Douglas Schemske elected to National Academy of Sciences

Published May 4, 2017

Douglas Schemske

Douglas Schemske, a John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor emeritus of plant biology at Michigan State University, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Schemske earned the honor for his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research in the fields of population biology and evolutionary ecology.

"We are extremely proud of Professor Schemske's work on the genetic architecture of adaptation,” said Stephen Hsu, vice president for research and graduate studies at MSU. “He is a great exemplar of Michigan State’s world-leading faculty in plant science."

Schemske’s research has focused on understanding the factors that contribute to the origin and maintenance of life on earth. More specifically, this has included investigation of the ecological and genetic mechanisms of adaptation and speciation, the causes of high tropical diversity, the ecology and evolution of plant mating systems, and research approaches in plant conservation.

“I am honored to receive this recognition, made possible by the many terrific interactions I have had with students and colleagues over nearly five decades of exhilarating discovery,” Schemske said. “I am extremely grateful to MSU for providing the expertise, facilities and freedom to allow my research to explore new directions. I cannot imagine a better environment for fostering creativity and building knowledge.”

Schemske received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, was a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and held academic positions at Amherst College, the University of Chicago and the University of Washington prior to joining MSU in 2001. In addition to his election to the NAS, Schemske has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the E. O. Wilson Naturalist Award and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Schemske, who retired from MSU earlier this year, held joint appointments in the MSU Departments of Plant Biology and Horticulture and served as an AgBioResearch scientist and a faculty member of MSU’s W.K. Kellogg Biological Station. Although formally retired, Schemske continues his research and maintains collaborations with a number of MSU faculty members.

This year’s NAS class includes 84 new members and 21 foreign associates, bringing the total number of active NAS members to 2,290 and the total number of foreign associates to 475.

For a complete list of the 2017 NAS class, visit http://www.nasonline.org/news-and-multimedia/news/may-2-2017-NAS-Election.html.