The National Science Foundation (NSF) has selected
the new head of the Directorate for Biological Sciences
(BIO): John C. Wingfield
, who is currently serving as the director of the Division of Integrative Organismal Biology (IOS). He came to NSF in September 2010 from the University of California, Davis.
Wingfield's research focuses on neural pathways for environmental signals affecting seasonality in birds and their mechanisms of coping with environmental stress. He also studies the interfaces with how animals deal with global climate change, endocrine disruption, and conservation biology.
In a press release
announcing the appointment, Wingfield said, "This is a transformational time for biological sciences in the post-genome era as we try to understand life on Earth from its most fundamental components at the molecular levels to functioning organisms interacting with their environment, and with each other, at ecosystem scales."
Although Wingfield is not a plant scientist, the IOS division supports a significant amount of plant-related research at NSF including the Plant Genome Research Program.
Before arriving at UC Davis, Wingfield was a professor and department chair at the University of Washington and on the faculty at Rockefeller University. He holds a BSc in zoology from the University of Sheffield and PhD in zoology and comparative endocrinology from University College of North Wales. Among his honors is The Quest Award for seminal contributions to behavioral research from the Animal Behavior Society and the Association for the Study of Animal Behavior Medal. He is a fellow of the American Ornithologist's Union and the Animal Behavior Society. He served as president of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology and the XXV International Ornithological Congress.
Joann Roskoski had served as acting assistant director for BIO since the departure of James Collins in October 2009. Wingfield will start his position on September 6, 2011.