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NAKFI Alumni and Leaders
National Academies Communication Awards
Selection Committee Chair

May R. Berenbaum (NAS)
Swanlund Professor of Entomology
Department of Entomology
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


In addition to her involvement with the Academies, Berenbaum has made major contributions to understanding of the role of chemistry in interactions between plants and herbivorous insects. Her investigations have encompassed both proximate physiological mechanisms of insect resistance to natural and synthetic toxins and their evolutionary consequences for both plants and insects.  Concerned with the practical application of ecological and evolutionary principles, she has examined impacts of genetic engineering, global climate change, and invasive species on natural and agricultural ecosystems. Devoted to fostering science literacy, she has published numerous articles and six books on insects for the general public. In 2010, she received the American Association for the Advancement of Science Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology

The National Academies Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI) is pleased to announce the appointment of May Berenbaum as Chair of the National Academies Communication Awards Selection Committee.May is chair of the Marian E. Koshland Science Museum Advisory Board; serves on the committees on Division on Earth and Life Studies and Report Review; is a member of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Editorial Board; and has been involved with many NAS activities related to communication with the public.