Dr. Benson named AAAS Fellow

Four UConn professors, including three from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and one from UConn Health, were named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science this week.

The AAAS grants Fellow status based on scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. The world’s largest general scientific society, AAAS publishes the journal Science and several other scientific publications, and aims to advance science and serve society through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, and public engagement.

David Benson is a professor of molecular and cell biology in CLAS whose research and teaching expertise are in the broad areas of bacterial molecular genetics, and microbial physiology and ecology. He is particularly interested in genomic and biochemical characteristics that align with the distribution of microorganisms in environments.

Much of his work focuses on nitrogen-fixing plant symbioses, cheese ripening microbiology, and tick-borne diseases. His recent work has used genetic and protein sequence analysis to study microbe-plant interactions. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Benson is being honored for highly regarded leadership in understanding actinomyete-induced symbiotic nitrogen fixation and for disseminating his scientific discoveries in a manner that was well received.

Benson is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and served as a Jefferson Science Fellow at the U.S. Department of State from 2012-2013, advising on issues related to microbiology, including biological warfare.

For full UConn Today article, click here.