Michael T. Clegg, considered one of the most distinguished plant evolutionists in the world, will join UCI faculty as the Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences.
Clegg specializes in population genetics and molecular evolution. Upon arrival to UCI he will direct the new Center in Evolutionary Genetics, which will be created this year to facilitate research and education in the field, as well as attract and recruit top students and other renowned scientists.
One of Clegg’s discoveries that gained him worldwide recognition was his early population genetic discoveries concerning the dynamic behavior of plant systems.
He has also contributed in research about flower color and their relation to the understanding of the genetic causes of the many different forms of flower color as well as plant adaptation.
Clegg comes to UCI from UC Riverside where he is a distinguished professor of genetics in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences.
‘In my field of molecular evolution, UCI has one of the world’s most outstanding groups of faculty,’ Clegg said. ‘My own work in plant molecular evolution will benefit enormously from the rich context provided by UCI.’
Clegg is UCI’s ninth Donald Bren professor and will begin his appointment in July. Other notable Bren Professors include Nobel laureate F. Sherwood Rowland and other researchers and geneticists.
The Donald Bren Endowment was established in 1988 with a gift from Donald Bren , chairman of the Irvine Company, to help UCI attract and support the work of leading scholars from around the world. The endowment currently supports 13 endowed chairs in the arts and the sciences at UCI.