© 2008 Tim Griffith

© 2008 Tim Griffith


SAN FRANCISCO (October 4, 2019) — The California Academy of Sciences is pleased to announce that 14 new members have joined the ranks of the Academy Fellows, a governing group of more than 450 distinguished scientists and other leaders who have made notable contributions to science or science education and communication. Nominated by their colleagues and selected by the Board of Trustees, the Academy Fellows are partners and collaborators in the pursuit of the Academy mission to explore, explain, and sustain life. The new members will be inducted during the Fellowship's next meeting on October 15, 2019. They will join such well-known Academy Fellows as Jane Lubchenko, Paul Ehrlich, José Sarukhán, Peter Norvig, Jean Langenheim, Zeray Alemseged, Jill Tarter, and many more.

During the meeting, the Fellowship will present one of its members with the Academy’s highest honor: the Fellows Medal. This honor is given to especially prominent scientists who have made outstanding contributions to their specific scientific fields. Medalists are nominated each year by the Academy Fellows and confirmed by the Board of Trustees. This year's medal will be awarded to Inez Fung, a climate researcher who has made tremendous scientific contributions to the understanding of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and is a founding Co-Director of the Berkeley Institute of the Environment. Among her numerous honors are membership of the National Academy of Sciences, the Roger Revelle Medal of the American Geophysical Union, and the C-G Rossby Medal of the American Meteorological Society.

The fellowship will also present the Distinguished Service Award, an honor that’s given to scientists, staff, or other colleagues who have made critical contributions to the Academy itself. This year’s award recipient is Terry Gosliner, who has previously served as Provost and Dean of Science and Research Collections at the Academy. He has identified thousands of species of nudibranch fauna and has been instrumental in developing relationships between the Academy and the Philippines.

Brief biographies for the Fellows Medalist and Distinguished Service Awardee as well as each of the new Fellows are included below.

Recipient of the 2019 Fellows Medal

Inez Fung
Professor of Atmospheric Science Department of Earth & Planetary Science
University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Fung has been studying climate change for more than 30 years. Using large-scale mathematical approaches that she pioneered, her work models the co-evolution of CO₂ and climate and shows how the diminishing ability of land and oceans to store carbon accelerate global warming. In 1998, she joined the University of California, Berkeley as the first Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Physical Sciences and the founding Director of the Berkeley Atmospheric Sciences Center. She was also a founding Co-Director of the Berkeley Institute of the Environment. Among her numerous honors are membership of the National Academy of Sciences, the Roger Revelle Medal of the American Geophysical Union, and the C-G Rossby Medal of the American Meteorological Society. Fung is one of the “Scientific American 50” and recipient of the World Technology Network Award for the Environment. She’s also featured in a children’s biography series, Women’s Adventures in Science, launched by the National Academy of Sciences. Fung received her SB and her ScD from MIT. The title of her biography is Forecast Earth.

Recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Service Award

Terrence Gosliner
Senior Curator Department of Invertebrate Zoology
California Academy of Sciences

As Senior Curator at the California Academy of Sciences, Dr. Gosliner focuses his research on the evolution of nudibranchs and other sea slugs. Previously, he has served the Academy as its Provost and Dean of Science and Research Collections, where he oversaw the development of the Academy’s exhibits, research, and educational programs during the construction of the new Academy. Since 1992, through his research on the nudibranch fauna of the reefs of the Philippines, he has helped document some of the most diverse marine ecosystems of the world. Gosliner was instrumental in developing the Philippine Coral Reef Exhibit at the Academy and has actively worked to strengthen ties with Bay Area Filipino communities. He has also worked extensively to build collaborations that support sustainable management and conservation of the rich reefs of the Philippines. Gosliner earned his BA from the University of California, Berkeley, MS from the University of Hawaii, and PhD from the University of New Hampshire.

New Academy Fellows

Katharyn Boyer
Professor of Biology Estuary & Ocean Science Center
San Francisco State University

Dr. Boyer is a coastal ecologist specializing in science-informed restoration of foundational marine habitats, including seagrasses and tidal marshes. As a professor of biology at San Francisco State University’s Estuary & Ocean Science Center, she teaches undergraduate and graduate students to apply basic ecological understanding and scientific methodology to conservation and management problems. Boyer pioneers restoration techniques for climate change adaptation, including “green infrastructure” enhancements that reduce shoreline erosion and provide refuge for wildlife during flooding. Growing up on Maryland farmland near the Chesapeake Bay sparked her life-long fascination with the connections between human society and the sea. She obtained her PhD in biology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

William (Bill) Dietrich
University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Dietrich is a professor in the Earth and Planetary Science Department at the University of California, Berkeley, where he began his career after he earned his PhD in geology from the University of Washington. His research focuses on the processes that drive landscape evolution. Dietrich is Co-Director of the National Center for Airborne Mapping, a member of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover team, and Director of the Eel River Critical Zone Observatory. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. Dietrich has won numerous awards for his roles as a researcher and lecturer.

Lauren Esposito
Assistant Curator and Schlinger Chair of Arachnology
California Academy of Sciences

Dr. Esposito is the Assistant Curator and Schlinger Chair of Arachnology at the California Academy of Sciences. She is also the co-founder and Director of Islands & Seas, a science, education, and conservation non-profit, as well as the co-creator of 500 Queer Scientists, a visibility campaign for LGBTQ+ people working in STEM careers. Her current research investigates the patterns and processes of evolution in spiders, scorpions, and their venoms. A passionate educator, Esposito has organized education programs on the importance of conserving biodiversity in local communities throughout the Americas, has worked in digital science curriculum development, and has taught courses on a range of topics for elementary through graduate students.

James W. Hicks
PhD Professor and Chair Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology School of Biological Sciences
University of California, Irvine

Dr. Hicks, an integrative animal physiologist, is a professor and Chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Irvine. He is known for his research on the functions of the vertebrate cardiopulmonary system. His published papers cover topics ranging from the evolution of the vertebrate heart to physiological responses to abiotic factors. He has also worked with the TV and film industry, notably as the life-science consultant on the Academy Award-winning film Wall-E. Hicks is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Aarhus, Denmark for his contributions to the field of comparative animal physiology.

Rebecca Johnson
Co-Director, Citizen Science
California Academy of Sciences

Dr. Johnson is Co-Director of Citizen Science at the California Academy of Sciences, where she supports and grows a community of naturalists working together to discover nature and collect important species occurrence data. She is also a research associate in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology. Johnson was recently honored with the Bay Nature Local Heroes for Environmental Education Award. A former intern in the Academy's Summer Systematics Institute, she now co-directs the program along with many other programs and initiatives. Johnson earned her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, her master’s in systematics and ecology from San Francisco State University and her PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Scott Loarie
Co-Director, iNaturalist
California Academy of Sciences

Dr. Loarie is Co-Director of iNaturalist—the world's largest citizen science social network and a joint initiative of the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society. iNaturalist and its related app Seek, geared towards brand-new outdoor explorers, have revolutionized the way people collect data on and observe biodiversity in real-time. His research focuses on the impact of land use and climate change on biodiversity across ecosystems worldwide, and on the application of technology to confront these conservation challenges. Loarie holds a bachelor's degree in earth systems science and a master’s degree in biological sciences from Stanford University, as well as a doctorate in environmental science and policy from Duke University.

Emanual Michael Maverakis
University of California, Davis

Dr. Maverakis is a physician-scientist at the University of California, Davis with expertise in cellular immunology and immunogenetics. Following undergraduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles he continued his scientific training as a medical student at Harvard Medical School and as a Howard Hughes Fellow at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology. Maverakis then joined the faculty of the University of California, Davis where he received Early Career Awards from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. He is also the recipient of an NIH Director’s New Innovator Award and a PECASE award, which he received from President Barack Obama.

Nathalie Nagalingum
Associate Curator & McAllister Chair of Botany
California Academy of Sciences

Dr. Nagalingum investigates the evolution and diversification of plants, including ferns and with a special focus on cycads. Her research delves into the genetic diversity of cycads in order to guide conservation efforts, ensuring that the most threatened species are prioritized. She serves as associate curator and McAllister Chair of Botany at the California Academy of Sciences. Nagalingum was a postdoc at Duke University, Harvard University, and the University of California, Berkeley. She formerly worked at the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, Australia and received her PhD in paleobotany from the University of Melbourne. Nagalingum’s field research brings her across the globe, from the outback of Australia to the rainforests of Malaysia.

Cristián Samper
President and CEO
Wildlife Conservation Society

Dr. Samper, a tropical biologist and an international authority on conservation biology and environmental policy, is the President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society. He joined WCS after serving for a decade as Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, the world’s largest natural history collection. At WCS, Samper leads the preeminent conservation organization with field programs in 65 nations and in all the world’s oceans. He also oversees the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo, which collectively welcome more than four million visitors annually.

Anneila Sargent
Ira S. Bowen Professor of Astronomy Emeritus
California Institute of Technology

Dr. Sargent is the Ira S. Bowen Professor Emeritus of Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology, where she earned her PhD and has spent her career. Her research has largely concentrated on understanding how stars and planetary systems are created and evolve. She has served as Director of Caltech’s Owens Valley Radio Observatory and was founding Director of the Combined Array for Millimeter-wave Astronomy. A former President of the American Astronomical Society, Sargent has also chaired the NASA Space Science Advisory Committee and is currently a member of the US National Science Board, a presidential appointment. She has been named University of Edinburgh Alumna of the Year and Distinguished Alumna of Caltech, among many other honors.

Alice Shapley
Professor and Vice Chair for Astronomy and Astrophysics Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Shapley is a Full Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard-Radcliffe University and her PhD from the California Institute of Technology, followed by a Miller Fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley. She has received both the Alfred P. Sloan and David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowships, and held the Aaronson, Biermann, and AAS Kavli Lectureships. Shapely uses both large ground-based telescopes and space-based facilities to collect optical and infrared images and spectra of distant galaxies observed in the early universe in order to understand galaxy formation and evolution.

Michelle Trautwein
Schlinger Chair of Diptera
California Academy of Sciences

Dr. Trautwein is an evolutionary biologist and the curator of flies at the California Academy of Sciences. Her work focuses on recovering the evolutionary history of arthropods and exploring their intersection with humans. Trautwein is currently recovering the fly tree of life, revealing the global diversity of human face mites, examining biodiversity in houses and cities, and engaging the public in the process of doing science. She was originally an art major as an undergraduate at the University of Texas and earned her PhD at North Carolina State University. She previously served as the Assistant Director of the Biodiversity Laboratory at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

Neal Williams
Professor and Chancellor's Fellow
University of California, Davis

Dr. Williams is a professor of pollination ecology and bee biology at the University of California, Davis, where he is also a Chancellor’s Fellow. His research is in developing integrated pollination strategies to overcome challenges in sustainable agriculture and help increase the resilience of native bee populations by enhancing their natural habitats. He also studies bee biology, ecology, and evolution. Williams holds a degree in botany and zoology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a PhD in ecology and evolution from the State University of New York, Stony Brook. He has authored over 140 papers academic papers and given dozens of talks on pollination and sustainable farming.

Carl Wunsch​​​​​​​
Visiting Professor of Physical Oceanography and Climate Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
​​​​​​​Harvard University

Dr. Wunsch is a physical oceanographer with expertise on many aspects of the fluid ocean and its relationship to climate. Much of his work has focused on using different observational data types in order to better understand the global-scale climatic implications of the oceans. He has spent many months researching at sea and served a crucial role in the development of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment—an international research program directed at understanding the mean and variability of ocean circulation. Wunsch is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, among other honors.

About the California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences is a renowned scientific and educational institution dedicated to exploring, explaining and sustaining life on Earth. Based in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, it is home to a world-class aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum, as well as innovative programs in scientific research and education—all under one living roof.

About Research at the California Academy of Sciences

The Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability at the California Academy of Sciences is at the forefront of efforts to understand two of the most important topics of our time: the nature and sustainability of life on Earth. Based in San Francisco, the Institute is home to more than 100 world-class scientists, state-of-the-art facilities, and nearly 46 million scientific specimens from around the world. The Institute also leverages the expertise and efforts of more than 100 international Associates and 450 distinguished Fellows. Through expeditions around the globe, investigations in the lab, and analysis of vast biological datasets, the Institute’s scientists work to understand the evolution and interconnectedness of organisms and ecosystems, the threats they face around the world, and the most effective strategies for sustaining them into the future. Through innovative partnerships and public engagement initiatives, they also guide critical sustainability and conservation decisions worldwide, inspire and mentor the next generation of scientists, and foster responsible stewardship of our planet.

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