UC Santa Barbara Public Affairs and Communications

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UCSB Biologist John Endler and Philanthropist Donald Bren Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

May 3, 2007

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) – John Endler, a UC Santa Barbara emeritus professor of biology, has been elected a fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Scientists, the academy announced on April 30.

Also joining the academy in this year's class of distinguished fellows is Orange County business leader and philanthropist Donald Bren, for whom UCSB's Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management is named.

"This is a significant and prestigious recognition of John Endler's pioneering work in the area of evolutionary biology and especially the multiple factors affecting natural selection in natural populations," said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang. "We are also delighted to learn that in addition to Professor Endler, Donald Bren has been recognized for his extraordinary achievements, leadership, philanthropy, and vision in the arts and sciences."

The election of Endler brings to 24 the number of UCSB faculty members who have been elected fellows of the academy.

This year's new fellows also included former Vice President Albert Gore, Jr.; former Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor; New York Mayor and businessman Michael Bloomberg; Google chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt; New York Times investigative correspondent James Risen; filmmaker Spike Lee; economists Gregory Mankiw and Murray Weidenbaum; astronomer Donald Brownlee; robotics pioneer Rodney Brooks; Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter; supercomputer expert David Shaw; pianist Emanuel Ax; historian Nell Painter; former White House official and Berkeley Law Dean Christopher Edley; classicist Sabine MacCormack; and international public health leader Allan Rosenfield.

The academy is composed of scholars and practitioners from diverse fields, which enables the organization to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary studies and public policy research.

Endler is a world-renowned expert on the evolution of color patterns in animals. He recently retired from UCSB's Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology where he taught for more than 21 years. He is currently teaching at the University of Exeter in England.

Endler's research focuses on all aspects of evolutionary biology. His area of specialization is in the interplay between ecological, behavioral, and genetic factors, and how they affect geographic variation and the process of natural selection in natural populations.

Bren is chairman of The Irvine Company, a privately held real estate investment company best known for the balanced, sustainable, quality communities it has created on The Irvine Ranch in Orange County, Calif. The University of California, particularly UC Irvine, has been the beneficiary of Bren's personal philanthropy and that of his foundation for many years. Among many other significant benefactions, Bren has endowed more professorships than any other single donor in the university's history. In recognition of his philanthropic leadership, he has been awarded the University of California Presidential Medal.

Founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has elected as Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth.

The academy will welcome this year's new class at its annual Induction Ceremony on October 6, at the academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The academy's membership includes more than 170 Nobel laureates and 50 Pulitzer Prize winners. An independent policy research center, the academy undertakes studies of complex and emerging problems. Its research currently focuses on science and global security, social policy, the humanities and culture, and education.

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