Ecological Society of America

Student Awards

Both the Society and Sections within the Society offer awards for student presentations at the annual meeting.  Following the award descriptions is the application form to be used for application to those awards appropriate to you.

Angel Capurro Award 2007 for Latin American Graduate Student Attending the ESA Annual Meeting

Angel Capurro, a well known Argentinean ecologist, died in 2000 at 40 years of age. Despite being such a young researcher, he was an excellent ecologist with tremendous dedication and vision. His friends raised the money for this award to be given in his name, to help support the travel of a deserving graduate student to the ESA annual meeting.

Applications are invited from graduate students enrolled in Latin American Universities, with oral or poster presentations (as first author) at the Ecological Society of America annual meeting in San Jose , California , August 2007. Please submit a copy of your abstract, short CV (two pages), and recommendation letter from advisor. Note that your abstract must be accepted to apply. Quality and originality of abstract presentation, as well as previous work record (from CV) and need for support , will be the main criteria for selection. The Award can be used to cover travel, registration and /or lodging expenses for attending the ESA meeting up to a sum of US$2,500. Applications should be emailed to Juan Armesto, at Application must be received by May 31, 2007. The winner will be announced prior to the annual meeting.

Murray F. Buell Award and E. Lucy Braun Award (Society Awards):

Murray F. Buell had a long and distinguished record of service and accomplishment in the Ecological Society of America. Among other things, he ascribed great importance to the participation of students in meetings and to excellence in the presentation of papers. To honor his selfless dedication to the younger generation of ecologists, 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.

E. Lucy Braun, an eminent plant ecologist and one of the charter members of the Society, studied and mapped the deciduous forest regions of eastern North America and described them in her classic book, The Deciduous Forests of Eastern North America . To honor her, the E. Lucy Braun Award for Excellence in Ecology is given to a student for the outstanding poster presentation at the ESA Annual Meeting.

A candidate for these awards must be an undergraduate, a graduate student, or a recent recipient of a doctorate not more than 9 months past graduation at the time of the meeting. The paper or poster must be presented as part of the program sponsored by the Ecological Society of America, but the student need not be an ESA member. To be eligible for these awards, the student must be the sole or senior author of the oral paper (Note: symposium talks are ineligible) or poster. Papers and posters will be judged on the significance of ideas, creativity, quality of methodology, validity of conclusions drawn from results, and clarity of presentation. While all students are encouraged to participate, winning papers and posters typically describe fully completed projects. The students selected for these awards will be announced in the ESA Bulletin following the Annual Meeting. A certificate and a check for $500 will be presented to each recipient at the next ESA Annual Meeting.

If you wish to be considered for either of these awards at the 2007 Annual Meeting, you must send the following to the Chair of the Student Awards Subcommittee: (1) the application form included with this announcement, (2) a copy of your abstract, and (3) a 250-word or less description of why/how the research presented will advance the field of ecology.

Because of the large number of applications for the Buell and Braun awards in recent years, applicants may be prescreened prior to the Annual Meeting, based on the quality of the abstract and on the description of the significance of the research.

The application form, abstract, and research justification must be sent by mail, fax, or e-mail ( e-mail is preferred: send to to the Chair of the Student Awards Subcommittee: Dr. Anita L. Davelos Baines, Assistant Professor, SCIE 2.344, Department of Biology, The University of Texas – Pan American, 1201 W. University Drive, Edinburg, TX 78541-2999. If you have questions, call 956-380-8732, fax 956-381-3657, or e-mail: You will be provided with suggestions for enhancing a paper or poster.

The deadline for receipt of application materials is 1 March 2007 . Applications received after 1 March 2007 will not be considered. This submission is in addition to the regular abstract submission. Buell/ Braun participants who fail to notify the B/B Chair by 1 May of withdrawal from the meeting will be ineligible, barring exceptional circumstances, for consideration in the future. Electronic versions of the Application Form are available on the ESA web site, or you can send an e-mail to and request that an electronic version be sent to you as an attachment.

See Buell-Braun Request for Judges

Award for Best Student Presentation in Soil Ecology (Soil Ecology Section):

The Soil Ecology section will award a $200 prize recognizing the best student presentation (talk or poster) in soil ecology at the ESA Annual Meeting. Candidates must meet the eligibility requirements for the Buell and Braun awards, but they need not apply to those competitions.   Symposium presentations are eligible for this award. The presentation must describe research used for the graduate degree; evaluation criteria are similar to those used for the ESA Buell and Braun Awards. A student may apply several times (in different years) as long as he or she meets the above qualifications and has not previously won this award. In some years, separate awards may be made for talk and poster presentations, Section budget allowing.

Students apply for the Section's award by sending an e-mail (with the subject line "ESA SES Student Award") to the Section Chair by May 1st stating 1) their interest in being an award candidate that year, 2) that they, or a co-author, are a member of the Section, and 3) that they are eligible for the Buell and Braun Awards. They must also include or attach a copy of their abstract AND a 250-word or less description of why/how the research presented will advance the field of ecology, with attention to soil ecology. Contact:


Julie Whitbeck,
ESA Soil Ecology Section Chair
Biological Sciences, CRC -200
University of New Orleans
New Orleans , LA 70148


Edward S. Deevey Award (Paleoecology Section):

The Paleoecology Section of the Ecological Society of America has established the Edward S. Deevey Award to honor Deevey's efforts and dedication in fostering the highest quality of graduate student research in paleoecology. Awards of $150 and $50 are given for the best and runner-up presentations of paleoecological research by graduate students at the ESA Annual Meeting. Paleoecology is defined to include all studies that use sedimentary, paleontological, historical, or similar archives and proxy records to describe and interpret ecological patterns and processes at all time scales.

A candidate for the award must be the sole or first author of the submitted abstract, and prepare and present himself an oral paper or poster at the ESA Annual Meeting. The candidate must be a graduate student or have completed a masters or doctoral degree not more than 9 months before the presentation. The presentation must describe and research used for the graduate degree; evaluation criteria are similar to those used for the ESA Buell and Braun Awards. A student can apply several times in consecutive years as long as s/he meets the above qualifications has not won the award before.

Please e-mail or send the completed application form and a copy of your abstract to:


Jason Lynch, Chair
North Central College
30 N. Brainard Street
Naperville , IL 60540


Best Student Talk in Aquatic Ecology (Aquatic Ecology Section):

The Aquatic Ecology Section makes an award for the best talk in aquatic ecology presented at the annual ESA meeting by a student in the Aquatic Section. The competition is coordinated with the Buell Award (awarded by the Society), so applicants must be eligible for (and signed up for) the Buell Award. The student must apply for the Section's award by sending an e-mail (with the subject line "Best Student Talk") to the Section Chair (by May 1st) stating that 1) they are a member of the section, and 2) that they have applied for and are eligible for the Buell Award.

They also should include or attach a copy of their abstract. See for more information.


Orlando Sarnelle, Associate Professor
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Michigan State University
East Lansing , MI   48824-1222

Office phone: 517-353-4819

Physiological Ecology Billings Award (Physiological Ecology Section):

The Billings Award recognizes the best oral presentation by a graduate student in physiological ecology. This new award in given in honor of Dwight and Shirley Billings. Dwight built the foundation of this discipline in North America and provided leadership for the field throughout his illustrious career. Together, Dwight and Shirley have shown a deep regard for the interests and training of graduate students in this dynamic component of ecology. Nominations are solicited for the best paper published in physiological ecology by a current or recently finished student. The award this year is $500. To apply, please send the application form and following information to

  • Session (Date and location)
  • Time of presentation


Rob Jackson
E-mail :

Physiology Section: Best student Poster Award

The Physiological Ecology Section of the Ecological Society of America is soliciting applications and nominations for the Best Student Poster Award. This award will recognize the best student-presented poster in physiological ecology at the ESA annual meeting, and carries a $500 cash prize for the recipient. All graduate students are eligible for the award provided that they are the senior author on the poster, are actively enrolled in a graduate program, or received their degree in 2007 and are presenting data collected during their graduate program. To apply, please send the application form and following information to:

  • Session (Date, time and location)
  • Poster number


Rob Jackson
E-mail :

Alfred J. Lotka and Vito Volterra Award

The Theoretical Ecology Section annually awards the Alfred J. Lotka and Vito Volterra prizes for the best presentations given by students during the annual meeting of the ESA . The award is open to graduate students who, as sole or first author, present a talk or poster at the ESA annual meeting on original research in theoretical ecology. All suitable approaches that yield theoretical insight to ecological phenomena will be considered. Prizes---a sum redeemable as books published by Sinauer Associates---will be awarded on the basis of merit, originality, and clarity of presentation.

To be considered for the Theoretical Ecology Section Award, students must notify the Section by July 5, 2007 , at the email address below, using ? ESA LV AWARD NOMINATION? as the subject. The email body should include the following information: Applicant's name, Co-authors, Format (poster/oral presentation), Title, Session, and Time/Date/Place of presentation/poster.


Michael Neubert

Click here to download the application.


Ton Damman Award

The Ton Damman Award will be given to a graduate student or very recent post-graduate scientist for the best oral presentation in Vegetation Science at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Students competing for the Damman Award must meet all the criteria for ESA's Buell Award. The Ton Damman Award recognizes the lifetime dedication of Ton Damman to the advancement of Vegetation Science. While his professional career revolved around his research on peatland ecology, biogeography, plant community classification and ecology, his teaching focused on broader plant ecological issues. Working with his students and other colleagues, he approached his research with unparalleled commitment and untiring zeal. He was an ardent conservationist of wildlands and biological diversity. His love for the out-of-doors served as a model for the many students and professionals with whom he came into contact. A candidate for this award need not be a member of the Vegetation Section, but does need to be senior author of the abstract and give the oral presentation at the annual meeting. The recipient will receive a framed certificate and cash award.

Candidates for the Ton Damman Award

Please send all inquiries for consideration to Scott L. Collins at: Inquiries must be received by 31 July 2004 to be considered for the award this year. PLEASE NOTIFY YOUR STUDENTS ABOUT THIS AWARD!!!

More information, click here.

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