UT Austin Evolutionary Ecologist Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

April 24, 2014

Eric Pianka

Eric Pianka. Photo by Marsha Miller/UT Austin.

AUSTIN, Texas — The American Academy of Arts and Sciences announced this week the election of 204 new members, including Eric Pianka, an evolutionary ecologist in The University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences.

Pianka, the Denton A. Cooley Centennial Professor of Zoology at UT Austin, specializes in the evolutionary ecology of lizards. Currently, he is tying up his life’s work preserving his massive data set for future generations of evolutionary ecologists. Some of his research was the subject of a PBS NOVA documentary called “Lizard Kings.”

One of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, the academy is also a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to academy publications and studies of science and technology policy, energy and global security, social policy and American institutions, and the humanities, arts and education.

“It is a privilege to honor these men and women for their extraordinary individual accomplishments,” said Don Randel, chair of the academy’s board of directors. “The knowledge and expertise of our members give the academy a unique capacity — and responsibility — to provide practical policy solutions to the pressing challenges of the day. We look forward to engaging our new members in this work.”

Members of the 2014 class include winners of the Nobel Prize; the Wolf Prize; the Pulitzer Prize; National Medal of the Arts; MacArthur, Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships; and Grammy, Emmy, Oscar and Tony awards. 

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 11, 2014, at the academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

The list of the new members is located at https://www.amacad.org/members.aspx

For more information, contact: Marc Airhart, College of Natural Sciences, 512 232 1066.