By: Kay Ledbetter
Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, [email protected]
Contact: Dr. David Stelly, 979-845-2745, [email protected]

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dr. David Stelly has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science or AAAS.

Stelly, a professor of cytogenetics, genetics, genomics and plant breeding in the soil and crop sciences department, holds a joint appointment with Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M University in College Station.

David Stelly
Dr. David Stelly has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science or AAAS. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo)

Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers, according to the association. This year 416 members have been awarded this honor because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

Stelly and other new Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin, whose colors represent science and engineering, respectively on Feb. 16 at the 2019 AAAS annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal, Science, as well as Science Translational Medicine, Science Signaling, Science Advances, Science Immunology and Science Robotics.

As part of the Agriculture, Food and Renewable Resources Section, Stelly was selected as a Fellow “for instilling the thirst for knowledge of plant breeding, genetics, cytogenetics, and molecular methods to students and colleagues in cotton, sorghum, soybean and potato,” according to the association.

Stelly has more than 40 years of diverse breeding experiences with diploid and polyploid crops such as potato, tomato, soybean, maize, conifers, sorghum and cotton, including researching germplasm introgression, reproductive biology and cytology, cytogenetics, genetics and genomics.

He joined Texas A&M in 1983, and for the past 35 years, he has led a multi-faceted research program that focuses on increasing the ability to use wild genetic resources for improvement of cotton.

He is known internationally for his research efforts that integrate the fields of plant breeding, diploid and polyploid cotton cytogenetics, genetics, mapping, diversity analysis, evolution, wide-cross germplasm introgression, reproductive biology, cytology, cytogenomics and bioinformatics.

Stelly earned his bachelor’s degree in genetics from the University of Wisconsin, his master’s degree in plant breeding and cytogenetics from Iowa State University, and his doctorate in plant breeding and plant genetics at the University of Wisconsin.

He has been recognized with many honors over the years, including being named the Cotton Researcher of the Year by the International Cotton Advisory Committee in 2017. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Conference on Genetics and Cytogenetics at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad in Karnataka, India, and was named a Fellow by the Crop Science Society of America, both in 2016.

For more information about Stelly’s research or to contact him, go to