Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe, professor of environmental engineering at Princeton University, has been appointed by Pope Benedict as an ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
The Pontifical Academy is comprised of scientists from around the globe who have significantly contributed to science. The members serve the Vatican by providing them with objective research while continuing to advance the progress of their particular discipline.
Rodriguez-Iturbe, a native Venezuelan, is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and has worked at Princeton since 1999. He is a leader in hydrology and considered one of the fathers of ecohydrology.
The Holy Father will formally appoint Rodriguez-Iturbe into the academy in October 2008.