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Professor Brian D. Peer
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WIU Professor Elected As Fellow to American Association for the Advancement of Science

April 24, 2024

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MACOMB, IL/ MOLINE,IL - -The Western Illinois University Department of Biological Sciences recognizes Biology Professor Brian D. Peer for his selection as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The AAAS is the largest multidisciplinary scientific organization in the world and is the publisher of the Journal Science. Election as a Fellow in the AAAS is among the highest honors in the scientific community and is awarded to members whose efforts on behalf of the advancement of science, or its applications, are scientifically or socially distinguished. This honor recognizes Peer for excellence in the study of avian brood parasitism and mentoring student research.

Peer studies the coevolution between obligate avian brood parasites and their hosts. Brood parasites lay their eggs in the nests of other birds and rely on these hosts to care for their offspring. Peer and his students investigate the adaptations brood parasites have evolved to exploit host parental investment and the counter-adaptations hosts have evolved to resist parasitism. With over 75 publications and mentorship of more than 20 graduate students, Peer's dedication to advancing our understanding of avian behavioral ecology through collaborative research underscores his impactful contributions to the field. Peer has previously been elected a Fellow of the American Ornithological Society in 2014 for his significant contributions to the field of Ornithology and he also received the WIU Provost's Award for Excellence in Scholarly Activity in 2011.

"This is incredibly exciting and humbling to join such a distinguished cadre of scientists. I was delighted to see that in addition to recognizing my work on avian brood parasitism, my work with our students was also acknowledged. This honor would not have been possible without the impressive students with whom I have been able to collaborate while at Western Illinois University," Peer said.

"In its 150th year, the AAAS Fellows program is proud to celebrate this new class, which joins the ranks of noted Fellows such as Alondra Nelson, the Harold F. Linder Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study and former deputy assistant to President Joe Biden and acting director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Mae Jemison, the first Black woman to go to space; Steven Chu, 1997 Nobel laureate in physics who served as the 12th U.S. Secretary of Energy; W. E. B. Dubois, considered the founding father of American sociology; Ellen Ochoa, veteran astronaut and the Johnson Space Center's first Hispanic and second female director in its history; Grace Hopper, pioneer in computer software development and programming language; and Vint Cerf, who co-designed the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet and received the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom," AAAS states.

The new Fellows will be recognized at the annual Fellows Forum in Washington, D.C. on September 21, 2024. AAAS Fellows are elected by a steering committee and election to this rank is considered a lifetime honor.

The complete list of the newly elected Fellows can be found by visiting For more information on WIU's Biology Sciences program, visit

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