(Demmig-Adams, Barbara - 2021) -- Hazel Barnes Prize uri icon



  • Biologist Barbara Demmig-Adams has won the 2021 Hazel Barnes Prize, the most distinguished award a faculty member can receive from the University of Colorado Boulder. The Hazel Barnes Prize, a tradition since 1992, annually recognizes one CU Boulder faculty member who exemplifies the enriching interrelationship between teaching and research, and whose work has a significant effect on students, faculty, colleagues and the university. Noted in nomination materials as a superb teacher and speaker, Demmig-Adams is a College of Arts and Sciences’ professor of distinction in ecology and evolutionary biology (EBIO). Her research focus is plant physiological ecology—broadly probing the question of how plants survive and thrive in their natural environment, including extreme conditions. In particular, Demmig-Adams discovered that plants respond to excess sunlight by dissipating the excess energy harmlessly as heat, thereby preventing damage and/or metabolic disruption the plants would otherwise suffer. “Thanks to Barbara’s insights over the course of her distinguished career, we not only know a lot more about plants, we think differently about plants, their flexibility, and their relationships with their growth environments,” said Barry Logan, the first person to earn a PhD under her mentorship and now a professor and chair of biology at Bowdoin College. “Our faculty continuously impact society in profound ways, contributing through their research and by inspiring students, making a chain of beneficial connections for individuals and communities through teaching and science,” said CU Boulder Chancellor Philip DiStefano. “Barbara Demmig-Adams is among them, addressing solutions to some of our greatest challenges. She is deeply deserving of this prize.”

year awarded

  • 2021