AAAS Chief Executive Officer Alan I. Leshner, executive publisher of the journal Science said: "In recognition of her paradigm-changing scientific discoveries as well as her passionate dedication to public understanding of science, Dr. Berenbaum is highly deserving of the 2009 AAAS Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award."
A prominent entomologist interested in the chemical interactions between herbivorous insects and their host-plants, Berenbaum has studied the implications of these interactions on the organization of natural communities and the evolution of species.
She graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. degree and honors in biology from Yale University in 1975. She attended graduate school at Cornell University and received a Ph.D. degree in ecology and evolutionary biology in 1980.
Since that time, she has been a member of the faculty of the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has served as head of the department since 1992. In addition to her research, she is devoted to teaching and to fostering scientific literacy. She is the recipient of the 1996 Entomological Society of America North Central Branch Distinguished Teaching Award. She has authored numerous magazine articles as well as three books about insects for the general public.
Established in 1987, the AAAS Award for Public Understanding of Science & Technology recognizes scientists or engineers who, while working in their fields, have also contributed substantially to public understanding of science and technology. Contributions include books, articles in magazines and newspaper, broadcasting, lecturing, museum presentation and exhibit design.
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American Association for the Advancement of Science