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OU Biologist and Director of Environmental Studies Elected AAAS Fellow

OU Biologist and Director of Environmental Studies Elected AAAS Fellow

K. David Hambright, biologist and director of environmental studies, has been elected an AAAS Fellow for contributions to field of freshwater plankton biology.


NORMAN—A University of Oklahoma biologist and director of environmental studies, K. David Hambright, has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for distinguished contributions in the field of freshwater plankton biology, particularly for contributions to understanding food web structure and function across multiple trophic levels. Hambright will be honored at the 2019 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 16.

“I am humbled by this unexpected recognition and wish to thank the association for having bestowed this honor upon me,” said Hambright, professor of biology and director of environmental studies in the OU College of Arts and Sciences.

Hambright’s research includes aquatic life forms and complexities, as well as basic and applied biogeochemical and physical limnology, ecological modeling, climate change impacts, watershed dynamics and various socio-political aspects of freshwaters. The National Science Foundation-funded projects on the ecological and evolutionary study of a potentially invasive coastal marine algae bloom species, Prymnesium parvum, in southern U.S. freshwaters, and a collaborative dimensions of biodiversity project focused on the biogeography and functional diversity of global cyanobacterial blooms.

Hambright’s Plankton Ecology and Limnology Laboratory focuses on ecological interactions between freshwater consumer and prey species. Studies cover a broad range of aquatic programs, from bacteria to fish, with emphasis on lake and reservoir ecosystems. The group is particularly interested in understanding how consumers affect community- and ecosystem-level dynamics through direct effects on planktonic microbial assemblages via mechanisms such as selective consumption, alteration of competitive forces and changes in nutrient cycling dynamics.

Recently, Hambright was appointed as editor-in-chief of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography’s flagship journal, Limnology & Oceanography. He is an ASLO Fellow and has been a member of the society for more than three decades. For more information about Hambright and his research, email or visit