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Donald Duvick, Agronomy, (515) 278-0861 or 276-2923
Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778


AMES, Iowa -- Donald Duvick, an affiliate professor of agronomy at Iowa State University, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of his distinguished achievements in plant breeding research.

Duvick was one of 72 new members and 15 foreign associates elected during the 139th annual meeting of the Academy in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, April 30.

Election to membership in the Academy is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a U.S. scientist or engineer. Those elected Tuesday bring the total number of active members to 1,907.

Duvick joined the Iowa State faculty in 1990 after retiring from Pioneer Hi-Bred International as senior vice president of research. He joined Pioneer Hi-Bred in 1951 as a corn breeder and geneticist and later directed the corn breeding department (1971 to 1975) and the plant breeding division (1975-1984). He was named vice president of research in 1984 and senior vice president of research in 1986.

Duvick's most recent research has focused on evolutionary changes in maize hybrid performance since the advent of hybrid maize. Since the 1970s, he also has conducted research on plant germplasm resources and their utilization in plant breeding. In earlier years, Duvick researched the genetics and practical applications of cytoplasmic male sterility in maize.

Duvick is a fellow of the Crop Science Society of America, the American Society of Agronomy and the American Association for Advancement of Sciences. He has served as a trustee for the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center and the International Rice Research Institute.

Duvick earned his doctoral degree in botany from Washington University, St. Louis, in 1951, and his bachelor's degree in agriculture from the University of Illinois in 1948.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare. It was established in 1863 by a congressional act of incorporation, signed by Abraham Lincoln, that calls on the Academy to act as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology.

Duvick is the ninth Iowa State faculty member to be elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences. The other faculty, their departments and the year of their election are:
  • John D. Corbett, chemistry, 1992
  • Harley Moon, veterinary medicine, 1991
  • Arnel Hallauer, agronomy, 1989
  • John Bremner, agronomy, 1984
  • Orville Chapman, chemistry, 1974. Deceased.
  • Jay Lush, animal science, 1967. Deceased.
  • Frank Spedding, physics and materials science, 1952. Deceased.
  • Henry Gilman, chemistry, 1945. Deceased.


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