Two Dartmouth Professors become Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science



Jay Dunlap (photo by Joseph Mehling ’69)

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has elevated two Dartmouth professors to the rank of Fellow. Jay Dunlap and Carol Folt are among the 531 new Fellows named in December. Dunlap is a Dartmouth Medical School professor, chair of genetics and a professor of biochemistry. Folt is The Dartmouth Professor of Biological Sciences, acting provost, and dean of the faculty.

Both Dunlap and Folt were elected Fellows by their peers as part of the section on biological sciences. Dunlap was recognized for outstanding contributions to the genomics of the fungus Neurospora, in particular the genes involved in its circadian system and circadian clock control of cell behavior. Folt was honored for her groundbreaking limnological work on salmon restoration and conservation, and on metal toxicity in aquatic ecosystems and implications for human health. She was also recognized for advancing scientific education and literacy as dean of the faculty at Dartmouth. All new Fellows will be honored in February during the 2010 AAAS Annual Meeting in San Diego, Calif.


Carol Folt (Photo by Megan Steven ’02)

Dunlap said of his new AAAS rank, “It’s a wonderful and signal honor to be recognized as a AAAS Fellow for work on understanding the circadian biological timing system of Neurospora, and in this way to follow on the heels of my long-time colleague and collaborator Jennifer Loros who was elected a AAAS Fellow in 2006. Scientists work on problems for decades of course, in my case with over two decades of support from the National Institutes of Health, and it is rewarding to see that one’s work has made a mark. However, there is still a lot of science to do on the circadian clock; the job isn’t done yet.”

Folt said, “I am honored to receive this recognition by the AAAS Council. My research on the health and sustainability of aquatic ecosystems is by nature highly collaborative. The wonderful partnerships I have developed with my students and colleagues at Dartmouth have been essential, and I am grateful to all of them. As a scientist, I also am acutely aware of the growing need to improve scientific literacy in our society. Fortunately, as Dean of Faculty, I work every day with so many colleagues who are committed to preparing our students for leadership in addressing global issues with scientific understanding.”

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 any 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. A final list is forwarded to the AAAS’s policymaking body called Council, which votes to choose the new Fellows.

AAAS Fellows currently on the faculty at Dartmouth include Ambrose Cheung, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology; Richard Granger, Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences; Mary Lou Guerinot, the Ronald and Deborah Harris Professor in the Sciences and Professor of Biological Sciences; Jennifer Loros, Professor of Biochemistry and Genetics; Mark McPeek, the David T. McLaughlin Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences; and Carl Pomerance, Professor of Mathematics.

AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The non-profit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, and more.

Susan Knapp