Dr. Russell Hill elected to American Academy of Microbiology

March 4, 2015

Dr. Russell Hill, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science americaprofessor and director of the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, has been elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology. The Academy, the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology, recognizes excellence, originality, and leadership in the microbiological sciences, and election to this group is a mark of distinction. Academy Fellows are eminent leaders in the field of microbiology and are relied upon for authoritative advice and insight on critical issues in microbiology.

“I’m delighted to receive this honor and thank all the students and colleagues who have worked with me over the years” said Russell Hill. “I look forward to contributing to the American Academy of Microbiology at this particularly exciting time in the field of microbiology”.

Dr. Hill will be recognized at the Academy Fellows Luncheon and Meeting at the 115th ASM General Meeting in New Orleans on June 2.  

A leading expert in sponge microbiology, Dr. Hill studies the diversity and functions of microbes associated with marine invertebrates. His research interests include the biodiversity of marine microbes and the potential of marine microbes as sources of new drugs, in particular the role of microbial symbionts in production of important bioactive compounds. He also has an interest in marine microalgae and associated bacteria as a source of biofuel.

He is a Fellow of the Society for Industrial Microbiology, has served as President of the Maryland Branch of the American Society for Microbiology, was a member of the Editorial Boards of “Applied and Environmental Microbiology” and “Marine Biotechnology” and a Board Member of the International Marine Biotechnology Association. He has published more than 100 research papers on marine microbiology and biotechnology.

Russell Hill completed his Ph.D. at the University of Cape Town in 1988 and did postdoctoral studies with Rita Colwell at the Center of Marine Biotechnology (COMB), University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute. He held faculty positions at COMB, worked at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, and returned to COMB to serve as Professor and Associate Director.

Since 2012, he has served as director of the Institue of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET), a University System of Maryland partnership involving scientists at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, the University of Maryland Baltimore and the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Scientists there are engaged in cutting-edge research in microbiology, molecular genetic analysis and biotechnology, using marine life to develop new drug therapies, alternative energy and other innovations to improve public health and economic opportunities. IMET also contributes to sustainable marine aquaculture and fisheries in the Chesapeake Bay and marine ecosystems.

Fellows of the Academy are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology. There are over 2,400 Fellows, and in January, the American Academy of Microbiology elected 79 new Fellows. They represent all subspecialties of microbiology, including basic and applied research, teaching, public health, industry, and government service. In addition, Fellows hail from all around the globe. The “class of 2015” includes Fellows from the U.S., Canada, Germany, Sweden, Australia, China, Japan, Chile, Ireland, France, the U.K., Italy, and South Africa.