Baylor Environmental Scientist Bryan Brooks, Ph.D., Named AAAS Fellow

January 31, 2023

World’s largest general scientific society honors Distinguished Professor of Environmental Science and Biomedical Studies for meritorious contribution to the advancement of science

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WACO, Texas (Jan. 31, 2023) – Bryan W. Brooks, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Environmental Science and Biomedical Studies and director of the Environmental Health Science Program at Baylor University, has been elected to the rank of AAAS Fellow, announced today by the Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals.

Brooks joins more than 500 scientists, engineers and innovators from around the world and across all disciplines to the 2022 class of AAAS Fellows, one of the most distinguished honors within the scientific community that recognizes Fellows for their scientific and socially notable achievements spanning their careers. The new Fellows class hails from academic institutions, laboratories and observatories, hospitals and medical centers, museums, global corporations, nonprofit organizations, institutes and government agencies, including from the U.S. presidential administration.

“AAAS is proud to elevate these standout individuals and recognize the many ways in which they’ve advanced scientific excellence, tackled complex societal challenges and pushed boundaries that will reap benefits for years to come,” said Sudip S. Parikh, Ph.D., AAAS chief executive officer and executive publisher of the Science family of journals.

This year’s AAAS Fellows class has moved their fields forward, paving the way for scientific advances that benefit society, bringing diverse and novelty thinking, innovative approaches and passion that will help solve the world’s most complex problems. Brooks has been recognized for “his foundational work on the environmental toxicology and chemistry of contaminants of emerging concern, and associated impacts on water quality and human and ecosystem health.” His wide-ranging global research contributes to developing science-based approaches to identify, diagnose and manage complex environment and health issues.

“I am thankful and honored to receive the AAAS Fellow award. I am particularly grateful to my family, and for the essential contributions of former and current students, postdoctoral fellows and staff, and collaborators here at Baylor and around the world. We must work together, beyond boundaries, borders and barriers, to advance the scientific enterprise and to address environment and health challenges that matter to all of us,” Brooks said.

“Dr. Bryan Brooks is deserving of this prestigious recognition for the research he has conducted within the state of Texas. He has now become a globally recognized scientist working to improve water quality in several developing countries with his ecological and toxicology work,” said Lee Nordt, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Baylor.

Brooks routinely works internationally on water quality, environmental contaminants and sustainability issues, particularly related to rapidly urbanizing regions. This research, in which he involves undergraduate and graduate students, specifically focuses on water quality; water reuse; developing approaches to define and manage chemical hazards and risks; environmental, aquatic and comparative toxicology and pharmacology; environmental and green chemistry; environmental public health; and the ecology, chemistry and toxicology of harmful algae blooms. This work is ongoing on five continents, and his current research is supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Science Foundation, Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Brooks is the author of more than 275 manuscripts in scholarly journals and book chapters and serves as Editor-in-Chief of Environmental Science & Technology Letters, a publication of the American Chemical Society. He has received the Kenaga Award from the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, a Leadership Award from the Water Environment Federation, two Scientific and Technological Achievement Awards from the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Past Presidents Award from the National Environmental Health Association and the Recipharm International Environmental Award. Brooks is a Fellow of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry and the Royal Society of Chemistry. He has served as a Fulbright Canada Visiting Research Chair in Water and the Environment in Alberta, Canada, and a Visiting Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. 

Honoring esteemed innovators is a tradition dating back to 1874. The new class joins the ranks of noted Fellows such as Alondra Nelson, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy director for science and society at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Mae Jemison, the first Black woman to go to space; Steven Chu, 1997 Nobel Laureate in Physics who served as the 12th U.S. Secretary of Energy; W. E. B. Dubois, considered the founding father of American sociology; Ellen Ochoa, veteran astronaut and the Johnson Space Center’s first Hispanic and second female director in its history; and Grace Hopper, pioneer in computer software development and programming language.

The new Fellows will receive a certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin (representing science and engineering, respectively) to commemorate their election and will be celebrated in Washington, D.C., in summer 2023. They also will be featured in the AAAS News & Notes section of Science in February 2023.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University’s largest academic division, consisting of 25 academic departments in the sciences, humanities, fine arts and social sciences, as well as 11 academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. The College’s undergraduate Unified Core Curriculum, which routinely receives top grades in national assessments, emphasizes a liberal education characterized by critical thinking, communication, civic engagement and Christian commitment. Arts & Sciences faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines. Visit


The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science, as well as Science Translational Medicine; Science Signaling; a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances; Science Immunology; and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For additional information about AAAS, visit