U of T Celebrates

The University of Toronto is home to some of the world’s top faculty, students, alumni and staff. U of T Celebrates recognizes their award-winning accomplishments.

Marla Sokolowski

Marla Sokolowski recognized with 2022 JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award

May 27, 2022

University Professor Marla Sokolowski has been recognized with a prestigious 2022 JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award.

The awards are presented by the School of Graduate Studies to a faculty member who, over a minimum 15-year period, has demonstrated graduate supervision excellence at the University of Toronto.  

According to her former student, Ina Anreiter – now an assistant professor at U of T Scarborough’s department of biological sciences – Sokolowski is a mentor for life. “When Professor Sokolowski believes in someone,” says Anreiter, “she goes out of the way to support them in every way possible – and Marla Sokolowski always believes in her students.”

A member of the Faculty of Arts & Science’s department of ecology and evolutionary biology, Sokolowski is a pioneer in the field of behaviour genetics and has conducted foundational research into the interaction between genes and the environment, and how genetic tendencies are affected by the environment and experience. Her groundbreaking investigations into the genetic and molecular basis of individual differences in behaviour include the discovery of the foraging gene in Drosophila melanogaster, or fruit flies.

Over her career, Sokolowski has supervised 22 post-doctoral researchers, 23 PhD students and 15 master’s students. Of 168 refereed papers published by her research laboratory, 112 have included graduate student co-authors. Six of her former PhD students have gone on to faculty positions at U of T, Washington University in St Louis and Brown University. As a testament to her role in their careers, her students organized a special issue of the Journal of Neurogenetics in her honour.

Read the Faculty of Arts & Science story