molecular Biology and Evolution 11: 459-468. Erratum 12: 525 (1995).
  13. Kuhner, M. K., J. Yamato, and J. Felsenstein. 1995. Estimating effective population size and mutation rate from sequence data using Metropolis-Hastings sampling. Genetics 140: 1421-1430.
  14. Felsenstein, J. 1996. Inferring phylogenies from protein sequences by parsimony, distance, and likelihood methods. pp. 418-427 in Computer Methods for Macromolecular Sequence Analysis, edited by R. F. Doolittle. Methods in Enzymology, vol. 266. Academic Press, Orlando, Florida.
  15. Felsenstein, J. and G. A. Churchill. 1996. A hidden Markov model approach to variation among sites in rate of evolution. Molecular Biology and Evolution 13: 93-104.
  16. Kuhner, M. K. J. Yamato and J. Felsenstein. 1998. Maximum likelihood estimation of population growth rates based on the coalescent. Genetics 149: 429-434.
  17. Beerli, P. and J. Felsenstein. 1999. Maximum-likelihood estimation of migration rates and effective population numbers in two populations using a coalescent approach. Genetics 152: 763-773.
  18. Kuhner, M. K., J. Yamato and J. Felsenstein. 2000. Maximum likelihood estimation of recombination rates from population data. Genetics 156: 1393-1401.
  19. Felsenstein, J. 2004. Inferring Phylogenies. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, Massachusetts.