2014 Pegasus Professor

Dr. Reed Noss

Dr. Reed Noss

The Pegasus Professor Award, given out annually, recognizes faculty members who have made a significant impact on the university and demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, and service. This award is the highest honor a faculty member can receive at UCF. Each recipient receives a statue of the UCF Pegasus, a gold Pegasus Professor medallion, a $5,000 stipend and $5,000 research grant.

Dr. Reed Noss, a Provost’s Distinguished Research Professor and Davis-Shine Professor of Conservation Biology, earned the prestigious Pegasus Professor title this year.

Reed F. Noss could be considered “one of the founding fathers of modern conservation biology,” said Michael Johnson, dean of the College of Sciences.

Noss, a naturalist, ecologist and conservation biologist, is frequently called upon to advise U.S. and other government agencies, including last year when he was invited to testify before the House Committee on Natural Resources on the topic of species-conservation success.

He earned a bachelor’s in biology and health education at the University of Dayton, master’s in ecology at the University of Tennessee, and Ph.D. in wildlife ecology from the University of Florida. At UCF, his research has increasingly focused on coastal and near-coastal ecosystems.

He came to UCF in 2002 as the Provost’s Distinguished Research Professor and Davis-Shine Professor of Conservation Biology. In addition, he also now is the director of the university’s Science and Planning in Conservation Ecology.

He is a member of a commission of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, has served on advisory boards for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. National Park Service, and is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His research has been supported by more than $4 million in external funding.

Noss is the past editor of Conservation Biology, and has served in leadership roles in various conservation organizations, including the Society for Conservation Biology and Florida’s Acquisition and Restoration Council.

One of his nominators, Eric Dinerstein, lead scientist and vice-president for Science Conservation Science Program in Washington, D.C., said what he admires most about Noss is his devotion and mastery of natural history.

“Reed is a walking encyclopedia of natural history and in so being, a terrific role model for his students,” Dinerstein said.

“It is a joy to acknowledge a colleague who has done work of such exceptional importance,” said Dean Michael Johnson.

Reed joins a group of very accomplished colleagues in the College of Sciences who have received this award in the past: Deborah Beidel, Psychology (2013); Humberto Campins, Physics (2013); James Wright, Sociology (2013); Talat Rahman, Physics (2012); Linda Walters, Biology (2012); Kevin Belfield, Chemistry (2011); Peter Hancock, Psychology/IST (2009); Eduardo Salas, Psychology/IST (2008); Arlen Chase, Anthropology (2007); Diane Chase, Anthropology (2003); Llewellyn Ehrhart, Biology (2002)

To read the full story, including three additional UCF professors to be awarded Pegasus Professor, click here.


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