Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

William Gilpin
Stanford University


"For the discovery and experimental characterization of a beautiful vortex tiling phenomenon created by swimming zooplankton, and the development of theoretical tools for the analysis of eco-evolutionary processes."


William Gilpin is currently an NSF-Simons research fellow at Harvard University's Quantitative Biology Initiative, where he works on using tools from nonlinear dynamics and chaos to analyze large biological systems. He received his Ph.D. in 2019 from Stanford University, where he worked with Prof. Manu Prakash to study the beautiful fluid flow patterns created by swimming zooplankton, such as larval starfish. During his Ph.D., he also collaborated with Prof. Marcus Feldman to use ecology and evolutionary theory to model prehistoric human migration. His Ph.D. was supported by a National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship, the NDSEG fellowship, and the National Geographic “Young Explorers” Program. He received his A.B. in physics from Princeton University in 2014. Outside of academia, William has enjoyed working with the education technology startups Khan Academy and Osmosis to develop widely-accessible online physics curricula.

Selection Committee:

Massimo Vergassola (Chair), Orit Peleg, Padmini Rangamani, Huan-Xiang Zhou