Heather Leslie, Darling Marine Center Director, named 2022 AAAS fellow

Heather Leslie, professor of marine science and director of the Darling Marine Center at the University of Maine, has been named a 2022 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow, one of the highest honors in the scientific community.

AAAS Fellows are a group of scientists, engineers and innovators recognized for their achievements across disciplines, from research, teaching, and technology, to administration in academia, industry and government, to excellence in communicating and interpreting science to the public.

Since the program’s establishment in 1874, the AAAS Council has elected such distinguished fellows as W.E.B DuBois, Maria Mitchell, Steven Chu, Ellen Ochoa, Irwin M. Jacobs, Alan Alda, Mae Jemison and Ayanna Howard. Other recent AAAS Fellows from UMaine include Susan Brawley, professor emerita of plant biology and marine ecology and 2012 AAAS Fellow; Daniel Sandeweiss, professor of anthropology and 2014 AAAS Fellow; and R. Dean Astumian, professor of physics and 2016 AAAS Fellow.

“I am honored to be recognized as a AAAS Fellow. I hope my election will inspire students to pursue interdisciplinary research relevant to coastal communities,” Leslie says. “We need many researchers from many different backgrounds contributing to marine conservation, given the importance of ensuring both people and ecosystems thrive in the face of climate change and other challenges.”

Leslie has been a professor of marine science and director of the Darling Marine Center at UMaine since 2015. An international leader in marine conservation science, Leslie studies the drivers of ecological and social processes in marine systems, and how to more effectively connect science to policy and management. Leslie’s work has appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Ecology, Conservation Biology, and Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

The AAAS Council wrote that Leslie was selected for her “distinguished contributions to conservation biology, particularly to coastal marine ecology, human-environment linkages, and design and evaluation of marine management strategies.”

Before arriving at UMaine, Leslie was on the faculty at Brown University, as the inaugural Peggy and Henry D. Sharpe Assistant Professor. She also received an A.B. in Biology from Harvard University, a Ph.D. in Zoology from Oregon State University and conducted postdoctoral research at Princeton University. Leslie lives with her family by the Damariscotta River in Newcastle, Maine.

Leslie and the other 505 newly elected 2022 AAAS Fellows will be recognized this spring at the ceremonial Fellows Forum in Washington, D.C.

Contact: Sam Schipani, samantha.schipani@maine.edu