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Shuhai Xiao

Career of studying ancient life brings this geoscientist state award

The Science Museum of Virginia and the office of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe in February named Shuhai Xiao of the Department of Geosciences as an Outstanding Scientist for 2017.

Sponsored by the science museum, the Outstanding Scientist Award honors scientists who, through their research and commitment to science, have made contributions to scientific research that extend the boundaries of any field of science. Fifteen Virginia Tech faculty members have been awarded the honor, with three winning the Lifetime Achievement in Science Award.

A professor of geobiology and a member of the Global Change Center, Xiao has focused his career on researching life in the Precambrian era, studying life and environments in early Earth history using paleobiological, geological, and geochemical data. His research has taken him to Australia, China, India, Siberia, and other parts of the world.

Xiao attended the Feb. 23 awards banquet with four past recipients of the award from the Department of Geosciences: Robert Bodnar (2010), Patricia Dove (2013), Jerry Gibbs (1993), and Mike Hochella (2005), along with Virginia Tech President Tim Sands.

Also honored that evening as an Outstanding Scientist was Professor Marc Edwards of the Virginia Tech College of Engineering.