Two University of Florida faculty members have been named to the National Academy of Sciences, bringing the total number of current and retired National Academies members at UF to 29.
Art Hebard, a distinguished professor of physics, and Doug Soltis, a distinguished professor of biology and curator at the Florida Museum of Natural History at UF, are among the 84 new members and 21 foreign associates announced this morning.
Soltis’s honor comes a year after his wife, Pam, also a plant biologist and distinguished professor and curator at the Florida Museum of Natural History, was named to the National Academy of Sciences and just three weeks after the couple were named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
“To have not one but two of our faculty members recognized with such a significant honor at the same time is remarkable. I am so pleased for UF and proud for them,” UF President Kent Fuchs said.
Hebard is known for his research on magnetism, superconductivity, and capacitance in a wide variety of new materials including thin films, graphene, fullerenes, and dilute magnetic semiconductors. He joined UF from AT&T Bell Labs in 1995 and became distinguished professor in 2007. In recent years, he has received two major awards from the American Physical Society: the 2008 James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials (for the discovery of superconductivity in potassium-doped C60) and the 2015 Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Physics Prize (for discovery of the superconductor-insulator transition in thin films).
Soltis studies plant evolution using modern DNA approaches, including next generation sequencing methods and the use of big data sets that require challenging computational analyses. His specific interests include plant phylogeny, genome doubling (polyploidy), floral evolution, angiosperm diversification and phylogeography.
Those elected today bring the total number of active members to 2,290 and the total number of foreign associates to 475. Foreign associates are nonvoting members of the Academy, with citizenship outside the United States.
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and — with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine — provides science, engineering, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.