AIBS honors diversity in the biological sciences

May 7, 2008

Holly Menninger

202-628-1500 x 229

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Institute of Biological Sciences is committed to increasing the participation in biology of individuals from traditionally underrepresented groups, including women, minorities, and persons with disabilities. Each year through the Diversity Scholars and Diversity Leadership Awards, AIBS recognizes the academic achievements of individuals from underrepresented groups as well as programs dedicated to broadening participation in the biological sciences. The AIBS Board of Directors and Awards Committee are pleased to announce the following honorees for 2008:

  • Diversity Scholar: Timothy Baldwin, PhD student, Alabama A&M University
  • Diversity Scholar: Lauren McGee, MS student, The Ohio State University
  • Diversity Leadership Award: Strategies for Ecology Education, Development, and Sustainability (SEEDS), a program of the Ecological Society of America (ESA)

The awards will be presented on May 12 at the AIBS Annual Meeting, "Climate, Environment, and Infectious Diseases," during a special luncheon with the AIBS Board, staff, and guests to be held at the Westin Arlington Gateway in Arlington, Virginia.

AIBS President Rita Colwell and Executive Director Richard O'Grady said in a joint statement: "AIBS continues to work to increase professional opportunities for all students interested in pursuing careers in the biological sciences. We are pleased to recognize Timothy and Lauren for their outstanding academic accomplishments and to recognize the efforts of the ESA SEEDS program for its creativity, commitment, and effectiveness in promoting diversity in biology."

Below are brief descriptions of the award winners:

Timothy Baldwin (Diversity Scholar) is currently earning his PhD at Alabama A&M University under the guidance of Dr. Yong Wang. He is investigating "Pool Breeding Amphibian Response to Multi-scale Forest Disturbance." Timothy received a Bachelor of Science degree from North Carolina State University (NC State) in Zoology and History, and was a Thomas Jefferson and University Scholar. While at NC State, he worked as an intern on various herpetofaunal projects. Timothy continued his education at Marshall University, where he earned a Master's degree on the comparative ecology of Rough and Smooth Greensnakes in West Virginia, advised by Dr. Thomas Pauley. He was awarded the John Casto Research Award for his Master's degree work.

Lauren McGee (Diversity Scholar), a native of Los Angeles, is completing her Master's degree in Environmental Science at The Ohio State University. She received her undergraduate degree in Agricultural/Earth and Environmental Science at North Carolina A&T State University. Her research interests include biogeochemical processes in aquatic and soil ecosystems-in particular, those altered by human activity. She has been a member of ESA since 2003 and is heavily involved in its SEEDS program. As a part of receiving the AIBS Diversity Scholar award, Lauren will present a portion of her thesis research at the 2008 ESA annual meeting.

Strategies for Ecology Education, Development, and Sustainability (Diversity Leadership Award) is a program of the Ecological Society of America. Its mission is to diversify and advance the profession of ecology through opportunities that stimulate and nurture the interest of underrepresented students. Focused at the undergraduate level, opportunities sponsored by the program include student field trips, undergraduate research fellowships, ESA Annual Meeting travel awards, and campus ecology chapters. Teresa Mourad, director of Education & Diversity Programs, and Melissa Armstrong, Diversity Programs Manager, will receive the award on behalf of the ESA.

For more information on diversity programs and resources at AIBS, see
For more information on the 2008 AIBS annual meeting, see

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