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Stephenson Receives the Distinguished Professor Title

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14 March 2011

Andrew Stephenson, a professor of biology at Penn State University, has been selected to receive the title of Distinguished Professor of Biology. Stephenson is recognized for his groundbreaking discoveries in the evolutionary biology of plants. His contributions to the understanding of Darwin's theories of sexual selection and the evolution of mating systems are recognized internationally and his work also affects broad areas of plant biology, including plant physiology and breeding. He has demonstrated that, regardless of the haphazard nature of pollen deposition, plants can exercise a great deal of control over which of the deposited pollen grains actually fertilize the ovules, which of the immature seeds mature, and which abort during development.

Stephenson, who is a researcher in Penn State's Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, the Center for Chemical Ecology, and the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, also is the assistant head for research in the Department of Biology. He has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career. In 2003, he was named Most Highly Cited Researcher in the fields of ecology and environmental science in Current Contents -- a service database from the Institute for Scientific Information. His other honors include a Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement in 2002, a Faculty Associates Award for Outstanding Involvement in Undergraduate Research in 1997, an Edward D. Bellis Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate Education in 1996, a George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1992, and an International Agricultural Centre (IAC) Fellowship from the IAC in the Netherlands in 1987.

Stephenson has published numerous scientific papers in journals such as PLoS ONE, Ecology, the American Journal of Botany, Evolution, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He was elected as the Visiting Waynflete Fellow at the University of Oxford in England in 1994, and he was the Distinguished Lecturer at the Linnaeus Institute for Systematic Botany at the University of Uppsala in Sweden in 1990.

Stephenson earned Ph.D. and M.S. degrees at the University of Michigan in 1978 and 1976, respectively. He earned a B.A. degree at the Miami University in Ohio in 1973.

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