University of Florida: American Association for the Advancement of Science honors UF faculty as Lifetime Fellows

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals, has elected seven faculty from the University of Florida to the newest class of AAAS Fellows, among the most distinct honors within the scientific community.

AAAS has awarded the following faculty from UF:

J. Scott Angle, UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, for distinguished contributions to the agricultural sciences, particularly soil science and microbiology, for fertilization strategies to alleviate world hunger, and for outstanding administrative excellence at three land-grant universities.
Sixue Chen, UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, for distinguished contributions to the field of plant biology, particularly for our understanding of molecular networks that underlie responses to biotic and abiotic stresses.
Matias Kirst, UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, for distinguished contributions in the area of molecular breeding, genomics and informatics.
Yuncong Li, UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, for distinguished contributions to the field of soil and water sciences, particularly developing management practices for sustaining crop production and protecting soil and water quality.
Jose C. Principe, College of Engineering, for distinguished contributions to the field of statistical signal processing, specifically by incorporating information theory and kernel functions applied to computational neuroscience.
Tony Romeo, UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, for distinguished contributions to the field of bacterial physiology and genetics, particularly the investigation of global gene regulation by small RNAs, exemplified by his work with the carbon storage regulator A (CsrA), an RNA binding protein with a central role in controlling bacterial physiology.
Kathryn Sieving, UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, for distinguished contributions to the fields of behavioral, community and landscape ecology, particularly using conceptual principles for wildlife conservation.
The 2021 class of AAAS Fellows includes 564 scientists, engineers, and innovators spanning 24 scientific disciplines who are being recognized for their scientifically and socially distinguished achievements.

“Selection as AAAS Fellows is an important recognition of the outstanding research these seven faculty members are undertaking,” said David Norton, UF’s vice president for research. “It is also recognition of the breadth and diversity of UF’s nearly $1 billion research enterprise.”

“AAAS is proud to bestow the honor of AAAS Fellow to some of today’s brightest minds who are integral to forging our path into the future,” said Dr. Sudip Parikh, AAAS chief executive officer and executive publisher of the Science family of journals. “We celebrate these distinguished individuals for their invaluable contributions to the scientific enterprise.”

This tradition stretches back to 1874. AAAS Fellows are a distinguished cadre of scientists, engineers, and innovators who have been recognized for their achievements across disciplines ranging from research, teaching, and technology, to administration in academia, industry, and government, to excellence in communicating and interpreting science to the public.

Members can be considered for the rank of Fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the association’s 24 sections representing each scientific discipline, by three Fellows who are current AAAS Members (so long as two of the three sponsors are not affiliated with the nominee’s institution), or by the CEO of AAAS. Fellows must have been continuous members of AAAS for four years by the end of the calendar year in which they are elected. The AAAS Fellow honor comes with an expectation that recipients maintain the highest standards of professional ethics and scientific integrity.

Each steering group reviews the nominations of individuals within its respective section and a final list is forwarded to the AAAS Council, which votes on the aggregate list. The Council is the policymaking body of the association, chaired by the AAAS president, and consisting of members of the board of directors, the retiring section chairs, delegates from each electorate and each regional division, and two delegates from the National Association of Academies of Science.

The new Fellows will receive an official certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin to commemorate their election (representing science and engineering, respectively) and will be celebrated later this year during an in-person gathering when it is feasible from a public health and safety perspective. The new class will also be featured in the AAAS News & Notes section of Science in January 2022.

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