Provost Coleman Named AAAS Fellow

Provost Jim Coleman, University of Arkansas.
Photo by University Relations

Provost Jim Coleman, University of Arkansas.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Jim Coleman, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs and professor of biological sciences, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science.

Chosen by their peers, AAAS Fellows are selected based on “scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.” Coleman was selected in the area of biological sciences for “distinguished contributions in plant physiological ecology, and for facilitating the development of increased research capacity for institutions of higher learning across the United States.”

A highly regarded plant physiological ecologist, Coleman’s research has focused on four themes:

  • How leaf and plant development affect their biochemistry and susceptibility to insects and diseases.
  • How plants allocate carbon and nutrients to roots, shoots, storage and reproduction in response to environmental stress.
  • The role of certain heat shock proteins in protecting plants from heat stress, and how the production of those proteins vary among different plant species.
  • How plants and ecosystems respond to rising carbon dioxide levels along with changing precipitation and deposition of nutrients and pollutants associated with climate change.

Additionally, Coleman has served as a chief institutional research officer at several universities and institutions, including Rice University, the University of Missouri, and the Desert Research Institute, where he helped facilitate significant growth in research and technology commercialization. He also has been in engaged in the National Science Foundation’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, which is designed to build research capacity at both state and institutional levels. Coleman directed Nevada’s EPSCoR program and served as an advisor on the EPSCoR programs of several other states, including Arkansas, Nevada, Maine, Rhode Island, Kansas, Nebraska, Vermont, South Carolina and Kentucky.

“It’s an honor to be named an AAAS Fellow for my research into plant physiological ecology and my work as a higher education administrator,” Coleman said. “I have been so lucky to pursue two true passions – to work with outstanding colleagues and students to try and understand the amazing process of evolution in shaping the extraordinarily cool ways that plants have adopted physiological processes to deal with stressful environments, and to help major research institutions and entire states build a vibrant research enterprise leading to advancement of science and the commercialization of innovation.”

Coleman earned a bachelor’s degree in forestry from the University of Maine and master’s and doctoral degrees from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He conducted postdoctoral work at Stanford University and Harvard University.

Coleman and other new AAAS Fellows will be honored Saturday, Feb. 15, during the 2020 AAAS Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington.

In addition to Coleman, current U of A faculty who are AAAS Fellows are:

  • William McComas, Distinguished Professor, curriculum and instruction, 2016
  • Ingrid Fritsch, professor, chemistry and biochemistry, 2015
  • David Stahle, Distinguished Professor, geosciences, 2015
  • Peter Ungar, Distinguished Professor; anthropology, 2012
  • Joseph Steinmetz, chancellor, Distinguished Professor; psychological science, 2011
  • Frank Millett, Distinguished Professor, chemistry and biochemistry, 2009
  • Michael Plavcan, professor, anthropology, 2008
  • Karen Moldenhauer, professor; crop, soil and environmental sciences, 2006
  • Peter Pulay, emeritus professor; chemistry and biochemistry, 2005
  • Charles Wilkins, Distinguished Professor; chemistry and biochemistry, 1996         

About AAAS: The American Association for the Advancement of Science is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science, as well as Science Translational Medicine; Science Signaling; a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances; Science Immunology; and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world. The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For additional information about AAAS, see www.aaas.org.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 3 percent of colleges and universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Contacts

Matt McGowan, science and research communications officer
University Relations
479-575-4246, dmcgowa@uark.edu

John Post, director of academic communications
University Relations
479-575-5555, johnpost@uark.edu

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