College of Science Announces 2009 Galileo Circle Fellows

College of Science Announces 2009 Galileo Circle Fellows

By Lori StilesUniversity Communications
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UA College of Science Galileo Circle Fellows (from left) Michael Rosenzweig, E. Philip Kride (Copyright 2009 FOTOSMITH)
UA College of Science Galileo Circle Fellows (from left) Michael Rosenzweig, E. Philip Kride (Copyright 2009 FOTOSMITH)

Five faculty members of The University of Arizona College of Science have been named 2009 Galileo Circle Fellows, one of the highest honors bestowed upon faculty in the college.

The awards, established through the generosity of Galileo Circle members, recognize outstanding accomplishments in academic scholarship. Each fellow receives $5,000 and lifetime membership in the Galileo Circle, a society of individuals who support the UA College of Science and activities that nurture the future of science.

Galileo Circle Fellows are the epitome of the academic scholar, with a deep understanding over a broad range of science, a willingness to think in a truly interdisciplinary way and an ability to inspire colleagues and students alike.

"The College of Science is blessed with incredible faculty who are increasing our understanding of our universe and educating our students," said Joaquin Ruiz, dean of the college.

2009 GALILEO CIRCLE FELLOWS

Xiaohui Fan
Associate Professor of Astronomy/Steward Observatory

Xiaohui Fan has been called a star in the field of astronomy. He is a world leader in finding the most distant objects in the universe and determining their physical properties. His breakthrough discoveries have informed current views on the formation of early galaxies and supermassive black holes. He continues to push the frontiers of observational astronomy through his work on the Large Binocular Telescope and the future James Webb Space Telescope.

E. Philip Krider
Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Sciences/Institute of Atmospheric Physics

Philip Krider's pioneering scientific research in lightning and atmospheric electricity has earned him national and international prominence. Krider invented the lightning sensor technology that is now being used by the U.S. National Lightning Detection Network and by similar networks in more than 40 other countries. He also chairs a NASA/Air Force/Federal Aviation Administration advisory panel that ensures lightning safety during space launches. Krider holds eight patents, co-founded a successful Tucson company (Lightning Location and Protection), and is a noted historian of 18th century science.

Michael L. Rosenzweig
Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Named an Eminent Ecologist by the Ecological Society of America in 2008, Michael Rosenzweig is recognized as one of the most important figures in modern day ecology. Among Rosenzweig's numerous contributions are his seminal works on predator-prey interactions, community ecology and speciation theory. His visionary approach to conservation biology resulted in the development of a new field – reconciliation ecology, or the science of accommodating wild species in places where humans live, work or play.

F. Ann Walker
Regents' Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Ann Walker has received many distinguished national and international awards for her research in the areas of physical inorganic and bioinorganic chemistry and biophysics. Her fundamental investigations of cytochromes, which play a primary role in energy transport between cells, led her to work on model compounds to determine the structure and properties of heme proteins. Among the heme proteins she studies are those found in the saliva of blood-sucking insects such as the kissing bug. Findings from her work, along with those of her many collaborators, will ultimately lead to a better understanding of how Chagas' disease is transmitted.

Joseph C. Watkins
Professor of Mathematics

Joseph Watkins brings his deep mathematic skills in probability and statistics to interdisciplinary research on an array of problems in the life sciences. Examples of his collaborative work include the application of statistical analysis and modeling to the study of language and gene evolution in Southeast Asian/Pacific communities and the use of sophisticated Markov processes to model the population growth of soil bacteria. He also directs the Native American Summer Institute, a program aimed at preparing  American Indian students for higher education through a science and math curriculum based on biology, algebra and the economics of beekeeping.

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