U of G Prof Named Prestigious AAAS Fellow

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Integrative Biology professor Merritt Turetsky has been selected as one of 15 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Leshner Fellows for 2018-19 – the only Canadian chosen this year.

Now in its third year, this program is affiliated with the Leshner Leadership Institute for Public Engagement with Science and is intended to enhance communication among scientists, engineers and the public.

“In today’s post-truth age, it is more important than ever for scientists to engage with the public,” says Turetsky, holder of the Canada Research Chair in Integrative Ecology. “This is something I greatly enjoy doing as a member of the University of Guelph community, but the Leshner program will open up new opportunities.”

Turetsky works with communities across northern Canada, and is especially interested in communicating their perspectives on how climate change is rapidly impacting their land, food and water.

Among this year’s Leshner Fellows, 13 are based at American universities and one is at the University of Oxford. All 15 researchers study aspects of food or water security.

An ecosystem ecologist, Turetsky studies climate change across Canada’s arctic and boreal biomes, including effects on soil health and water quality. As an AAAS Leshner Fellow, she will work with the U of G as well as the Royal Society of Canada on communicating issues related to climate change and food and water security in the North. She and other researchers will receive training this spring in Washington D.C. in public engagement and science communication.