University Park, Pa. — Peter Hudson, the Verne M. Willaman chair in biology and director of the Huck Institutes of Life Sciences at Penn State, was elected a Fellow of The Royal Society, joining 43 other Fellows, eight foreign members and one honorary Fellow. Founded in 1660, The Royal Society serves as the leading academy of sciences of the United Kingdom and is a member organization of the Science Council.
The organization supports many top young scientists, engineers and technologists; and influences global science policy and issues with more than 1,400 Fellows including Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking and several U.S. Nobel Prize winners.
Hudson is internationally distinguished for ground-breaking manipulative field experiments in parasite ecology, and for applying theory to the dynamic interaction between parasites and their wildlife hosts. His large-scale experiments revealed the parasite-induced processes that drive red grouse population cycles; this is the most successful experimental test of the theory of host-natural enemy cycles across the whole of ecology. Subsequently, he has used innovative experimentation, linked to theory, to show how parasites interact with host behavior, physiology, climate and community level effects to shape host population dynamics. These fundamental contributions also have important applications in population management and conservation.
The Penn State scientist has published more than 200 scientific papers and has authored or edited five books. He is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Helminthology and the Journal of Ecohealth. He has been associate editor of the Journal of Animal Ecology since 1990 and was associate editor for the Journal of Wildlife Biology from 1994 to 1998.
Other honors are the Carlton Herman Award from the U.S. Wildlife Disease Association in 2005 and the Laurent Perrier Award for Game Conservation in 1985. In 2002, he was named an honorary member of the British Falconers Club in recognition of his research on grouse and their natural enemies. In 1992, his book, titled "Grouse in Space and Time" was named "Book of the Year" by The Guardian in the United Kingdom.
Educated in the United Kingdom, Hudson earned a doctoral degree in zoology at the University of Oxford in 1979, where he studied population dynamics of seabirds. He earned a bachelor's degree in zoology at the University of Leeds in 1974, both in the United Kingdom. Prior to joining Penn State in July 2002, he was at the University of Stirling in Scotland, where he held a Personal Chair in Animal Ecology from 1998 to 2002 and was a reader in wildlife epidemiology from 1995 to 1998. From 1979 to 1995, Hudson worked in the Highlands of Scotland as a research fellow and then in charge of Upland Research with The Game Conservancy Trust.
Hudson also is founding director of the Penn State Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics and a faculty affiliate of the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment. The Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences is comprised of seven Penn State colleges with faculty working in the life sciences: the Eberly College of Science, the College of Medicine at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, the College of Agricultural Sciences, the College of Health and Human Development, the College of Engineering, the College of the Liberal Arts, and the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. The Huck Institutes is dedicated to enhancing Penn State's ability to prepare students for tomorrow, strengthening research in the life sciences, and encouraging research alliances across disciplinary boundaries.