Four UT researchers are among the 2016 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Brian Wirth, Karen Hughes, and George Ostrouchov hold various positions on the UT Knoxville campus; Baohua Gu from the UT Institute of Agriculture also was selected.
Wirth, the joint UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair for Computational Nuclear Engineering in the Tickle College of Engineering, was chosen for his contributions to nuclear engineering. Wirth is a globally recognized expert in nuclear materials and how they behave in radioactive environments. He has received the US Department of Energy Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award, given to researchers in energy research and national security, and the Mishima Award, given by the American Nuclear Society for outstanding work in nuclear fuels and materials research.
Hughes, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, was recognized for her contributions to research on biodiversity, biogeography, and the impact of climate on certain organisms. Her best-known focus is on the global distribution of fungi through DNA-based research. Hughes is also a leading expert on the diversity, spread, and growth of fungi in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Ostrouchov is a joint UT-ORNL faculty member, working in both the business analytics and statistics program in the Haslam College of Business and the Joint Institute for Computational Sciences in the Tickle College of Engineering. He was recognized for his expertise in furthering statistical computing. A fellow of the American Statistical Association, he has earned acclaim for his contributions to parallel computing and big data.
Gu, a professor specializing in environmental sciences in the UT Institute of Agriculture, was recognized for his work involving organic matter and the impact that toxins, chemicals, and other contaminants have on soil. He has authored more than 250 publications relating to soil science and soil pollution, including mercury, uranium, and carbon loss.
The fellows will be inducted in February 2017 at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science is the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals. The AAAS Council elects fellows whose “efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished.” It was founded in 1848 and includes 254 affiliated societies and academies of science serving 10 million individuals.
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