2019 Distinguished Texas Scientist

Dr. David Lambert

University of Texas at Austin

     David L. Lambert, a native of England, was educated at the University of Oxford from which he received his BA and D.Phil degrees. After post-doctoral years at Oxford and the California Institute of Technology, he joined the astronomy faculty at the University of Texas at Austin. From his initial appointment in 1969 as a Faculty Associate to his retirement in 2016 as the Isabel McCutcheon Harte Centennial Chair, his research was (and remains) largely driven by observations obtained at UT Austin's W.J. McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis. From 2003 to 2014, Lambert was Director of the McDonald Observatory.

     Inspiration for Lambert’s research into the evolution of stars and the origins of the chemical elements is traceable to the book `Frontiers of Astronomy' by Fred Hoyle awarded as a school prize in 1956. In his time at UT Austin, His collaborators have included UT graduate students and postdoctoral fellows attracted to UT from the US and across the world. Visiting appointments at universities and observatories have led to valuable and diverse collaborations.

     Lambert's work has been recognized by the Dannie Heinemann Prize in 1987 and the Henry Norris Russell Lectureship in 2007, both awarded by the American Astronomical Society. Other awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1981. He is a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of Sciences of Uppsala (Sweden) and an Honorary Fellow of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics.


Recent Distinguished Texas Scientists

Each year the Board of Directors of the Texas Academy of Science honors one of our colleagues as the Distinguished Texas Scientist. This honor reflects distinguished contributions to science through research and publication that has garnered recognition at the national and international level. Candidates must have spent a significant portion of their professional careers in Texas. 

A nomination package for the Award should consist of a nominating letter from any Scientist, member or non-member of the TAS, summarizing the candidate’s achievements and their impact on both Science and Texas, and also include two supporting letters from experts in the fields associated with the nominee.   All letters should be addressed to the Vice President of the TAS and arrive prior to January 1.  The president elect can be contacted direct via email.


2019 David Lambert, Isabel McCutcheon Harte Centennial Chair in Astronomy,  University of Texas at Austin

2018 Purnendu K. (Sandy) Dasgupta, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Texas at Arlington 

2017 Bert O'Malley, FACS, Baylor College of Medicine

2016 Gary Garrett, Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin

2015 Francisco Gonzalez-Lima, Department of Psychology (Neuroscience), University of Texas at Austin

2014 Michelle Bushey, Department of Chemistry, Trinity University

2013 Camille Parmesan, Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin

2012 Larry Gilbert, Ecology and Evolution, University of Texas at Austin

2011 George Kattawar, Physics, Texas A&M University

2010 James R. Dixon, Herpetology, Texas A&M University

2009 Owen Lind, Limnology, Baylor University

2008 Ernest L. Lundelius, Jr., Vertebrate Paleontology, University of Texas at Austin

2007 Robert J. Baker - Mammalogy and Molecular Genetics, Texas Tech University

2006 Erik R. Pianka, Ecology, University of Texas at Austin

2005 Frank Judd, Biology, University of Texas-Pan American

2004 John C. Perez, Microbiology, Texas A&M University-Kingsville

2003 Jonathan A. Campbell, Biology, University of Texas at Arlington

2002 Alastair Ian Scott, Director, Center for Biological NMR, Texas A&M University

2001 Glenn Evans and Gene Mear

2000 Kathie Thomas-Keprta, Everett K. Gibson, Jr., David S. McKay, NASA Mars Meteorite Research Team

1999 Dr. Norman Hackerman, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, Univ. of Texas at Austin

1998 Dr. Clark Hubbs Zoology University of Texas at Austin

1997 Dr. Robert F. Curl and Dr. Richard F. Smalley, Chemistry, Rice University

1996 Dr. Sammy M. Ray Oyster Biology Texas A&M University at Galveston

1995 Dr. John Reading Physics Texas A&M University

1994 Dr. Patrick L. Odell Mathematics Baylor University

1993 Dr. William R. Brinkley Medicine Baylor College of Medicine

1992 Dr. J. Knox Jones Mammalogy Texas Tech University

1991 Dr. Roger Unger Medicine Southwestern Medical Center

1990 Dr. Carolyn Huntoon Space Medicine NASA

1989 Dr. Carl B. Collins, Jr. Physics University of Texas at Dallas

1988 Dr. Virgil E. Barnes Geology University of Texas at Austin

1987 Dr. Richard C. Starr Botany University of Texas at Austin

1986 Dr. Grover E. Murray Geology Texas Tech Univ.

1985 Dr. Albert Zlatkis Chemistry University of Houston

1984 Dr. Francis S. Johnson Aerospace University of Texas at Dallas

1983 Dr. Michel Halbouty Geoscience Private Industry

1982 Dr. Perry Adkisson Entomology Texas A&M University

1981 None

1980 Dr. Ilya Prigogine Physics University of Texas at Austin

1979 Dr. Michael DeBakey Medicine Baylor College of Medicine