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K-State researchers chosen as 2023 AAAS fellows

Thursday, April 18, 2024

AAAS fellows

The American Association for the Advancement of Science selected three Kansas State University researchers as 2023 fellows. From left: Alice Boyle, associate professor of biology; Elizabeth Guertal, project director for the Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab; and Raj Khosla, department head and professor of agronomy. 



MANHATTAN — Kansas State University scientists Alice Boyle, Elizabeth Guertal and Raj Khosla have been selected as members of the 2023 American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, fellows.

Boyle, Guertal and Khosla join 502 scientists, engineers and innovators recognized in the 2023 fellows class for their scientifically and socially distinguished achievements.

Boyle, associate professor of biology, was selected for her fundamental contributions to understanding the role of rainfall in shaping animal reproduction, dispersal and migration ecology. Guertal, project director in the Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab at K-State, was chosen for her influence on the field of soil science, particularly targeting turfgrass fertility, environmental resilience and reduced resource allocation. Khosla, department head and professor of agronomy, was selected for his contributions to remote sensing, geospatial analysis, and novel techniques for stratifying crop productivity.

"This is an important recognition by one of the leading professional scientific societies, and we are proud to have Dr. Boyle, Guertal and Khosla join this distinguished group," said David Rosowsky, vice president for research. "Their research contributions to their respective fields are significant, and it is an honor to count them among our most distinguished faculty scholars."

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is the world's largest general scientific society. A tradition dating back to 1874, election as an AAAS fellow is a lifetime honor. Distinguished past honorees include W.E.B. DuBois, Ellen Ochoa, Steven Chu, Grace Hopper, Alan Alda, Mae Jemison and Ayanna Howard.

Fellows receive a certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin representing science and engineering to commemorate their selection. The 2023 fellows are featured in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science in April 2024.

These researchers join 24 current and emeritus K-State faculty members as fellows of the association.

Alice Boyle, biology department

Boyle's research focuses on mobile animals' evolutionary, behavioral and physiological ecology, especially avian movements. Her ecological studies take place in two diverse systems: the wet montane forests of Costa Rica and the grassland-dependent species of the tallgrass prairie in the central U.S.

Boyle joined K-State in 2012. She has received more than $2.8 million in research funding from organizations such as the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She has more than 60 publications.

Boyle is also an American Ornithological Society Fellow. Additional accolades for her work include the Katma Award and the Marion Jenkins Service Award from the American Ornithological Society as well as the K-State Faculty Science Communication Award. She also served on the editorial board for Ecosphere journal and was a former board member of the Cooper Ornithological Society.

Elizabeth Guertal, Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab

As the project director for the Center of Excellence on Mitigation, Adaptation and Resilience to Climate-Change in Haiti, Guertal is responsible for the center's day-to-day operations, supporting the center's vision and goals, and serving as a leader in the national education, research and outreach community. She also supports the development of individual plans with the Haitian partner institutions while fostering agricultural education, training, research and extension as well as improving partnerships.

Before joining the Sustainable Intensification and Innovation Lab team, Guertal was the Rowe-endowed professor of soil fertility with an emphasis on turfgrass fertilizers at Auburn University. With more than $32 million in external funding and 210 journal articles, book chapters, popular press articles and other publications, she is widely sought as a consultant for soil fertility in highly managed systems. She has consulted for Golf Digest's top 100 golf courses, prominent equestrian facilities and numerous athletic facilities. In 2010, she was awarded the Auburn University Leischuck Award. 

Guertal has served as the editor-in-chief for the Agronomy Journal and as associate editor for Crop Science and the Soil Science Society of America Journal. She is a past president of the Crop Science Society of America. Guertal is a former Fulbright Fellow and elected fellow of the Crop Science Society of America, the Soil Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy. She is one of only three women in the world to hold the distinction of receiving all three fellowships. In 2022, she served a one-year assignment with the U.S. Agency for International Development as a Jefferson Science Fellow. She obtained her bachelor's degree in agriculture and a master's in soil science from the Ohio State University, and she earned her doctorate in soil science from Oklahoma State University.

Raj Khosla, agronomy department

Khosla is an internationally recognized authority on digital agriculture. He specializes in employing spatial and temporal diversity in managed agroecosystems and translating those into better management decisions for producers.

He has secured more than $20 million in external funding from federal, state, private and international agencies. Currently, Khosla is co-leading multi-state, multi-year, federally funded efforts to co-develop and evaluate next-generation biodegradable soil moisture and soil-nitrate sensors as well as novel AI algorithms to enhance water and nitrogen-use efficiencies in irrigated production systems. Khosla has co-authored more than 300 publications, including book chapters, refereed journal articles, extension articles, proceedings, bulletins, reports, popular press articles and digital media.

Khosla served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science Breakthroughs 2030. He co-authored the 250-page report that influenced the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Innovation Agenda 2025. Previously, he served as the senior science advisor to the U.S. Secretary of State during his term as the Jefferson Science Fellow with the National Academy of Science. He also served on the U.S. Presidential Advisory Board on Positioning, Timing and Navigation for NASA. He currently serves on the International Advisory Board of the Swedish Land University.

He is a fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, the Soil Science Society of America, and the Soil and Water Conservation Society, and he is the founder and past president of the International Society of Precision Agriculture. Khosla is a highly sought-after presenter and a frequent speaker at national and international conferences. He has delivered keynotes in more than 30 countries around the world.

Khosla obtained his bachelor's degree in agricultural sciences from the University of Allahabad. He holds a master's in soil physics and a doctorate in soil fertility and crop management from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, now known as Virginia Tech. 

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Guertal is Grr-tall; Khosla is Kos-la.


American Association for the Advancement of Science


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Alice Boyle
Alice Boyle, associate professor of biology.

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Elizabeth Guertal

Elizabeth Guertal, project director in the Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab.

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Raj Khosla

Raj Khosla, agronomy department head and professor.