Paul Turner

Acting Dean of Science, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Elihu Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Paul Turner, is the acting dean of science, and Elihu Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University. His research examines the evolutionary genetics and genomics of microbes, especially virus ability to adapt (or not) to biotic and abiotic environmental changes at all levels of biological organization: molecules, proteins, cells, populations, communities and ecosystems. This work is highly interdisciplinary, employing molecular biology, microbiology, computational biology, genomics and mathematical-modeling approaches, and especially experimental evolution studies under controlled lab conditions. Turner studies various RNA and DNA viruses, especially phages that specifically infect pathogenic bacteria, and vector-borne viruses transmitted by mosquitoes.

Turner received his undergraduate degree at University of Rochester (1988, Biology) and Ph.D. at Michigan State University (1995, Microbial Evolution). He conducted postdoctoral work at National Institutes of Health, University of Valencia in Spain, and at University of Maryland-College Park. Turner joined Yale University in 2001 as an assistant professor, was tenured in 2007, became full professor in 2011 and served three years as director of Graduate Studies and seven years as department chair before currently serving as acting dean.

Turner’s support comes from private foundations such as Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Blavatnik Family Foundation; and from U.S. federal agencies including NIH, NSF, and NASA. Turner has served as associate editor for Virus Evolution, Evolution (International Journal of Organic Evolution), and Evolution, Medicine and Public Health. His other service includes the Committee on Minority Education and Division Councilor of Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology for American Society for Microbiology; and the NSF Biological Sciences Advisory Committee.