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Lotka-Volterra Prizes for Best Student Presentations in Theoretical Ecology

The Theoretical Ecology Section of the ESA is proud to announce the thirteenth annual Alfred J. Lotka prize for the best poster and Vito Volterra prize for the best talk given by students during the ESA annual meeting. The award is open to undergraduate and graduate students who, as sole or first author, present a talk or poster at the 2014 ESA annual meeting on original research in theoretical ecology. All suitable approaches that yield theoretical insight to ecological phenomena will be considered. Prizes will be awarded on the basis of merit, originality, and clarity of presentation.

To be considered for either the Lotka award or the Volterra award, students (or their advisors) should notify me by 15 July 2014, providing the following information:

Applicant's name:
Talk or Poster:
Time/Date/Place of presentation/poster:

Please provide this information by email to, and include 'Lotka-Volterra Award' in the subject line.

Please forward this announcement to any students who you know are giving talks or presenting posters on any aspect of theoretical ecology at this year's ESA meeting.

Looking forward to seeing you in Sacramento!

Marissa Baskett
Vice-Chair, Theoretical Ecology Section of the ESA

Current Recipients (2013)

Lotka Award for Best Poster:

Jaime Ashander,
Center for Population Biology, University of California, Davis, CA
"Understanding the joint effects of plastic and evolutionary change on demography from time series data"
Advisor: Marissa Baskett

Volterra Award for Best Talk:

Julie Rushmore,
Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
"Network-based vaccination improves prospects for disease control in wild chimpanzee"
Co-author: Damien Caillaud, Richard J. Hall, Rebecca M. Stumpf, Lauren Ancel Meyers, Sonia Altizer

Past Years' Recipients

Outstanding Ecological Theory Paper Award

The Theoretical Ecology Section sponsors an annual award for an outstanding published paper in ecological theory. Papers with a print or electronic publication date in either of the two years preceding the year of the award are eligible. (For example, papers published in years n-2 and n-1 are eligible for the award in year n.)

Nominations (including self-nominations) may be made from January 1 - March 1 for each year's award. Nominations should be sent to the chair and vice-chair, and should include a short statement by the nominator discussing the paper's merits and suitability for the award. More information about past winners and application guidelines can be found on the section's website.

Current Recipients (2014)

The winners of the 2014 award for the best paper in theoretical ecology are Jiang Jiang and Don DeAngelis, for their 2013 paper "Strong species-environment feedback shapes plant community assembly along environmental gradients," published in the journal Ecology and Evolution (3: 41194128).

In their clearly-written paper, the authors make direct linkages to problems in plant ecology, while building a general theoretical model that addresses a key issue, not just in plant ecology, of feedbacks between organisms and their environment. Through well-designed analyses of an elegant model, they found that "ecological engineers" (species that modify the environment to their own benefit) can affect the diversity of the competitive community they inhabit, and that the direction of this effect depends critically on the extent to which the community is closed to immigration and on the spatial heterogeneity of the environment. These novel results should are likely to foster further theoretical research and generate some fine hypotheses that will motivate experimental and field studies.

Please join me in congratulating Jiang and Don!

Past Years' Recipients

Last updated on: June 3, 2014
Masami Fujiwara

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