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Release Date: April 3, 2014

IUPUC biology professor named an Indiana Academy of Science Fellow

Container About Luke Jacobus
About Luke Jacobus

Learn more about Dr. Jacobus and his research at iupuc.edu/luke-jacobus.

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Dr. Luke M. Jacobus, assistant professor of biology at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus, has been named a fellow in the Indiana Academy of Science.

Jacobus, a former graduate research fellow for both the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency, is one of just three individuals elected to the status of academy fellow for 2014.

This prestigious recognition is awarded to scientists who have exhibited extraordinary dedication to the academy and to their scientific discipline.

Jacobus, who also serves as a visiting scholar in the Department of Entomology at Purdue University where he earned his Ph.D. in 2006, has worked as an independent scientific consultant specializing in aquatic insect ecology, morphology, and identification.

He is interested in species taxonomy and identification, DNA barcoding, biodiversity, phylogeny, field studies, conservation, species inventories, and regional faunistics of aquatic insects. His research collaborations span the academic, governmental, and private sectors.

Much of his work has focused on mayfly species, which are utilized by scientists around the world as indicators of environmental health. They are often the subject of ecological and physiological studies. Mayflies are also valuable for the analysis of biodiversity patterns in space and time, and for addressing problems in environmental toxicology.

Jacobus is a widely published scholar in this area whose research writings have been published nationally and internationally.

In the classroom, Jacobus teaches courses on contemporary biology, principles of ecology and evolution, and global change biology, among others. He also teaches independent research courses and special assignment courses in biology. He also shares his fascination with insects in local elementary schools, public libraries, and other venues.

Dr. George Towers, interim head of IUPUC’s Division of Science, said Jacobus is an outstanding mentor who involves students in his research, passing along his knowledge of scientific methods and research protocols.

“Luke mentors, trains, and encourages science students who want to compete for research funding available from IUPUC for special research projects outside of the classroom. Last year, he and one of his biology students studied mayflies of the Serengeti in Tanzania. Their work revealed valuable information about the extent of biological diversity in that country. And, more importantly, they discovered one species that was completely new to science,” reported Towers.

Jacobus serves on the editorial board of several scientific journals, including Zootaxa, Bioscene, and BMC Ecology. He is a member of the Association of College & University Biology Educators, the Society for Freshwater Science, the Entomological Society of America, and Phi Beta Kappa.

To be eligible for consideration, fellows must be active members of the Indiana Academy of Science for at least five years, demonstrate a high level of service to the academy and the advancement of science in the state of Indiana, and have documented achievements in scientific research.

Jacobus and his wife, Barbara Hass Jacobus (who is a biology lecturer at IUPUC) live in Nashville, Indiana with their daughter.