Anthony Di Fiore

This month, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (AAAS) announced that Anthony Di Fiore, professor of anthropology at The University of Texas at Austin, has been elected as a member. AAAS is one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious scientific societies, and Di Fiore is one of 261 notable individuals in academia, the arts, industry, public policy, and research from around the world elected to join the Academy this year.

“This news from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences came as a wonderful shock, and I’m really honored and humbled,” said Di Fiore. “I have been very fortunate to have worked with dozens of deeply kind mentors, fantastic colleagues, and brilliant students from around the world—all of whom have a part in this recognition—and I have been lucky to call the most beautiful, diverse rainforest on the planet my ‘office’ for the past 30 years.”

A faculty member in UT Austin’s Department of Anthropology since 2011 and an affiliate faculty member with the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, Di Fiore is a behavioral ecologist, evolutionary biologist, and geneticist who has been recognized for his work on primates of the Americas. His research focuses on understanding the diversity of wild primate social systems and the factors influencing primate community structure and coexistence, and he directs long-term field research in the primate community of Amazonian Ecuador. He is the director of the Primate Molecular Ecology and Evolution Laboratory at UT Austin and has served on the executive committee of the American Association of Physical (now Biological) Anthropologists. In addition to the AAAS, Di Fiore is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.  

“To be elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences is a real honor, and one Dr. Di Fiore richly deserves,” said Ann Huff Stevens, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “We’re privileged to have him as faculty in COLA, where he’s led groundbreaking research and been a real leader in his field as well as in the classroom.”

Since its founding in 1780, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences has elected researchers and scientists including Benjamin Franklin, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and Jennifer Doudna. In addition to recognizing leaders from across disciplines, professions, and perspectives, AAAS also convenes its members to address significant challenges.

“We are celebrating a depth of achievements in a breadth of areas,” said David Oxtoby, the Academy’s president, in a statement announcing the members elected to AAAS this year. “These individuals excel in ways that excite us and inspire us at a time when recognizing excellence, commending expertise, and working toward the common good is absolutely essential to realizing a better future.”


Media contact: Lauren Macknight,