UF Wildlife Ecology and Conservation professor named Sloan Foundation Fellow

Brett Scheffers is among 126 honored with a $75,000 grant for research

A University of Florida assistant professor has been honored with a prestigious fellowship awarded to promising scientists.

Brett Scheffers, Ph.D., an assistant professor of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at UF, has received an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in Earth System Science, a recognition given to the best early career scientists viewed by their peers as rising stars.

Scheffers’ recognition is the first bestowed to a UF professor in seven years.

“It is amazing to be recognized by the Sloan Foundation for my career’s work, and I am most grateful for their support,” Scheffers said. “This award gives me the opportunity to continue my research in climate change science, which I hope will highlight emerging issues that both nature and society face.”

Scheffers joined UF in 2015. His research group studies how nature will respond to climate change, with active research in the southeast U.S., but also tropical regions of Central and South America, Africa, and Australasia. He received his undergraduate degree at Sewanee: The University of the South in Tennessee and went on to receive his master’s of science from the University of Alberta in Canada. In 2014, Scheffers graduated with a doctoral degree from the National University of Singapore. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at James Cook University in Australia prior to arriving at UF.

Scheffers joins an elite list of more than 5,000 early career researchers who have received the award since 1955. The fellowship supports researchers in chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences and physics.

To be considered for a fellowship, scientists must be nominated by their colleagues. Nearly 1,000 scientists are nominated every year for the 126 fellowship slots, according to the foundation. Winners receive a two-year, $75,000 grant.

“A Sloan Research Fellow is a rising star, plain and simple” said Adam F. Falk, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in a news release. “To receive a Fellowship is to be told by the scientific community that your achievements as a young scholar are already driving the research frontier.”

The most recent Sloan Research Fellows from the University of Florida include Rebecca Butcher, Ph.D., in 2014 and Adam Veige, Ph.D., in 2010, both assistant professors of chemistry. Of those who have been previously awarded a fellowship, 50 have received a Nobel Prize in their respective field, according to the foundation.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, nonprofit organization focused on improving the welfare of all through the advancement of scientific knowledge. It was founded in 1934 by Alfred P. Sloan Jr., then-president of the General Motors Corporation.


The University of Florida’s mission is to prepare our students to lead and influence the next generation and beyond for economic, cultural and societal benefit. Recognized as among the top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report, UF is one of the nation’s largest public universities, and is the only member of the Association of American Universities in Florida. Teaching, research and scholarship, and service span all of the UF’s academic disciplines and represent its commitment to be a premier university that the state, nation and world look to for leadership. www.ufl.edu.

UF News February 16, 2021