Two FSU professors named rising stars by Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine of Florida
Two Florida State University faculty members will receive Rising Star Awards from the Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine of Florida.
Mariana Fuentes, an associate professor in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Gregg Stanwood, an associate professor in the College of Medicine, will be honored at the organization’s annual meeting, which takes place Nov. 3-4 in Orlando.
Fuentes’ research provides a critical scientific basis to help in the recovery of marine turtles and other threatened marine species. Her multidisciplinary approach improves our understanding of fundamental ecological questions and helps determine how marine species will be impacted by different disturbances. Her recent work focuses on how sea turtles are impacted by recreational fisheries, vessel interactions and climate change.
“My research allows managers and decision makers to better anticipate and mitigate impacts to marine wildlife, and to identify what stressors they should be mitigating to maximize conservation of species,” Fuentes said. “By managing and conserving marine megafauna, we’re enabling the ecosystems to be healthy, and that has a positive cascading effect to the whole ocean.”
Stanwood is a developmental neurobiologist who explores the effects of gene and environmental interactions on brain development. In a recent study, his lab showed that the receptors targeted by drugs that treat metabolism, diabetes and obesity — Ozempic is one popular example — are also involved in the addictive effects of cocaine and other drugs of abuse. An upcoming project funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will examine the interactions of harmful chemicals and psychosocial stressors such as adverse childhood experiences on children in the southwestern Florida community of Immokalee.
“I’m really excited to be part of a team that’s gathering new sources of data to assemble to make new models for cumulative risk exposures,” Stanwood said. “I think this is very impactful and can change lives positively, not just for members of the Immokalee community, but can also be adapted for other communities across the state and across the nation. Our team is uniquely positioned to evaluate both chemical and nonchemical stressors jointly – for the first time.”
Fuentes and Stanwood are among 11 faculty members from Florida universities who will be honored as rising stars. Other faculty come from the University of Florida, University of Miami, University of Central Florida and Florida International University.
The Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine of Florida (ASEMFL) was established in 2018 and works to inform Floridians of current and future science, engineering and medicine issues and address associated challenges. The organization provides unbiased expertise for issues that concern the state and helps facilitate scientific interactions.
The academy also named Pamela Keel, Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Theo Siegrist, a chemical and biomedical engineering professor at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, for membership in this year’s class.
To be selected for ASEMFL membership, individuals must live or work in Florida and be a member of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, or be nominated by an ASEMFL member and have an outstanding record of accomplishments, national and international recognition.
Visit asemfl.org for more information about the organization and this year’s meeting.