Britt, Croughan, Shaver Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Quick Summary

  • R. David Britt, Department of Chemistry
  • Mary Croughan, provost and executive vice chancellor
  • Phillip Shaver, Department of Psychology

Distinguished Professor R. David Britt, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Mary Croughan and Distinguished Professor Emeritus Phillip R. Shaver are UC Davis’ newest members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, announced Wednesday (April 19).

American Academy of Arts and Sciences logo, circular, with establishment year "1780" emphasized in center

Founded in 1780, the academy is both an honorary society that recognizes and celebrates the excellence of its members and an independent research center convening leaders from across disciplines, professions and perspectives to address significant challenges.

UC Davis’ newest members are among nearly 270 members elected to the academy in 2023, drawn from academia, the arts, industry, policy, research and science, and including more than 40 international honorary members from 23 countries.

Britt, Croughan and Shaver join 29 other academy members with current UC Davis affiliation, including emeriti. See the complete list here.

R. David Britt

R. David Britt headshot, UC Davis faculty
R. David Britt

Distinguished Professor Britt, Department of Chemistry, College of Letters and Science, is the first person to hold the Winston Ko Professorship in Science Leadership. The professorship, named after the late professor and dean of physical sciences, recognizes national or international science leadership by an outstanding faculty member in the departments of Chemistry, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Mathematics, Physics or Statistics. 

Britt studies the structure and function of biologically important enzymes, especially those involved in capturing the sun’s energy and using it to split water and generate hydrogen. Understanding these enzymes could lead to new ways to generate clean fuels from solar energy.

Britt’s laboratory studies these molecules using a technique called electron paramagnetic resonance, or EPR, spectroscopy. The lab operates the California EPR center, known as CalEPR, the largest center of its kind on the West Coast.

Mary Croughan

Mary Croughan headshot, UC Davis provost and executive vice chancellor
Mary Croughan

As provost and executive vice chancellor, Croughan serves as the chief academic officer leading all aspects of the teaching, research and public service missions of UC Davis. She was elected to the academy’s educational and academic leadership section.

Upon taking up her UC Davis position in 2020, she joined the campus’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing as both an experienced administrator and epidemiologist. She co-led and steered development of health and safety practices for instruction and helped keep the community ahead of the curve through Healthy Davis Together. In her role, Croughan focuses on faculty and student success, academic excellence and sustaining the core mission of the campus. 

Immediately prior to joining UC Davis, Croughan was vice president of research and economic development at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, from 2017 to 2020.

As a longtime professor at UCSF, Croughan served at different times in the Department of Family Medicine, the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, and the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, from 1987 to 2017. She served as systemwide Academic Senate chair in 2008-09 and as the executive director of the Research Grants Program Office at the UC Office of the President from 2010 to 2017.

Phillip R. Shaver

Phillip R. Shaver headshot, UC Davis faculty
Phillip R. Shaver

Distinguished Professor Emeritus Shaver, Department of Psychology, College of Letters and Science, pioneered the scholarly field of romantic love with an article he and a graduate student published in 1987, spawning an enormous body of interdisciplinary research on human bonding. 

Since then, hundreds of studies have been published covering attachment processes in the brain, the personality, romantic and marital relationships, religious experiences, and large organizations. He has received career and scientific influence awards from his three main professional organizations: Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Society of Experimental Social Psychology and the International Association for Relationship Research.

He joined UC Davis in 1992 and served twice as psychology department chair before taking emeritus status in 2014. He has written more than 300 scholarly articles and book chapters and coauthored and co-edited numerous books. 

Media Resources

Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556,; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932,

Primary Category

Secondary Categories

Student Life University