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ESA announces 2007 award recipients

Ecological Society of America

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) is proud to announce the following winners for ecological achievement. Awards will be presented during a ceremony at the ESA-Society for Ecological Restoration joint meeting in San Jose, California on Monday, August 6, 2007.

E. Lucy Braun Award

  • Daniel Laughlin

The E. Lucy Braun Award for Excellence in Ecology is given to a student for the most outstanding poster presentation at the ESA Annual Meeting. The 2006 recipient is Daniel Laughlin (Northern Arizona University) for his poster "Climate-induced temporal variation in the productivity-diversity relationship." In the study, Laughlin evaluated the influence of precipitation in different years using existing data on plant productivity and diversity.

Murray F. Buell Award

  • Carolyn Kurle

The Murray F. Buell Award for Excellence in Ecology is given to a student for the outstanding oral paper presented at the ESA Annual Meeting. The 2006 recipient is Carolyn Kurle (University of California, Santa Cruz) for her paper "Introduced rats indirectly alter marine communities." She found that marine bird abundance differed between rat-infested and rat-free islands, and that this resulted in significant differences in intertidal invertebrate abundance and algal cover on the two island types.

W. S. Cooper Award

  • Paul Fine

The 2007 Cooper Award recipient is Paul Fine (University of California, Berkeley) and colleagues for the paper "Herbivores promote habitat specialization by trees in Amazonian forests" (2004, Science 305:663-665). The William Skinner Cooper Award is given to honor an outstanding contributor to the fields of geobotany, physiographic ecology, plant succession, or the distribution of plants along environmental gradients. Fine's co-authors are Italo Mesones, an expert in Neotropical plant distributions, and Phyllis D. Coley, a distinguished ecologist who has made seminal discoveries in the ecology of plant-herbivore interactions. The study demonstrated that natural enemies play a central role in creating performance trade-offs among species.

Mercer Award

  • Jordi Bascompte

The Mercer Award is given for an outstanding ecological research paper published within the past two years by a younger researcher (the lead author of the paper must be 40 years of age or younger at the time of publication). This year's recipient is Jordi Bascompte for his paper "Asymmetric coevolutionary networks facilitate biodiversity maintenance" (2006, Science 312: 431-433). Coauthors on the paper were Pedro Jordano (Biological Station of Doñana, Spain), and Jens M. Olesen (University of Aarhus, Denmark).

Eugene P. Odum Award

  • Carol Brewer

This year's Eugene P. Odum Award recipient is Carol Brewer (University of Montana). The award recognizes an ecologist for outstanding work in ecology education. Through teaching, outreach, and mentoring activities, recipients of this award have demonstrated their ability to relate basic ecological principles to human affairs. Brewer's past and current research focuses on developing collaborations between scientists and teachers, training teachers to conduct ecological investigations with their students, exploring new methods for teaching science to undergraduates, and using new assessment strategies to clearly connect teaching and learning.

Corporate Award

  • Ray Anderson

The Ecological Society of America presents its prestigious Corporate Award to Ray Anderson, founder of Interface, Inc. The award is given to a corporation or business for demonstrated accomplishments in incorporating sound ecological concepts, knowledge, and/or practices into its planning and operating procedures. Based in Georgia and founded in 1972, Interface is the largest carpet manufacturer in the world.

Honorary Member Award

  • Marilyn Ball

The 2007 Honorary Member Award goes to Marilyn Ball (Australian National University). The award is given to a distinguished ecologist who has made exceptional contributions to ecology and whose principal residence and site of ecological research are outside of the United States and Canada. Ball currently leads the Ecosystems Dynamics group at the Australian National University. She is internationally acknowledged as a leader in the field of plant ecophysiology.

Distinguished Service Citation

  • Frank Egerton

The Distinguished Service Citation is given annually in recognition of long and distinguished service to the Ecological Society of America, to the larger scientific community, and to the larger purpose of ecology in the public welfare. This year's recipient is Frank Egerton. Egerton has written widely about the historical antecedents of ecology and how ecologists perceive the world. His classic paper "Changing concepts in the balance of nature" (1973, Quarterly Review of Biology 48:322-350) is a seminal paper that first pointed ecologists in the direction of non-equilibrium thinking.

Eminent Ecologist Award

  • Otto Lange
The 2007 Eminent Ecologist Award recipient is Otto Lange. This award is given to a senior ecologist in recognition of an outstanding body of ecological work or sustained ecological contributions of extraordinary merit. Lange is one of the founding fathers of plant physiological ecology, and his impact on the field has been vitally important. He has 368 publications on the topic (92 since his retirement), has co-edited 10 books, and is still actively publishing today. He is a dedicated teacher and his scholarship is widespread. Lange and his students have been, and are today, at the forefront of this discipline.

Lange is a co-inventor of the portable gas exchange chamber, and was instrumental in the development of the mini-cuvette system that allows long enclosure of leaves with full control of conditions, such as light, temperature, humidity, and CO2 concentration. He also developed a chamber for lichens and mosses. After his retirement in 1992, he designed and developed the automated cuvette, which continuously monitors CO2 fluxes and now is an important tool used by scientists studying carbon.


For more information about the awards session, as well the 2007 ESA-SER joint meeting, please visit: Some 4,000 attendees are expected at this year's meeting in Silicon Valley.

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) is a scientific, non-profit, 9700-member organization founded in 1915. Through ESA reports, journals, membership research, and expert testimony to Congress, ESA seeks to promote the responsible application of ecological data and principles to the solution of environmental problems. ESA publishes four scientific, peer-reviewed journals: Ecology, Ecological Applications, Ecological Monographs, and Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. For more information about the Society visit

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