Biology Professor Receives James Van Allen Natural Sciences Fellowship
Andrew Forbes, an associate professor in biology, has been awarded the James Van Allen Natural Sciences Fellowship for the 2020-21 academic year. Forbes studies the origins and maintenance of insect diversity. With the Van Allen Fellowship, he will use specialist insects to track the “lost” histories of crop plants that may have been domesticated in North America and later forgotten—a potentially groundbreaking study of plant-insect coevolution, archaeology, and anthropology. Forbes’ cutting-edge, interdisciplinary science has been publicized in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Science, and NPR’s Weekend Edition, among others. He engages undergraduate and graduate students in his research and directs a National Science Foundation-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program focused on teaching undergraduates how to do evolutionary research. With the current project, he hopes to recruit Native American STEM students who have an interest in navigating the nexus between basic science and their own ancestry and cultural histories.