UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Katriona Shea, professor of biology and Alumni Professor in the Biological Sciences, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Election as a Fellow is an honor bestowed by peers upon members of the AAAS, the world's largest general scientific society and the publisher of the journal Science. Shea was selected for “distinguished work developing and applying ecological theory to improve management of real-world problems” and is one of three Penn State researchers elected in 2018.
Shea is an ecologist whose research in applied theoretical ecology involves the application of mathematical and computational methods to guide decision-making in population management, conservation efforts, control of invasive pests, and control of infectious diseases. Her research aims to provide the in-depth ecological understanding that is essential to limiting outbreaks of infectious diseases and managing populations of species of special concern. Her methods include quantitative theoretical studies of real systems, purely theoretical studies that inform practical approaches, and empirical studies.
Shea's previous awards and honors include the Edward D. Bellis Award for outstanding contribution and dedication to educating and training graduate students in the Penn State Ecology Program in 2004 and the Eberly College of Science Dean’s Climate and Diversity Award in recognition of extraordinary commitment to enhancing an environment of mutual respect and diversity in 2011. She was named Alumni Professor in Biological Sciences in 2015 and was elected as Fellow of the Ecological Society of America in 2016.
Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State in 2001, Shea was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she worked on conservation strategies for threatened salmon. Her background also includes work on pest management in Australia, plus additional postdoctoral work studying host-parasite population dynamics at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
She earned her doctoral degree in theoretical population ecology at Imperial College, London University in 1994 and her bachelor’s degree in physics at Oxford University in 1990.