WIU biology professor selected as AAAS fellow

W/ photo Peer Western Illinois University Department of Biological Sciences Biology Professor Brian D. Peer CREDIT WIU

The Western Illinois University Department of Biological Sciences is honoring Biology Professor Brian D. Peer for his selection as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The AAAS is the largest multidisciplinary scientific organization in the world and publisher of the journal “Science.” Election as a fellow in the AAAS is among the highest honors in the scientific community. It is awarded to members whose efforts on behalf of the advancement of science, or its applications, are scientifically or socially distinguished. 

The new fellows will be recognized Sept. 21 at the annual Fellows Forum in Washington, D.C. AAAS Fellows are elected by a steering committee. Election to this rank is considered a lifetime honor.

Mr. Peer was honored for excellence in the study of avian brood parasitism and mentoring student research.

Focus brood parasites

Mr. Peer studies the coevolution between obligate avian brood parasites and their hosts. Brood parasites lay their eggs in the nests of other birds. They then rely on these hosts to care for their offspring. He and his WIU students investigate the adaptations brood parasites have evolved to exploit host parental investment and the counter-adaptations hosts have evolved to resist parasitism.

With over 75 publications and mentorship of more than 20 graduate students, Mr. Peer’s dedication to advancing the understanding of avian behavioral ecology through collaborative research underscores his impactful contributions to the field. 

Mr. Peer has previously been elected an American Ornithological Society Fellow in 2014. That was for his significant contributions to the field of ornithology. He also received the WIU Provost’s Award for Excellence in Scholarly Activity in 2011.

“This is incredibly exciting and humbling to join such a distinguished cadre of scientists. I was delighted to see that in addition to recognizing my work on avian brood parasitism, my work with our students was also acknowledged,” Mr. Peer said in a news release. “This honor would not have been possible without the impressive students with whom I have been able to collaborate while at Western Illinois University.” 

To see the complete list of the AAAS fellows visit here. For more information on WIU’s Biology Sciences program, visit wiu.edu/biology.

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