Five University of Minnesota Twin Cities researchers have been elected as members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honor societies. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences honors those making preeminent contributions to their fields and the world. Members are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs. An induction ceremony is planned for October.
The five faculty who are among only 276 new members this year include:
Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Ph.D., is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the College of Biological Sciences. Her work explains the ecological diversification and community assembly of the dominant group of trees in North America. Currently, Cavender-Bares is harnessing remote sensing to detect hotspots of tree diversity, tree disease, and ecosystem services for sustainability. In addition, she was one of the coordinating lead authors of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services report for the Americas. In 2016, she helped launch the Oaks of the Americas Conservation Network, which promotes the protection of oak species across North America. Cavender-Bares has been elected to the academy for her contributions to evolutionary and population biology and ecology. Learn more on her faculty page.
Laura Gagliardi, Ph.D., is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the College of Science and Engineering’s Department of Chemistry. She also holds a McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair. Gagliardi is a renowned theoretical and computational chemist and is internationally known for her contributions to the development of electronic structure methods and their use for understanding complex chemical systems. Her research has led to paradigm-shifting thinking about chemical systems, their properties, and new materials. Gagliardi’s research affects applications ranging from energy sustainability to nuclear waste management. She leads the multi-disciplinary Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center (ICDC) . She also is a leader in the Department of Chemistry’s Chemical Theory Center and has served as director of the Nanoporous Materials Genome Center. Gagliardi has been elected to the academy for her contributions to chemistry. Learn more on her faculty page.
Marc M. Hirschmann, Ph.D., is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the College of Science and Engineering’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. He also is a Distinguished McKnight Professor and holds the Robert C. and Carol G. Gunn Professorship. As a renowned experimental petrologist, Hirschmann reproduces the temperatures and pressures of rocks in Earth’s interior, studying the processes of melting and chemical mass transfer. In recent years, this work has included investigations of the elements in magmas and rocks that are essential to Earth’s habitability and climate. A second focus has been the study of the early formation and evolution of rocky planetary bodies including Earth, Mars, and the Moon. Hirschmann was also recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Hirschmann has been elected to the Academy of Arts and Sciences for his contributions to earth sciences. Learn more on his faculty page.
Larry Jacobs, Ph.D., is the McKnight Presidential Chair in Public Affairs, the Walter F. and Joan Mondale Chair for Political Studies, and director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance (CSPG) at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Under his direction, CSPG has become a regional hub of research and initiatives to strengthen democratic institutions and civic engagement. His research interests lie in national and regional elections, public opinion and polling, health care reform, and political communications. Jacobs is also an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Political Science in the College of Liberal Arts on the Twin Cities campus. Jacobs has been elected to the academy for his contributions in the field in public affairs and public policy. Learn more on his faculty page.
Erika Lee, Ph.D., is a Regents Professor; Distinguished McKnight Professor in the Department of History and the Asian American Studies program in the College of Liberal Arts ; director of the Immigration History Research Center ; the Rudolph J. Vecoli Chair in Immigration History; 2018 Andrew Carnegie Fellow; author of America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States and creator of Immigrant Stories, a National Endowment for the project that works with recent immigrants and refugees to create a digital collection about immigration in the US and globally. Lee has been elected to the academy for her contributions to the field of historical research and immigration history. Learn more on her faculty page.
"We congratulate these incoming members of the Academy for excelling in a broad array of fields; we want to celebrate them and learn from them," said Nancy C. Andrews, chair of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. "When Academy members come together, bringing their expertise and insights to our work, they help develop new insights and potential solutions for some of the most complex challenges we face."
The full list of 2020 academy members is available on the American Academy of Arts and Sciences website.