CORVALLIS, Ore. — Two Oregon State University researchers have been named 2022 American Association for the Advancement of Science fellows for distinguished contributions to the fields of fungal biology and coral reef biology.

Joseph Spatafora and Virginia Weis were both honored in the category of biological sciences.

They are among the 505 fellows honored nationwide, chosen by the Council of AAAS, its member-run governing body. Their selections are based on researchers’ scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

The organization categorizes fellows into 24 scientific disciplines. Members of AAAS can be considered for the rank of fellow if nominated by the steering group of their respective section, by three fellows or by the association’s chief executive officer. AAAS officially announced the 2022 fellows this week.

Spatafora is head of the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences and an OSU Distinguished Professor. He was chosen for his contributions to the field of fungal biology, particularly in the phylogeny and ecology of fungi, and as “a supportive and inspiring mentor to the next generation of mycologists,” according to AAAS.

Weis is the acting associate dean for research and graduate studies in OSU’s College of Science, an OSU Distinguished Professor and the Dr. Russ and Dolores Gorman College of Science Faculty Scholar in the Department of Integrative Biology. She was selected for her distinguished contributions in the fields of coral reef biology and coral-algal symbiosis, particularly in the cellular and molecular mechanisms governing the onset, maintenance and breakdown of the partnership.

AAAS bestows the distinction of fellow on members “whose efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished” in the areas of research, teaching, technology, academic administration, industry, government and science communication.

The organization has been choosing fellows since 1874, and past honorees include astronomer Maria Mitchell in 1875, inventor Thomas Edison in 1878, anthropologist Margaret Mead in 1934 and computer scientist Grace Hopper in 1963.

According to AAAS, OSU has had 155 fellows since 1915, when the university was Oregon State Agricultural College. Spatafora and Weis bring the total to 157.

Founded in 1848, AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publishes Science and other journals.

General OSU

About Oregon State University: As one of only three land, sea, space and sun grant universities in the nation, Oregon State serves Oregon and the world by working on today’s most pressing issues. Our more than 36,000 students come from across the globe, and our programs operate in every Oregon county. Oregon State receives more research funding than all of the state’s comprehensive public universities combined. At our campuses in Corvallis and Bend, marine research center in Newport, OSU Portland Center and award-winning Ecampus, we excel at shaping today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders.

Story By: 

Molly Rosbach, [email protected]


Joseph Spatafora, [email protected]; Virginia Weis, [email protected]


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