LAURELS: Atekwana and Lund Are New AGU Fellows



  • Estella Atekwana, College of Letters and Science
  • Jay Lund, College of Engineering
  • Brian Todd, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
  • John Patrick Hunt, School of Law
  • Gabriel “Jack” Chin, School of Law

Estella Atekwana and Jay Lund headshots, UC Davis faculty
Estella Atekwana and Jay Lund

Estella Atekwana, a geophysicist and dean of the College of Letters and Science, and Distinguished Professor Jay Lund, co-director of the Center for Watershed Sciences, are among the AGU’s 2022 class of fellows, recognized for outstanding achievements and contributions to earth and space science.

Atekwana joined UC Davis in August 2021 with appointments as dean of L&S and professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Her research interests include biogeophysics, near surface geophysics, tectonics, geodynamics and continental rifting. Read more in this College of Letters and Science article about her being named an AGU fellow.

Lund joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in 1987. His major research interests are in systems analysis, economics and management of large-scale water systems, integrated urban water supplies, and water transfers and markets. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

The AGU named 54 fellows on Monday (Sept. 19), saying they had been so recognized because of their remarkable innovation and/or sustained scientific impact. “In addition, each fellow embodies AGU’s values by fostering equity, integrity, diversity, and open science; by mentoring; through public engagement; and in their communications,” said the AGU’s announcement, signed by Susan Lozier, president of the organization, and LaToya Myles, chair of the Honors and Recognition Committee.

AGU fellows serve as global leaders and experts who propel people’s understanding of geosciences. “Their research, which pushes our boundaries of knowledge to create a healthy planet and beyond, is an inspiration to us all,” Lozier and Myles said. “We are grateful for their invaluable contributions, hard work and sacrifice. We also recognize that numerous individuals have been pivotal to their successes, and we thank them as well.”

The new fellows join a prestigious group. Every year since 1962, less than one-tenth of 1% of AGU members have earned fellow status.

AGU will formally acknowledge and celebrate the new fellows for their exceptional achievements and visionary leadership during a ceremony at the organizations fall meeting.

UC Davis professor inspecting baby Tortoise in the Mojave Desert
In photo from 2018, Professor Brian Todd examines a baby desert tortoise as part of a research project on the Mojave National Preserve. (Joe Proudman/UC Davis)

Brian Todd, professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, is the recipient of the Meritorious Teaching Award in Herpetology from three professional societies: the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, the Herpetolgists League, and the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

The award is given each year to an individual who has demonstrated superior teaching and mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students in herpetology.

Todd has shared his love for reptiles and amphibians with nearly 1,000 students in his herpetology course alone since 2013.

He was nominated for the award by former and current students, who described Todd’s “infectious enthusiasm” for teaching and their success, as well as for snakes, lizards and tortoises. They said he intentionally creates spaces where people feel professionally and personally safe to be themselves, and that he avidly promotes the accomplishments of his students.

— Kat Kerlin, environmental sciences writer, News and Media Relations

Accolades for law school faculty:

  • Professor John Patrick Hunt, elected to the American Law Institute, widely considered the nation’s preeminent law reform organization. Hunt’s scholarship, focusing on law and finance, has addressed student-loan bankruptcy and forgiveness; municipal bankruptcy; credit rating agencies; and mortgage securitization, transfer and modification.
  • Gabriel “Jack” Chin, Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law who holds the Edward L. Barrett Jr. Endowed Chair, honored by the Silicon Valley law firm Hopkins & Carley for his service to underrepresented communities and status as a role model to law students from diverse backgrounds.

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

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