Pat Bedinger and Jay Breidt Named 2013 Professor Laureates by Colorado State University’s College of Natural Sciences

For their outstanding contributions in research, teaching and outreach in their respective fields, Pat Bedinger, professor of Biology and Jay Breidt, professor of Statistics, have been named the 2013 Professor Laureates by Colorado State University’s College of Natural Sciences.

Professor Laureate is the highest academic title awarded by the College of Natural Sciences to select faculty for their career accomplishments.

“Professors Bedinger and Breidt epitomize the scholarly excellence that impacts students in a significant way while contributing to the global community,” said Jan Nerger, dean of the College of Natural Sciences. “They join the highest ranks of other Professor Laureates who demonstrate the highest level of research, teaching, mentoring and outreach.”

On April 26 at 4:30 p.m. in the North Ballroom of the Lory Student Center, the College of Natural Sciences will host a reception in the University Club to honor the Laureates as well as the college’s teaching and mentoring award winners.

Bedinger will then give a lecture titled, “You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato: the Evolution of a Molecular Biologist,” following the awards presentation. The evening will end with a reception in the University Club.

Bedinger’s research has focused on the reproductive barriers between plant species, particularly between species of wild tomatoes.

Bedinger is studying the process by which female tissue recognizes and rejects male pollen from the wrong species in wild tomatoes. Since tomatoes and potatoes behave similarly and are closely related, these findings could help create a potato that is resistant to late blight. Late blight is the condition caused by the Phytophthora infestans fungus and is the source of the potato famine. This fungus still threatens potato crops around the globe and could be devastating to populations who still rely on potatoes as a major food source.

Breidt’s research interests include time series and survey sampling. In addition to researching new theory and methods for nonparametric regression estimators in surveys, supported by the National Science Foundation and the US Forest Service, he has helped revise recreational fisheries surveys for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations, advised South Africa on the development of a new land resource inventory and assisted the state of Colorado in election auditing procedures.

Recently, Breidt has been a member of the Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee, which guides analysis and development of national statistics. His work helps coordinate efforts of three major agencies: the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. He works to examine the agencies’ programs and provides advice on statistical methodology, research needed and other technical matters related to the collection, tabulation and analysis of federal economic statistics.

Breidt is currently supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health as the PI of multidisciplinary study aimed at identifying the shapes of complex biological molecules from small angle X-ray scattering experiments. This problem is fundamentally important in discovering how the molecule functions with respect to human health and disease.

The title, Professor Laureate, provides recipients an honorarium and three years of resources for student projects. The title remains for three years, is not renewable, and is relinquished upon retirement or transitional retirement.