Professor Patricia Wittkopp was elected to the prestigious club of Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2021.

Wittkopp is the Sally L. Allen Collegiate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. She was recognized "for outstanding contributions to the field of evolutionary genetics, including uncovering genetic and genomic changes responsible for phenotypic differences within and between species, and for exceptional teaching and mentoring."

“Trisha richly deserves this recognition,” said George Zhang, Marshall W. Nirenberg Collegiate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. “She has written some of the most important papers on gene expression evolution, especially on its molecular mechanisms. Her dissection of the genetic basis of gene expression changes into cis- vs. trans-changes is classic and her characterization of the mutational source of gene expression variation brings a new perspective to the field of evolutionary genetics. Over the years, I have learned a great deal about expression evolution by just sitting on the dissertation committees of many of her students.” 

The University of Michigan led the nation with 20 faculty members elected as 2021 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

”I am proud of this honor and excited to be recognized as part of this group of outstanding scientists,” said Wittkopp. “At the same time, I am reminded how often we recognize one or a small number of scientists for a body of work that involves many people. If you look at my CV, you’ll see I’ve published very few papers as sole author. Rather, I’ve been privileged to work with many amazing students, postdoctoral fellows, lab staff, collaborators, mentors, and colleagues (many of which don’t show up on my CV) that have made my ideas, experiments, analysis, and writing better. I hope I let them know how much I appreciated their partnership in real time, and will keep striving to do so. Interacting with the scientific community, both locally and globally, is one of my favorite things about being a scientist and unfortunately something that the pandemic (and being department chair) has made harder to do. I hope we can all find ways to connect with our scientific communities and discuss the shared scientific interests that bring us all together in EEB.”  

“Trisha is incredibly deserving of this honor,” said EEB Professor Meghan Duffy. “She has had a major impact on our understanding of the role of gene expression in evolution, plus is an exceptional teacher and mentor. We're very lucky to have her here in EEB!”

The U-M researchers are among 564 scientists, engineers and innovators, spanning 24 scientific disciplines, recognized for their scientifically and socially distinguished achievements, AAAS announced Jan. 26.

AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals. Selection as an AAAS fellow is among the most distinct honors within the scientific community.

Read more in the University Record 20 U-M scientists, engineers named AAAS fellows for 2021.