Six professors named AAAS Fellows
Six professors in the University of South Carolina’s College of Arts and Sciences have been awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The six, who are among this year’s 531 members, are Ron Benner, biological sciences; Will Graf, geography; Austin Hughes, biological sciences; James Morris, Baruch Institute and biological sciences; Robert Thunell, earth and ocean sciences; and Hanno zur Loye, chemistry and biochemistry.
Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon members by their peers in recognition of their efforts to advance science or its applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished. Carolina’s new AAAS members are the only faculty in the state to be so recognized.
“Carolina’s faculty has proven in myriad ways its scholarly mettle and commitment to teaching and research,” said University President Harris Pastides. “The election of six of our faculty members in one year to the prestigious rank of AAAS fellow is proof positive of the quality of our faculty ranks.”
Stephen Kresovich, the University’s vice president for research and graduate education, hailed the AAAS recognition as an important step toward building the reputation of Carolina’s research and scholarly community.
“National recognition of our faculty’s scholarly contributions is an objective measure of the scientific rigor of the University’s research enterprise,” he said. “These professors have become leaders in their respective fields of inquiry; Carolina is proud to count them as members of its faculty.”
Benner was honored for contributions to the field of marine biogeochemistry, especially the processes driving the marine carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles and the critical roles of microorganisms in these processes. He also was recently named an Einstein Professor by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Graf was recognized for advances in physical river sciences and fostering the connection between river science and public policy for river management. He also recently received the Marcus Career Achievement Award from the Association of American Geographers.
Hughes was honored for distinguished contributions in the field of molecular evolution, specifically evolution of gene families and parasites.
Morris was recognized for contributions to marine science and research on effects of sea-level rise on coastal ecosystems, and for service as director of the Baruch Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences and as a program officer at the National Science Foundation.
Thunell was honored for distinguished contributions to the study of ocean sedimentation, paleoceanography, Quaternary climates, and marine science education.
zur Loye was recognized for distinguished research in the field of crystal growth, particularly for applying high temperature solution routes to growing crystals of platinum group metal containing oxides.
Election of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. This year’s fellows will be recognized Feb. 20 during the AAAS annual meeting in San Diego. AAAS, which publishes the journal Science, was founded in 1848 and is the world’s largest general scientific society.