The list includes USF’s College of Public Health dean, who led the university’s COVID-19 task force
TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 31, 2023) – Six University of South Florida researchers have been named as new Fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, one of the world’s most prestigious honors for academic research.
The group from USF is among more than 500 scientists, engineers and innovators earning the recognition for their scientifically and socially distinguished achievements by the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals.
The new USF AAAS Fellows span multiple colleges and disciplines, bringing the total number of AAAS Fellows at USF to 95.
“We are proud to have six University of South Florida faculty members named as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science,” USF President Rhea Law said. “These six researchers are relentlessly pursuing new knowledge and solving global problems, and I congratulate them for making such impactful contributions in their respective fields of study.”
The new AAAS Fellows from USF are listed below, with their citations. (Full bios are available here.)
Jennifer M. Collins, professor (Atmospheric & Hydrospheric Sciences) – For distinguished contributions to the field of geography, particularly for advancing understanding of tropical cyclone activity and illuminating linkages between tropical storms and climatology.
Richard Dembo, professor (Social, Economic & Political Sciences) – For pioneering contributions in advancing criminology theory/practice, substance abuse, mental health, and STD services, especially the design, implementation, and evaluation of innovative screening and intervention services for justice-involved youth.
David Himmelgreen, professor (Anthropology) – For distinguished contributions to the field of anthropology, particularly for research and programs mitigating global food insecurity, especially for marginalized populations, and in relation to HIV/AIDS and nutritionally related diseases.
James W. Leahy, professor and chair, of the Department of Chemistry (Chemistry) – For distinguished achievements in chemistry, particularly advancements in drug discovery for cancer, cardiovascular and infectious diseases, synthesis and optimization of small-molecule leads, and novel synthetic methodology.
Donna J. Petersen, senior associate vice president and dean (Public Health) – For distinguished contributions to the field of public health, particularly for advancing public health practice, pedagogy and curriculum, and for public health leadership at both national and community levels.
Christina Richards, associate professor (Biological Sciences) – For distinguished contributions to the field of integrative biology, particularly for advancing understanding of ecological and evolutionary genomics, and the roles of phenotypic plasticity and epigenetic variation in evolution.
The new Fellows will be formally recognized at the AAAS Fellows Forum in Washington, D.C., in June.
About the University of South Florida
The University of South Florida, a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success, generates an annual economic impact of more than $6 billion. Over the past 10 years, no other public university in the country has risen faster in U.S. News and World Report’s national university rankings than USF. Serving more than 50,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee, USF is designated as a Preeminent State Research University by the Florida Board of Governors, placing it in the most elite category among the state’s 12 public universities. USF has earned widespread national recognition for its success graduating under-represented minority and limited-income students at rates equal to or higher than white and higher income students. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference. Learn more at www.usf.edu.
About the American Association for the Advancement of Science
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science, as well as Science Translational Medicine; Science Signaling; a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances; Science Immunology; and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For additional information about AAAS, visit www.aaas.org.