Lynn Clark has been reappointed interim chair of the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology (EEOB), which is co-administered by Iowa State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Clark, a professor of botany, has served as interim chair since June 2021. Her renewed appointment will begin July 1, 2022, and extend through June 30, 2024.
“Dr. Clark has a proven track record of outstanding leadership and dedicated service to the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, which plays a critical role in many well-established and important undergraduate majors at Iowa State,” said Daniel J. Robison, holder of the endowed dean’s chair in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Her institutional knowledge of the university and strong commitment to student success have allowed the department to thrive and remain innovative, while attracting and retaining undergraduate and graduate students.”
Clark joined Iowa State in 1987 as temporary assistant professor in the Department of Botany, one year after she earned her doctoral degree in botany at Iowa State. In 2003, she advanced to full professor. Most recently, she earned a 2021 Regents Award for Faculty Excellence. From 2008-2021 Clark was the director of the Biological/Pre-Medical Illustration program, a shared program of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Design.
“It’s a distinct honor to continue serving our EEOB faculty, staff and students as interim chair,” Clark said. “I look forward to building on the progress we’ve made to our undergraduate programs in biology, environmental science and genetics in collaboration with EEOB’s partners in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.”
Clark’s research is focused on studying bamboos and grasses. A prolific researcher with 200 publications, Clark is the world’s foremost expert on bamboo and its evolution. She has identified more than 130 species of bamboo and is the author of several books on grasses, bamboos and native Iowa plants.
“Dr. Clark has been an engaged, thoughtful and productive leader during her first year as EEOB interim chair. She spearheaded the acquisition of faculty talent and oversaw the implementation of department projects that support student research in the biology, genetics and environmental programs,” said Beate Schmittmann, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “I am confident the department is in capable hands and I look forward to supporting Dr. Clark and celebrating her continued success in this key leadership role.”
Clark’s vision includes building on the achievements of the department’s research and graduate programs.
“The strength of the EEOB department lies in the breadth of expertise in our faculty members who look at many different kinds of organisms and ask many different kinds of questions,” Clark said. “This certainly makes the department successful and unique, and I look forward to maintaining this excellence.”
Clark has earned numerous awards including the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences International Service Award and an Iowa State University Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research. She was selected as a Dean’s Lecturer in spring 2007.