The world’s largest general scientific society has honored six UF faculty for their research contributions.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science is a nonprofit organization that annually honors individuals whose efforts to advance science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished.
“The AAAS is a well-recognized and prestigious organization, and our researchers who have been recognized join an elite group of their colleagues from around the country,” said UF spokesman Steve Orlando.
The UF faculty were chosen to be fellows from a list of nominees made by a committee within the organization. They now join 37 other UF professors who have been honored since the association was founded. UF President-elect Kent Fuchs was honored in 2010.
One of the individuals honored as a fellow was Wolfgang Sigmund, a UF College of Engineering materials science professor.
Sigmund said he was recognized for his research on using an electric field to modify the size of objects.
“It’s really a good feeling to get high recognition for that type of achievement in my field of work because you have to have great work for an extended period of time,” he said. “I had hoped to get this recognition at some point in my career but I did not expect it so soon.”
Bruce MacFadden, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, was also chosen as a fellow for his contributions to the field of paleontology.
He said it is an honor because it recognizes his scholarly achievements thus far.
“I will continue what I’ve been doing to keep representing UF as an AAAS scholar in the best way possible,” MacFadden said.
Among the other professors recognized as fellows are Cammy Abernathy, dean of the UF College of Engineering; Robert Cousins, Boston Family Professor of Nutrition; Andrew Hanson, professor of horticultural sciences in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and Ann Progulske-Fox, professor of oral biology in the UF College of Dentistry.
In order to be an eligible nominee, professors are required to be a member of the association for four years and submit a nomination form, a list of their top 10 most significant publications, a curriculum vitae and a letter from each of their three sponsors.
MacFadden said he is looking forward to being honored in person with his colleagues at the AAAS’ annual meeting in San Diego, California, in February. Each new fellow will be inducted and receive a certificate and rosette.
Becoming a fellow is a significant accomplishment, and UF is very proud of these six honorees, Orlando said.
“The number of recognitions from AAAS has been increasing over time, which is a great thing,” Orlando said. “It’s a good indication that the university is headed in the right direction.”
[A version of this story ran on page 4 on 12/2/2014]