DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University has recognized three faculty members at the Nicholas School of the Environment with Distinguished Professorships.

Lisa Campbell, Brian Silliman and Heather Stapleton have been awarded the professorships, which are one of the highest academic honors the university confers on faculty.

Campbell has been named Rachel Carson Distinguished Professor of Marine Affairs and Policy.

Silliman has been named Rachel Carson Distinguished Professor of Marine Conservation Biology.

Stapleton has been named Ronie-Richele Garcia-Johnson Distinguished Professor.

All three appointments will be effective July 1.

Duke Provost Sally Kornbluth announced the appointments today. All told, 28 faculty members at eight schools or units across Duke were selected for the high honor.

New honorees are typically recognized at an annual University Distinguished Professors dinner held in April, but since that dinner has been postponed this year due to COVID19-related restrictions on social gatherings, Kornbluth said she wanted to recognize and congratulate the recipients now.

“I am thrilled to honor this wonderful cohort of scholars, teachers, and members of the Duke community,” Kornbluth said. “Becoming a distinguished professor at Duke is a great achievement, and one that is richly deserved by these outstanding colleagues. I look forward to being able to congratulate them in person!”

Campbell is widely cited for her expertise on policies and projects designed to reconcile conservation with socioeconomic development, primarily in rural areas and developing countries. Her fields of focus over the years have included sea turtle conservation in the Caribbean; community-based sustainable development in North Carolina; and ecotourism in Costa Rica. More recently, her work has also focused on the role community networks play in disaster preparedness and response along the North Carolina coast.

In addition to her research and teaching, Campbell serves as director of graduate studies for the Nicholas School’s Marine Science & Conservation Division.

Silliman is a marine ecologist whose meticulously executed field studies have reshaped decades-old scientific theories about how salt marshes and other coastal ecosystems work; the roles animal communities play in them; human impacts on them; and best practices for ecosystem restoration and the management of invasive species.

In recognition of his achievements, he received a 2019-20 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Science, Technology and Innovation; and was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2015 and a Visiting Professor with the Royal Netherlands Society of Arts and Sciences in 2011, among other professional honors.

Stapleton is an environmental chemist whose research focuses on identifying and understanding the uses of flame retardant chemicals in consumer products and evaluating the health impacts of exposures to those chemicals, particularly in children. Her studies have also shed new light on the risks posed by a wide range of other contaminants common in the indoor environment, including phthalates, pesticides and perfluorinated chemicals, and the cumulative impacts of exposure to mixtures of these contaminants over time.

Stapleton is co-director of the Duke Environmental Analysis Laboratory, which was launched in 2019 with a $5 million grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.