Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology

Further contributing to the strong microbiology presence on the IU Bloomington campus, Yves Brun, Clyde Culbertson Professor of Biology, has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. This is a prestigious honor in the field of microbiology, as elected fellows are chosen “through a highly selective, peer-review process based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology,” according to the Academy’s selection criteria.

Roger Innes, chair of the Department of Biology noted, “It is a well deserved honor for Yves, who has provided tremendous leadership to our department and to the Microbiology Faculty Section for many years, and at the same time has maintained a highly productive lab performing cutting−edge research.”

Brun’s research focuses on bacterial development and life history, using Caulobacter crescentus as his model system. Notably, Brun was one of several researchers who found that Caulobacter crescentus could produce nature’s strongest glue — a finding that was widely publicized in the media in early 2006. Brun also looks at non-model bacterial species to offer evolutionary perspectives to his research. Using a multidisciplinary approach, Brun has assembled an expert team of collaborators and lab personnel to concentrate on biological questions regarding the regulation of cell differentiation, control of cellular asymmetry, bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation, evolutionary genomics, and bacterial aging. The Brun lab uses several approaches in their research projects including biochemistry, genetics, genomics, proteomics, molecular and cell biology, mathematical modeling, and biophysics.

Brun traveled to San Diego in late May to attend the Academy’s annual meeting and luncheon to honor new fellows. According to their website, “the American Academy of Microbiology is the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology, the world's oldest and largest life science organization. The mission of the Academy is to recognize scientists for outstanding contributions to microbiology and provide microbiological expertise in the service of science and the public.”

Recent professors of biology who have been elected fellows include Patricia Foster (2008) and Malcolm Winkler (2009). Carl Bauer, an adjunct professor of biology and chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, was also elected a fellow in 2009. Biology professors emeriti who have received this honor include Howard Gest, George Hegeman, Arthur Koch, Milton Taylor, and Eugene Weinberg.

American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) elected Distinguished Professor Ellen Ketterson a fellow of the organization. She was inducted at a special ceremony held at the group’s annual meeting in San Diego on Feb. 20. Founded in 1848, the not-for-profit association recognizes fellows for stellar contributions to science. Ketterson was selected for her “contributions to novel research in animal behavior and evolutionary biology.” She is internationally known for her 24-year population study on dark-eyed juncos.

Ellen Ketterson at a graduation
Nicole Gerlach takes a photo of Dawn O’Neal, being hooded by their advisor, Ellen Ketterson, at the IUB Graduate Commencement Ceremony. Photo: Aaron Bernstein/Indiana University

Ketterson’s experimental field research involves phenotypic engineering, “the experimental modification of species behavior and life history traits using hormones in order to test whether the modified animal performs better in nature than the unmodified animal.” Biology Chair Roger Innes calls Ketterson a pioneer in the field of animal behavior. “Her studies on the interplay between hormones, life history traits, and natural selection in birds have been highly influential,” Innes said. “Ellen is also a terrific role model and mentor for her students. Her leadership within our animal behavior group has helped make it one of the top programs in the country.” She is a former co-director and founding member of IU’s Center for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior. One of her most treasured honors is the Margaret Morse Nice Medal that she jointly earned with her late husband and collaborator, Val Nolan, to honor their lifetime contributions to ornithology. Currently, Ketterson is collaborating on an interactive, educational media project on the dark-eyed junco.

Other AAAS fellows on our faculty include Keith Clay, Thomas Kaufman, Curtis Lively, Michael Lynch, Jeffrey D. Palmer, Craig Pikaard, Loren Rieseberg, Michael Wade, and Miriam Zolan. Retirees Howard Gest and Drew Schwartz are also AAAS fellows.