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15 July 2005

Dr. Frank Romano Nominated as International Scientist of the Year

Dr. Frank Romano

By David S. Howell
JSU News Bureau

Dr. Frank Romano, Jacksonville State University biology department head,  has been nominated as the 2005 International Scientist of the Year by the International Biographical Centre of Cambridge, England.

Romano, who has been working and publishing internationally for a number of years, said he was very surprised by the July 1 confirmation and wasn’t aware he had been nominated.

Romano has developed a close working relationship with members of the international community while researching and publishing studies on tardigrades, microscopic aquatic life forms. He is a member of the International Tardigrade Society and the International Association of Meiobenthologists. (Meiobenthology is the study of the tiny animals that live in the bottom of lakes, streams and oceans. Tardigrades are part of the meiofauna.)

Jacksonville State University is the only university in the country where one can pursue a master’s degree in tardigradology. There are only about 160 tardigradologists worldwide and only five in the U.S. who are actively publishing studies on tardigrades.  Romano has studied the subject extensively at the University of Modena in Modena, Italy.

“This is a very small field so I’m always looking for ways to talk to other people doing this kind of research,” Romano said. Though he isn’t for certain, he suspects he may have been nominated by his colleagues at the University of Modena.

“This prestigious award is made available to only a few illustrious individuals whose achievements and leadership stand out in the International Scientific Community as decreed by the Research and Advisory Board,” wrote Nicholas S. Law, IBC director general, in a letter to Romano. Law chaired this year’s selection committee.

The International Biographical Centre has been producing international biographical directories for more than three decades that highlight the achievements of eminent professionals for a worldwide audience of academics and researchers who use the information for individual or scholarly research. Over the past 35 years IBC has published more than one million biographies of the world's leading people in 212 editions of prominent international biographical reference titles. According to Law, all IBC titles are compiled without political, racial or religious bias and are of genuine international interest to researchers, students, and enthusiasts alike.

Law said the IBC selection committee reviewed tens of thousands of biographies which have been published in their scientific directories. These include 2000 Outstanding Scientists of the 20th and 21st Centuries and their new Living Science reference book. These directories cover vast interest and geographical areas and are designed to provide easy access to detailed biographical information from many varied, prominent individuals.

Only a select few have been chosen for this accolade, Law said in the letter.

“A particular feature of many of our titles is that we not only include the famous but we also include up-and-coming personalities,” Law said in an electronic press release. “We supply information sought by librarians, researchers and the media worldwide which is difficult to obtain elsewhere. Entry into our biographical reference books is by invitation of the editorial advisory board only and cannot be ‘bought’.”

The IBC has a stringent and rigorous vetting procedure.

“The honor enjoyed by the biographees is rare and unique and those listed in our books have very definitely earned the right to be there,” Law said.

“This is a significant honor and it’s wonderful to be recognized by my colleagues,” Romano said. “The work I’ve been doing internationally has been very rewarding for me, for my students, and obviously for JSU.”

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