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Sue Lunte and Franklin Tao named AAAS Fellows

Monday, November 20, 2017

LAWRENCE — Three University of Kansas professors have been named as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) this week.

This year’s honorees:

  • Susan Lunte, Ralph N. Adams Distinguished Professor of Chemistry & Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • A. Townsend Peterson, University Distinguished Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and senior curator at the KU Biodiversity Institute
  • Franklin (Feng) Tao, Miller Associate Professor of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering and Chemistry.

They are among 396 new fellows to receive this honor this year in recognition of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

“It is always gratifying to have our faculty members receive this recognition from AAAS, one of our country’s most distinguished scientific organizations,” said Chancellor Douglas A. Girod. “Designation as fellows is a well-deserved honor for all of these scientists, and it reflects well on the research efforts of our entire university. I congratulate them for their outstanding contributions to their respective fields.”

AAAS fellowships are among the honors tracked by the Association of American Universities.

Lunte is receiving the honor for pioneering work in the development and application of capillary and microfluidic separations that enable the specific quantification of important markers in biological systems. She is the director of the NIH COBRE Center on Molecular Analysis of Disease Pathways. Her areas of specialization include bioanalytical chemistry, pharmaceutical analysis and analytical neurochemistry.

Peterson was nominated for distinguished contributions to ecology, systematics, conservation and epidemiology, particularly regarding the geographic distributions of birds, viruses and viral vectors. He currently serves as senior curator of ornithology at the KU Biodiversity Institute, and his research focuses on the geography of biodiversity, with a focus on tropical ornithology.

Tao received the honor for distinguished contributions to the field of in situ/operando studies of materials at a molecular level, particularly catalysts under reaction condition and during catalysis. Tao came to KU in 2014 and is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER award for his work.

Election as an AAAS Fellow is a prestigious honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers, and it recognizes those whose efforts on behalf of the advancement of science are scientifically or socially distinguished.

Members may be considered for the rank of fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the association’s 24 sections or by any three fellows who are current AAAS members (provided that two of the three sponsors are not affiliated with the nominee’s institution). The AAAS chief executive officer may also make nominations.

Fellows must have been continuous members of AAAS for four years by the end of the calendar year in which they are elected.

The newest fellows will be recognized in February during the 2018 AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas.

KU now has 23 active faculty members who are AAAS Fellows. 


Chemistry department receives more than $6 million in research grants annually
14 chemistry faculty members have NSF CAREER Awards
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