Neal Stewart Recognized in the Field of Plant Molecular Genetics

Dr. C. Neal Stewart, UT Institute of Agriculture

D​r. C. Neal Stewart, a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences who also holds the Ivan Racheff Chair of Excellence in Plant Molecular Genetics, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Photo by R. Maxey, courtesy UTIA. Download image​.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — C. Neal Stewart, Jr., a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, who also holds the Ivan Racheff Chair of Excellence in Plant Molecular Genetics, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. Stewart was elected as a member of the Biological Sciences Section for his distinguished contributions to the field of plant molecular genetics, particularly bioenergy and biotechnology.

As co-director of the Tennessee Plant Research Center, Stewart directs research that spans topics that include plant biotechnology, genomics and ecology. Stewart has been performing agricultural biotechnology and biotechnology risk assessment research since 1994. His research has been supported by various granting agencies including the DOE, USDA, NSF, EPA and NASA. He has also participated in biotechnology ventures in the private sector during much of his science career.

Stewart, who is author of Research Ethics for Scientists: A Companion for Students (2011), teaches graduate-level courses in plant genomics and research ethics and an undergraduate course in plant biotechnology and genetics. He has given scientific and lay-presentations around the U.S. and in 16 countries. Stewart has authored or co-authored more than 230 publications, including seven books. He has editorial duties for seven scientific journals.

Stewart earned his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in 1993 and after various appointments at the University of Georgia and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, he assumed the Racheff Chair and the appointment of professor in 2002. ​

This year 347 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on Saturday, 13 February from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2016 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

This year’s AAAS Fellows will be formally announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science on 27 November 2015.

The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. Currently, members can be considered for the rank of Fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the Association’s 24 sections, or by any three Fellows who are current AAAS members (so long as two of the three sponsors are not affiliated with the nominee’s institution), or by the AAAS chief executive officer. Fellows must have been continuous members of AAAS for four years by the end of the calendar year in which they are elected.

Each steering group reviews the nominations of individuals within its respective section and a final list is forwarded to the AAAS Council, which votes on the aggregate list.

The Council is the policymaking body of the Association, chaired by the AAAS president, and consisting of the members of the board of directors, the retiring section chairs, delegates from each electorate and each regional division, and two delegates from the National Association of Academies of Science.


Details about Dr. Stewart and the research he directs can be found online at this link​.


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