Three Franklin College professors at UGA named Fellows by the American Association for the Advanceme

Athens, Ga. – Lawrence Shimkets, William Whitman and Juergen Wiegel, professors in the department of microbiology at the University of Georgia, have been named to a top honor by one of America’s most prestigious scientific organizations.

The professors have been selected as Fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They join 446 others around the U.S. named as Fellows by AAAS, the world’s largest general scientific society, which was formed in 1848. They were awarded this honor because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

The new UGA Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold rosette pin on Feb. 17, during the AAAS Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Shimkets was honored for his contributions to the fields of developmental biology and bacterial physiology, particularly for pioneering discoveries in the regulation of development using the model microorganism Myxococcus xanthus.

Whitman’s citation credited him with distinguished contributions to the science of systematics and to the understanding of the physiology of the methane-producing prokaryotes.

The AAAS honored Wiegel for distinguished contributions to the fields of microbial biology, ecology and biotechnology, particularly for the discovery of many novel bacteria, metabolic pathways and enzymes. All three scientists are in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. Currently, members can be considered for the rank of Fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the Association’s 24 sections, or by three Fellows who are current AAAS members (so long as two of the three sponsors are not affiliated with the nominee’s institution), or by the AAAS chief executive officer.

Each steering group then reviews the nominations of individuals within its respective section and a final list is forwarded to the AAAS Council, which votes on the aggregate list.

The council is the policymaking body of the association, chaired by the AAAS president, and consisting of the members of the board of directors, the retiring section chairs, delegates from each electorate and each regional division, and two delegates from the National Association of Academies of Science.