Nelson, Martinez honored as AAAS Fellows

Beckman Institute faculty members Todd J. Martinez and Mark E. Nelson have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has named Beckman Institute faculty members Todd J. Martinez and Mark E. Nelson as AAAS Fellows, an honor given for their efforts to advance science or its applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.

Martinez and Nelson were two of 10 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign faculty members given the distinctive honor, and join an international class of 449 AAAS members as Fellows.

According to the AAAS Web site, it is the world's largest general scientific society, with 262 affiliated societies and academies of science that serve 10 million individual members. AAAS's flagship publication, Science magazine, has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of one million.

In addition to Martinez and Nelson, those chosen from the U of I campus were: Stewart H. Berlocher, Sydney A. Cameron, Akira Chiba, Linda P.B. Katehi, James M. Lisy, Marc Snir, Olga Soffer and Robert L. Sprague. Richard Herman, Chancellor of the Urbana campus, praised the new AAAS Fellows.

"Illinois students are truly fortunate to learn from and work alongside professors such as these," Herman said. "Through their research and teaching, these faculty members are pioneering the future of science, and passing on their knowledge and love of learning to a new generation of scientists."

Martinez is a professor in the Department of Chemistry, researcher at the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, and a member of Beckman's Theoretical and Computational Biophysics group. Martinez was named a Fellow for his "contributions to the development of the ab initio molecular spawning method, and applications to fundamental photochemical reactions where electron-nuclear separability breaks down."

Nelson is a professor in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and a member of Beckman's NeuroTech group. Nelson was chosen for "contributions to neuroethology, particularly the neural mechanisms and computational principles that animals use to actively acquire sensory information in complex, dynamic environments."