Daniel Schachtman, professor of agronomy and horticulture and director of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln's Center for Biotechnology, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society.
Schachtman was one of eight UNL faculty members chosen as fellows — selected by their peers for scientifically or socially distinguished achievements that advance science or its application.
Schachtman was chosen for his distinguished service to the life sciences and contributions to plant molecular physiology, especially discovery-based and applied research to foster agricultural sustainability and environmental protection. His research interest in plant stress response has led to important contributions for improving crop yields, fostering agricultural sustainability and protecting the environment.
"Although my research is somewhat driven by curiosity, I always try to make my research applicable to the needs of agriculture," Schachtman said.
His research focuses on how roots interact with soil microbes to enhance growth and yield under stresses, such as drought, low nutrients and alkalinity.
In the past, his team discovered key plant mechanisms involved in increasing soil nutrient uptake to improve food production. While at Monsanto Co., he worked toward developing products designed to increase agricultural sustainability, such as reducing corn's nitrogen requirements.
Schachtman joined UNL in 2014 and now leads a nearly $14 million multi-institutional effort to improve sorghum for biofuel production funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
"I was deeply honored to be recognized," Schachtman said. "I really enjoy working and interacting with bright and motivated scientists, so I hope to meet more scientists as a result of this award."
This is the first time eight UNL scientists have been elected AAAS fellows in the same year. UNL's previous record of six AAAS fellows was set in 2013. This year's fellows will be formally announced in the Nov. 27 issue of the journal Science. They will be recognized Feb. 13 at the AAAS annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Ronnie D. Green, UNL Harlan Vice Chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources and interim senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, was also among the eight. Green was chosen for distinguished contributions to quantitative genetics, especially beef cattle breeding and genetics, and advancement of science through academic and federal administration, advocacy and service. Read more about all eight AAAS Fellows at UNL Today.