Ocean scientist Jonathan Zehr elected 2018 AAAS Fellow

Jonathan Zehr
Jonathan Zehr

Jonathan Zehr, professor of ocean sciences at UC Santa Cruz, has been awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

Zehr was recognized for “distinguished contributions to our understanding of biogeochemistry and marine symbiosis, particularly those involving nitrogen fixation.”

Zehr’s research focuses on microorganisms that “fertilize” the oceans by converting nitrogen gas into a form that other organisms can use (a process called nitrogen fixation). His discoveries in this area have implications for understanding the ecology of the open ocean, the cycling of nutrients, and how the oceans might respond to global warming.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has supported Zehr’s research with nearly $8 million in grants from 2004 to 2012. The foundation also provided $4.8 million in funding for the marine microbiology research facility (MEGAMER) that Zehr oversees. His research is currently funded by the National Science Foundation and the Simons Foundation.

The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. This year 416 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New fellows will be honored during the 2019 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, in February.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and the publisher of Science and related journals. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes nearly 250 affiliated societies and academies of science.