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  6.  | Institute of Arctic Biology Director Drops ‘Interim’ from Title

Institute of Arctic Biology Director Drops ‘Interim’ from Title

Jun 18, 2024 | Arctic, Education, Right Moves, Science

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Photo Credit: UAF

After serving for three years in an interim capacity, Diane O’Brien has been named Director of the UAF Institute of Arctic Biology (IAB). O’Brien, a professor of biology and wildlife, oversees the institute’s programs studying ecosystems of the North, wildlife populations, and biomedical research relevant to Alaska’s people.

“It’s been a real privilege to work with such an outstanding and passionate group of researchers over the last three years, and I’m looking forward to what’s next for IAB,” O’Brien says. “UAF has been a wonderful place to grow research collaborations across disciplinary boundaries, and I’m hoping to preserve and foster such opportunities for the institute.”

O’Brien earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Amherst College and a doctorate in ecology and evolutionary biology from Princeton University. Her research investigates nutritional questions in public health and ecology using naturally occurring stable isotopes. She came to UAF in 2004 as an assistant professor in the Department of Biology and Wildlife. O’Brien has been a full professor since 2015 and served as deputy director of the UAF Center for Alaska Native Health Research, as well as IAB. She was recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

“Through the years she has made UAF a better place through her thoughtful teaching and mentorships, while making significant scientific contributions in both ecology and biomedical research,” says UAF Vice Chancellor of Research Nettie LaBelle-Hamer.

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