UA Scientist Named AAAS Fellow

Dr. Patty Sobecky

Dr. Patricia Sobecky

From the January 2017 Desktop News The world’s largest general scientific society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, elected a University of Alabama scientist to the rank of Fellow.

Dr. Patricia Sobecky, UA associate provost for academic affairs and professor of biological sciences, was one of 391 people elected as an AAAS Fellow in 2016. Awardees are chosen because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

“We offer our enthusiastic congratulations to Patty for this well-deserved recognition by her scientific peers,” said Dr. Kevin Whitaker, UA provost. “She is dedicated to her discipline and has demonstrated an uncommon breadth of research in environmental microbiology, microbial ecology, and plasmid biology.”

The AAAS Fellows were announced formally in the journal Science on Nov. 25. Sobecky and the other new fellows will be presented with a certificate and a rosette pin Feb. 18 during the AAAS annual meeting in Boston.

A microbiologist, Sobecky has served as an associate provost since 2014. She first joined UA in 2009, when she chaired the department of biological sciences. Before her UA hiring, Sobecky was an associate professor at Georgia Tech, where she also directed and managed that institution’s Genome Center.

A scientific article she co-authored in 2015, “Microbial Responses to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: From Coastal Wetlands to the Deep Sea,” was among the top 1 percent of most cited papers in its field that year.

AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes nearly 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. It publishes the journal Science, which has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world.