Hollis to Head APA’s Third Division

Professor of Psychology and Education Karen Hollis has become just the sixth person, and the first woman, to be elected president of the American Psychological Association’s third and sixth divisions. She will serve as Division 3 (Experimental Psychology) president for 2011-2012, and previously served in 2006-2007 as the Division 6 (Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology) president.

“It’s an incredible honor to have been elected as the next division president,” Hollis said. “I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to serve a field--and an organization--that has given so much to me over the years.”

The APA, which includes more than 150,000 members, is composed of divisions that each represent different areas of psychology; members often belong to several divisions that correspond to their research and professional interests. Each division elects its own president, who serves a three-year term: one year as president-elect, one year as president of the division, and a third year as past-president.

Hollis is also making headlines for her research on rescue behavior in ants. She was quoted several times in a recent Congressional Quarterly Researcher article on animal intelligence, and was also featured in a story by the Danish journal Illustreret Videnskab on the paper that Hollis and fellow researcher Elise Nowbahari published on ant rescue behavior in 2009. In addition, Science Illustrated is currently working on an article that will update English readers on Hollis and Nowbahari’s latest ant rescue research.

Spain’s psychology community has also had the opportunity recently to learn more about Hollis’ work. In September, she delivered a keynote address at the XXII Meeting of the Spanish Society for Comparative Psychology. Entitled “Cognitive Ecology: An Evolutionary Approach to Associative Learning,” the address was an overview to her work with fish, lizards and, more recently, insects.

“Spanish researchers have been leading the field in many aspects of associative learning and cognition, so the opportunity to present my own work and meet with them was very exciting,” Hollis said. “Plus, the coast of southeastern Spain was a particularly gorgeous backdrop for the conference!”