News Service


Tom Baker, Entomology, (515) 294-7400
John Hill, Plant Pathology, (515) 294-3561
Skip Derra, News Service, (515) 294-4917


AMES, Iowa -- The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world's largest federation of scientists, has elected two Iowa State University professors Fellows to their organization.

Thomas Baker, professor of entomology, and John Hill, professor of plant pathology, are among 283 new Fellows selected by the AAAS. Each Fellow is chosen based on their efforts to advance science or foster applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.

Thomas Baker was cited as an AAAS Fellow for his work to understand how flying insects locate sources of odor and for neuroethologically based advances in understanding insect olfaction. Baker's work focuses on understanding the biosensors used by insects in detecting odors. In one project, funded by the Defense Advanced Projects Agency, Baker is investigating biosensors using wasp antennae as a model to see if an "artificial nose" can be developed to detect volatile compounds from unexploded mines and bombs. The biosensor also could be used for precision agriculture.

John Hill was selected as an AAAS Fellow for his excellence in teaching plant pathology and for cutting edge research on the detection, characterization and epidemiology of the soybean mosaic virus. Hill's research has focused, at the genetic and molecular levels, on target virus genes involved in overcoming plant resistance genes. Understanding this mechanism can lead to developing strategies to naturally control the disease. Hill also has developed novel technology to "track" released virus strains through disease epidemics caused by the virus. Recently, Hill and his colleagues developed the first stable, genetically engineered disease resistance in soybeans.

A ceremony honoring the new AAAS Fellows will be held on Feb. 19, during the 2000 AAAS annual meeting in Washington, D.C.


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