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Two IGB faculty members elected AAAS Fellows

BY Diana Yates

Six faculty members at Illinois, including two from IGB, have been elected 2020 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Evolution, ecology and behavior professor Alison Bell (GNDP leader) and plant biology professor Carl Bernacchi (CABBI/GEGC) from the IGB were elected, along with bioengineering professor Rohit Bhargava; materials science and engineering professor Paul Braun; chemistry professor Prashant Jain; and materials science and engineering professor Nancy Sottos. They are among the 489 scientists to be awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow this year.

Bell studies the evolution of behavior in the three-spined stickleback, a fish species adapted to diverse habitats. She is a pioneer in the study of animal personality, using genomics and other tools to understand the causes and consequences of individual behavior differences. She is a member of the Animal Behavior Society, the International Society for Behavioral Ecology and the American Society of Naturalists. She was a recipient of the 2012 Young Investigator Award from the Animal Behavior Society.  She is the leader of the Gene Networks in Neural and Developmental Plasticity theme at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology; the Lowell Getz Scholar in Evolution, Ecology and Behavior; a Romano Scholar; and a professor in the Beckman Institute; the Program in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation; and the Neuroscience Program.

Bernacchi is a professor and a U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service scientist. He investigates the impacts of climate change on crop physiology, energy fluxes between the atmosphere and plant canopies, carbon sequestration and crop canopy responses to stress. He is a member of the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation and the Genomic Ecology of Global Change research theme at the IGB. Bernacchi also serves on the editorial board for three journals and led the development of the American Society of Plant Biologists’ Ecological and Environmental Plant Physiology section.

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