Bill Fagan named UMD Distinguished University Professor

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ISR-affiliated Professor Bill Fagan has been named a Distinguished University Professor of the University of Maryland. He will formally receive the title at the university's Convocation Ceremony this fall.

Distinguished University Professor is an official title, and the highest academic honor that the University of Maryland confers upon a faculty member. It is reserved for a small number of exceptionally distinguished scholars.

Distinguished University Professors are selected from faculty who have been recognized nationally and internationally for the importance of their scholarly or creative achievements and who have demonstrated the breadth of interest characteristically encompassed by the traditional role of scholar, teacher and public servant.

Fagan joined UMD’s Department of Biology in 2002 as an associate professor. He has served as chair of the department since 2013.

Fagan is an ecologist known for his work advancing fundamental theory and often coupling that with creative empirical and informatics research. He is a leader in the field of spatial ecology and has made major contributions to better understand ecological boundaries, fragmentation and animal movement. Fagan has published more than 230 peer-reviewed journal articles, and he has supervised 5 master’s students, 21 Ph.D. students and more than 32 postdoctoral researchers.

He also helped innovate UMD’s undergraduate curriculum, with support from the National Science Foundation, by infusing mathematics into first-year biology classes. He also secured a U.S. Department of Education Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need award for the department that funded graduate fellowships for students studying mathematics in biology.

Fagan is a fellow of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He has received numerous awards and honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship; the Presidential Award from the American Society of Naturalists; the UMD College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS) Board of Visitors Distinguished Faculty Award; and a UMD Distinguished Scholar-Teacher award.

In addition to his leadership roles in the department, Fagan has also served at UMD’s National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) as director for research innovation (2011-13), as a Distinguished Scholar-Lecturer (2015), and as a Research Innovation Scholar (2013-present). He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Delaware and his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Washington.

Fagan joins ISR-affiliated Professor Dinesh Manocha (ECE/CS), who is also being honored with the designation this year. Other ISR Distinguished University Professors include John Baras (ECE/ISR), Gary Rubloff (MSE/ISR), Tony Ephremides (ECE/ISR), and Ben Shneiderman (CS/UMIACS).

Published June 18, 2020