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News and Communications Services

Four university researchers named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013

       

 

MANHATTAN -- The world's largest scientific society has named four Kansas State University faculty members among its 2013 fellows, a prestigious recognition given by their peers.

Earning the distinction of research fellow from the American Association for the Advancement of Science:

* Walter Dodds, university distinguished professor of biology: for distinguished contributions to research and education in freshwater ecology and environmental sciences, particularly for advancing the understanding of nutrient dynamics and pollution in streams.

* Donald Kaufman, professor of biology: for distinguished contributions to mammalian ecology, in particular for novel long-term experimental studies of fire, grazer and weather impacts on small mammals in native prairies.

* John Leslie, university distinguished professor of plant pathology and department head: for pioneering genetics of the fungal genus Fusarium, for leading laboratory and scientific writing workshops worldwide, and for service as head of the department of plant pathology.

* John Reese, professor of entomology: for distinguished contributions to entomological sciences, particularly in the fields of plant-insect interactions and plant resistance to insects.

The four Kansas State University fellows are among the 388 fellows chosen this year. Their selection follows a vote by their peers in the association, who looked at potential fellows' distinguished efforts to advance science.

Dodds, Kaufman, Leslie and Reese will be recognized at a certificate and pinning ceremony at the association's annual meeting on Feb. 15, 2014, in Chicago.

"We congratulate our newest fellows in the American Association for the Advancement of Science," said Kirk Schulz, university president. "Drs. Dodds, Kaufman, Leslie and Reese are very deserving of this recognition and have each made significant contributions to research and education. Our distinguished researchers will be our advantage as Kansas State University moves forward to becoming a Top 50 public research university by 2025."

The 2013 fellows will be formally announced in the Nov. 29 edition of the journal Science. Kansas State University currently has 19 American Association for the Advancement of Science fellows.

* Dodds is an expert on the freshwater ecology. He has studied the effects of nitrogen contamination in stream waters and the effects stream drying and flooding have on the habit and species that live in streams. He has more than 140 publications in peer-reviewed scientific literature, including top journals such as Science and Nature, and has authored four books.

Dodds is coordinator of aquatic and hydrological research at the Konza Prairies Biological Station, and a co-principal investigator on the Long-Term Ecological Research Grant from the National Science Foundation. The project looks at how fire, grazing and climatic variables are essential factors in a functioning prairie ecosystem. He also initiated the Stream Experimental and Observational Network, or STREON, which includes a national multimillion-dollar experiment to quantify the effects of chronic nutrient enrichment on streams.

* Kaufman specializes in mammalian ecology. Since 1981, he has conducted studies on the small mammal populations of the Konza Prairie Biological Station, looking at the effects of fire and grazers on the prairie rodents and shrews, effects of woody invasion on prairie mammals, nongame wildlife conservation and prairie ecology.

Kaufman has published more than 160 peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters. He also has served as principal investigator or co-principal investigator on grants of nearly $10 million from the National Science Foundation, Kansas Army National Guard and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.

* Leslie is one of the world's leading experts on a devastating group of fungi in the genus Fusarium. These fungi cause billions of dollars in losses annually from plant diseases and because of the production of mycotoxins, which can sicken and kill humans and domesticated animals.

Leslie, who specializes in the biochemical, molecular and population genetics of model and plant pathogenic fungi, has made advancements in how to identify and control Fusarium diseases and to reduce exposure to mycotoxins. He also has identified and named four new species of the fungus with colleagues. Leslie has edited or co-authored six books and published more than 140 academic journal articles. His research has been granted one patent. Additionally, his work with Fusarium helped establish the biannual and international Fusarium Laboratory Workshop at Kansas State University. When not held at the university, he organizes the workshop in countries such as Argentina, Australia, Korea, Malaysia and South Africa.

* Reese's research focuses on plant resistance to insects. He specializes in aphid salivary enzymes in insect-plant interactions, functionality of genes in aphid salivary glands, plant resistance to aphids and plant tolerance to aphid feeding damage.

Reese has published more than 120 peer reviewed journal articles. Additionally, he co-advised a student who was able to silence a gene that is expressed in aphid salivary glands, which resulted in a Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences publication. One-hundred percent of the aphids in which the gene had been silenced died when placed back on their host plant, leading to a better understanding of RNAi host plant resistance. Silencing a gene expressed in pest species and not expressed in non-target organisms is a big step forward in transgenic safety. 

Sources

Walter Dodds
785-532-6998
wkdodds@k-state.edu

Donald Kaufman
785-532-6622
dwkaufma@k-state.edu

John Leslie
785-532-6176
jfl@k-state.edu

John Reese
785-532-4708
jreese@k-state.edu

Written by

Greg Tammen
785-532-4486
gtammen@k-state.edu


At a glance

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has named four Kansas State University faculty members among its 2013 fellows.

Notable quote

"We congratulate our newest fellows in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Drs. Dodds, Kaufman, Leslie and Reese are very deserving of this recognition and have each made significant contributions to research and education. Our distinguished researchers will be our advantage as Kansas State University moves forward to becoming a Top 50 public research university by 2025." 

– Kirk Schulz, Kansas State University president