Paul Turner, phd

Paul Turner, PhD

Rachel Carson Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University
Microbiology faculty member, Yale School of Medicine


"New Yale Center to Advance Phage Research, Understanding, Treatments, Training, Education"


Dr. Paul Turner is the Rachel Carson Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University, and Microbiology faculty member at Yale School of Medicine.

He obtained a BA in Biology (1988) from University of Rochester, a PhD in Microbial Evolution (1995) from Michigan State University, and did postdocs at National Institutes of Health, University of Valencia in Spain, and University of Maryland-College Park, before joining Yale in 2001. 

Dr. Turner studies evolutionary genetics of viruses, particularly phages that infect bacterial pathogens and RNA viruses transmitted by arthropods, and researches the use of phages to treat antibiotic-resistant bacterial diseases.

He is very active in science-communication outreach to the general public, and is involved in programs where faculty collaborate with K-12 teachers to improve STEMM education in underserved public schools. Dr. Turner’s service includes the National Science Foundation’s Bio Advisory Committee, and his honors include Fellowship in the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and American Academy of Microbiology.

Education & Training
National Institutes of Health (2001)
University of Valencia, Spain (1999)
University of Maryland, College Park (1998)
Michigan State University, Microbial Ecology and Evolution (1995)
University of Rochester, Biology (1988)
Presenter on “Virus Evolution” for Exploring Science: Ask a Scientist
New Haven, United States 2020
Virtual series for middle school and high school students in New Haven, CT area
Panel discussion: “Marketing Yourself as a URM in the Sciences During and After COVID-19.
New Haven, United States 2020
Yale BBS Diversity and Inclusion Collective
Panel participant for “Weighing the Cost: Work/Life Balance in Academia”
New Haven, United States 2019
Presenter: U.S. Capitol Hill
Washington, United States 2019
U.S. Capitol Hill Briefing organized by American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Presenter: Evolution Matters seminar series
Boston, United States 2019
Harvard Museum of Natural History
The Academy for Teachers Master Class
The Rise and Fall of Antibiotics 2019
Developing Novel Therapies to Combat Bacterial Pathogens
Taught “Evolutionary Medicine”, “Asking Questions in Biology”, “Microbes Rule!”, “Making Sense of Evolution”, “Manipulating Biology: Costs, Benefits and Controversies”, and “Caretakers versus Exploiters: Impacting Biodiversity in the Age of Humans” seminars
New Haven, United States (2009-2021)
Turner worked with K-12 teachers from underserved public schools in New Haven and other US cities, to develop new biology, math, and social studies curricula relating to evolutionary biology and/or ecology and evolution of diseases.
Presenter at various outreach events for the public
New Haven, United States (2008-2017)
Science Saturdays for Kids series Yale U (2008); 40th Anniversary of the Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale (2009); “Darwin: 150 Years of Evolutionary Thinking” Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History (2009); Science Café series, BAR restaurant, New Haven, CT (2014); MAPS (Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students) panel on STEM careers and education, Celebration of Black Life Festival, Afro-American Cultural Center, Yale U (2016); Secret Science Club series, The Bell House Bar, Brooklyn, NY (2017); J.C. Daniels Interdistrict Magnet School, New Haven, CT (2017)
Honors & Recognition
Award Awarding Organization Date
President Elect International Society for Evolution, Medicine and Public Health 2021
Rolla E. Dyer Memorial Lecture National Institutes of Health 2021
John H. Blaffer Distinguished Lecture MD Anderson Cancer Center 2020
1000 Inspiring Black Scientists in America Cell Press 2020
Elected to Fellowship National Academy of Sciences 2019
Elected to Fellowship American Academy of Arts & Sciences 2019
Elected to Fellowship American Academy of Microbiology 2019
MLK Week Memorial Lecture Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State U 2019
American Academy of Microbiology Honorary Diversity Lecturer ASM Microbe 2019.
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