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6 UT Faculty Members Elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

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(From left to right): David Cannatella, Bridget Goosby, Rasika Harshey, Lee Ann Kahlor, Xiuling Li and Lance Manuel were elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

AUSTIN, Texas — Six University of Texas at Austin faculty members have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society.

The honor recognizes important contributions to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics—including pioneering research, leadership within a given field, teaching and mentoring, fostering collaborations, and advancing public understanding of science.

The six new fellows from UT join more than 43 colleagues at the university who have earned the lifetime distinction. Nationally, AAAS elected 564 new fellows this year.

“UT Austin is immensely proud of these faculty members for their achievement,” Vice President for Research Daniel Jaffe said. “They join a select group of scientists and scholars the country over who are changing the world through their academic, classroom and community contributions.”

This year’s AAAS fellows from UT Austin hail from the College of Natural Sciences, the Cockrell School of Engineering, the Moody College of Communication and the College of Liberal Arts.

David Cannatella is a professor of integrative biology and associate director for collections in UT Austin’s Biodiversity Center. He conducts research into the systematics and evolution of frogs, as well as salamanders, birds and bird fossils. Cannatella received recognition for his work explaining neotropical frogs and using systematic and phylogeographic approaches to endangered cave amphibians.

Bridget Goosby, professor of sociology and co-director of the Life in Frequencies Health Disparities (LifeHD) Research Lab, specializes in identifying pathways linking racial discrimination and other forms of social marginalization to racial inequities in health over the life course and across generations. Her current research in this area integrates biological markers and innovative biometric technology to dynamically examine how inequality gets under the skin to affect health and chronic disease risk in targeted groups.

Rasika Harshey, a professor of molecular biosciences who holds the Lorene Morrow Kelley Professorship in Microbiology, studies how mobile genetic elements move, and flagella, the sensory “outboard motors” that allow bacteria to move according to their surroundings. This knowledge has led to understanding how bacteria sense and respond to life on a solid surface, compared with their well-studied behaviors in liquid. One of her recent studies discovered how some dying bacteria warn others to prepare defenses against nearby antibiotics.

Lee Ann Kahlor, professor of advertising and public relations, studies health and environmental risk communication, with an emphasis on information seeking, avoiding and sharing. She has explored information behaviors in contexts ranging from cancer to nanotechnology to carbon capture and storage. A secondary interest is in cultural and racial norms related to health behaviors and message processing.

Xiuling Li, professor of electrical and computer engineering and chemistry, researches nanostructured semiconductor materials and devices. She holds the Dow Chemical Company Endowed Professorship in Chemistry and the Temple Foundation Endowed Professorship. Her research opens new avenues by using innovative epitaxial growth and nanofabrication approaches, including metalorganic chemical vapor deposition, metal-assisted chemical vapor deposition, and strain-induced self-rolled-up membranes, to address the ever-present needs to reduce the size, weight, power and cost of microelectronic devices.

Lance Manuel, professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering and part of UT Austin’s Oden Institute, studies ways to improve the design practice for wind turbines, especially for complex inflow turbulence conditions and extreme climate events. As the Texas Atomic Energy Research Foundation Professor in Engineering, he also looks at long-term performance of deep-water offshore floating structures, probabilistic risk assessments of nuclear power plants and reactors, reliability of dam projects, and probabilistic seismic hazard and ground motion analyses.

“AAAS is proud to bestow the honor of AAAS fellow to some of today’s brightest minds who are integral to forging our path into the future,” said Sudip Parikh, AAAS chief executive officer and executive publisher of the Science family of journals. “We celebrate these distinguished individuals for their invaluable contributions to the scientific enterprise.”

The new fellows will be featured in the January 2022 issue of Science and will be honored at a ceremony later this year.