Peter Dunn, a UWM distinguished professor of biological sciences, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an honor given to AAAS members by their peers.
Dunn was elected for his contributions to evolutionary ecology of birds, particularly in sexual selection, mate choice and climate change impacts.
He is one of 118 new AAAS fellows named in the biology section and is currently one of only two UWM faculty members with the title. The other is Pradeep Rohatgi, UWM distinguished professor of materials engineering.
AAAS is the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society and publisher of the global journal Science, which has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed, general science journal.
Dunn joined the UWM faculty in 1999. His research focuses on the evolutionary impacts of bird mating systems and the population genetics of threatened species. Among his findings: More “showy” physical traits in males attract females because they are indicators of stronger immunity genes, which help offspring survive.
Dunn’s work is important in understanding the genetics of disease resistance. “We’re not that far away from basic animal research to things important to humans,” he said.
Dunn earned his bachelor’s at the University of Maine, his master’s degree at Colorado State University and his PhD from the University of Alberta.
This year’s fellows will be formally announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science on Nov. 27.
AAAS members can be considered for the rank of fellow if nominated by the steering group of their respective sections, by three fellows, or by the association’s chief executive officer. Nominations are then voted on by the governing body, the AAAS Council.