CFAES Dean, Two Faculty Members Chosen as AAAS Fellows

Esther van der Knaap is one of three new AAAS Fellows from CFAES. (Photo by Ken Chamberlain)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Three of the six Ohio State University faculty elected this year as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) are from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Election as Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers in recognition of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Founded in 1848, AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society.

The new Fellows from CFAES are Bruce McPheron, dean of the college and vice president for agricultural administration; Dan Herms, professor and chair of the Department of Entomology; and Esther van der Knaap, associate professor in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science.

New Fellows will be welcomed in a ceremony at the AAAS annual meeting in San Jose, California, in February.

“This worldwide recognition of our faculty by their peers underscores their many contributions to society in disciplines from chemistry and crop science to entomology and pathology,” Ohio State President Michael V. Drake said in a statement. “Our researchers continue to push the boundaries of their scholarship and teaching to improve lives and solve problems of global significance.”

McPheron was recognized for distinguished contributions to agricultural entomology and stellar contributions to agricultural administration. He is known globally for his research in insect genetics, including the development of new genetic tools for monitoring the spread of invasive fruit fly species. 

Learn more about McPheron at

Bruce McPheron.

Herms was chosen for his distinguished research, teaching and outreach contributions to the science and application of tree-insect interactions, including ecology, impact and management. Among other projects, Herms is developing a hybrid ash tree resistant to emerald ash borer, which has killed millions of trees in North American and threatens to wipe out native ash species from the landscape.

Watch Herms explain how he got his start in science and decided to study entomology at

Dan Herms.

Van der Knaap was recognized for distinguished contributions to the field of plant genetics and molecular biology, particularly for increasing the basic understanding of genes controlling fruit shape and size and how crops have evolved during domestication.

Learn more about van der Knaap’s research at

Esther van der Knaap.



For more information contact: 
CFAES News Team