UM Researcher Elected to Academy of Arts and Sciences

April 27, 2016

University of Montana Professor Doug Emlen atop a mountain

MISSOULA – Doug Emlen, a University of Montana biology professor, researcher and evolutionary biologist, recently was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Emlen is one of 213 new members who constitute the Academy’s 236th class, a group that includes some of the world’s most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers and artists, as well as civic, business, and philanthropic leaders. The new class will be inducted Oct. 8 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Emlen is the only member of the academy ever elected from Montana.

“It’s a great honor to be named an AAAS Fellow,” Emlen said. “I’m stunned and thrilled. Now that the shock is wearing off, I have to admit it feels incredible.”

Emlen and researchers in his UM lab study the development and evolution of animal weapons. He often uses horned beetles as an animal model for his research. He teaches Behavior and Evolution, Insect Biology and several graduate courses.

The accolades have piled up for the UM scientist in recent years. A textbook he co-wrote, “Evolution: Making Sense of Life,” was published in 2013 and rapidly and widely adopted by biology departments across the globe. His 2014 book, “Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle,” won the 2015 Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science. He also was named Montana’s 2015 Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Founded in 1780, AAAS is one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing – and opportunities available to – the nation and the world. Members contribute to academy publications and studies of science, engineering and technology policy; global security and international affairs; the humanities, arts and education; and American institutions.

“Election to this academy is highly selective and considered a mark of exceptional distinction,” said Charlie Janson, associate dean of UM’s Division of Biological Sciences. “We couldn’t be more proud of Doug and look forward to his continued success here at UM.”


Contact: Doug Emlen, professor, UM Division of Biological Sciences, 406-243-2535,