Left to right: Christine Dunkel Schetter, Kenneth Nagy, and Blaire Van Valkenburgh
February 9, 2023
Three UCLA Life Sciences professors – Christine Dunkel Schetter, Kenneth Nagy, and Blaire Van Valkenburgh – were named 2022 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for their distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications in service of society.
Dunkel Schetter, a distinguished professor of psychology, researches the effects of prenatal maternal stress and its biopsychosocial mechanisms on preterm births, low birthweight and postpartum depression, with a particular emphasis on the unique risk and resilience factors of Black women and Latinas. Her work has documented that prenatal anxiety predicts a shorter length of gestation and that a corticotrophin-releasing hormone plays a role in earlier births.
Nagy, a professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology, is an animal physiological ecologist best known for his development of a technique that measures how much food, water and energy animals use each day in their natural habitats. He also developed equations that allow scientists to predict such use for animals that have not been studied directly. Since retiring in 2006, Nagy has focused on conservation biology, helping the endangered Mojave desert tortoise by developing predator-resistant enclosures that protect them until they are large enough to enter the open desert and fend for themselves.
Van Valkenburgh, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, studies living species as a key to understanding extinct species, with an emphasis on large predatory mammals such as short-faced bears, saber-toothed cats and dire wolves. To better understand both the dynamics of predator communities and the adaptations of individual species, she explores the fossil record of carnivores from both ecological and evolutionary perspectives.
Read the original UCLA Newsroom article highlighting all of UCLA’s newest fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science: https://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/7-professors-named-2022-advancement-of-science-fellows