Professor Aaron King is one of 19 U-M researchers among 702 newly elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The new fellows are being honored for their efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished, AAAS announced Nov. 29, 2012.

King, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and associate professor of mathematics is honored for distinguished contributions to the fields of computational and statistical biology, particularly as applied to understanding the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases, according to AAAS.

"Aaron King has made significant contributions to the theory of ecology and epidemiology,” said Pej Rohani, a professor in the U-M Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and for the Center for the Study of Complex Systems. “Perhaps the largest impact of Aaron's work has been through his pioneering efforts to confront mechanistic transmission models with incidence data, focusing on important disease systems such as cholera and measles. In addition to developing much-needed machinery for statistical inference, Aaron has made his computational tools available to the wider community via open sourced software: this is in itself a major contribution to the scientific community."

"It is great to see Aaron's work recognized,” said Mercedes Pascual, Rosemary Grant Collegiate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. “His contributions to innovative approaches to improve the way we confront models to data has opened the doors to consideration of much more flexible formulations of the models, and therefore, to more powerful ways to ask questions about underlying mechanisms from retrospective temporal records in epidemiology and ecology."

“This honor just confirms what we already know: we are very lucky to have Aaron as a significant part of our exceptional group in theoretical ecology,” said Deborah Goldberg, Elzada U. Clover Collegiate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and department chair.

"The recognition is very gratifying, but if I've been able to make a contribution worthy of it, it's because I've been so fortunate as to have been able to work with so many brilliant scientists and scholars, and to have received so much support from so many quarters,” said King."

The tradition of AAAS fellows began in 1874. Members can be considered for the rank of fellow if nominated by steering groups of the association's 24 sections, by any three fellows who are current AAAS members, or by the AAAS chief executive office. The organization's policymaking council votes on the final list.

Founded in 1848, AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science.

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