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Awards

Congratulations to the 2020 award winners! Read the press release for more information.

  • Eminent Ecologist Award: Monica G. Turner
  • Distinguished Service Citation: Anthony C. Janetos
  • Robert H. MacArthur Award: Jonathan M. Levine
  • Eugene P. Odom Award for Excellence in Ecology Education: Jennifer Funk
  • Robert H. Whittaker Distinguished Ecologist Award: David A. Wardle
  • Robert H. Whittaker Travel Award: Julieta Aranibar
  • Forest Shreve Research Award: Flor Hernandez
  • W.S. Cooper Award: Carolina Levis, Flavia R. C. Costa, Frans Bongers, Marielos Peña-Claros, Charles R. Clement, André B. Junqueira, Eduardo G. Neves, Eduardo K. Tamanaha, Fernando O. G. Figueiredo, Hans ter Steege 
  • George Mercer Award:  J. Mason Heberling, Caitlin McDonough MacKenzie, Jason D. Fridley, Susan Kalisz, Richard B. Primack
  • Sustainability Science Award: Drew Harvell
  • Innovation in Sustainability Science Award: Jianguo Liu, Vanessa Hull, H. Charles J. Godfray, David Tilman, Peter Gleick, Holger Hoff, Claudia Pahl-Wostl, Zhenci Xu, Min Gon Chung, Jing Sun, Shuxin Li.

2019 Annual Meeting Student Awards

  • Murray F. Buell Award: Gaurav Sunil Kandlikar
  • E. Lucy Braun Award: Agostina Torres

ESA Awards

Eminent Ecologist Award

The Eminent Ecologist Award is given to a senior ecologist in recognition of an outstanding body of ecological work or of sustained ecological contributions of extraordinary merit.

Introduced in 1953, the award includes:

  • Lifetime Membership
  • $700 Travel Award
  • Globe
Past Recipients

Recent recipients include: Robert Holt, Jane Lubchenco, Eric Pianka, Jerry Franklin, and Diana Wall.

Awards Committee

See the list of this year’s members.

Robert H. MacArthur Award

The Robert H. MacArthur Award is given to an established ecologist in mid-career for meritorious contributions to ecology, in the expectation of continued outstanding ecological research and who generally are within 25 years from PhD.

Please note:
The award is given every other year. The award is open every even year. A talk is given during the prior year at the scientific plenary session.

Established in 1983, the award recognizes winners with:

  • $1000 cash award
  • $700 travel award
  • Globe
Past Recipients

Recent recipients include: Katharine N. Suding, Anurag A. Agrawal, Mercedes Pascual, Anthony R. Ives

Awards Committee

Explore this year’s members.

Eugene P. Odum Award for Excellence in Ecology Education

The Eugene P. Odum Award recognizes an ecologist for outstanding work in ecology education. This award was generously endowed by, and named for, the distinguished ecologist Eugene P. Odum. Through teaching, outreach, and mentoring activities, recipients of this award have demonstrated their ability to relate basic ecological principles to human affairs. Nominations recognizing achievements in education at the university, K–12, and public levels are all encouraged.

Introduced in the year 2000, recepients are recognized with:

  • $1000 cash award
  • $700 travel award
  • A special trophy
Past Recipients

Recent recipients include: Ricard Rozzi, Robert Holt, Jane Lubchenco, Eric Pianka, Jerry Franklin, and Diana Wall.

Awards Committee

Explore this year’s members.

George Mercer Award

The Mercer Award is given for an outstanding ecological research paper published by a younger researcher. A paper is published when it’s first put on the journal’s website as an accepted paper.

Started in 1948, this award offers:

  • $1000 cash award & $700 travel for the 1st author if under 40 years old
    (the lead author must be 40 years of age or younger at the time of publication).
  • If the award is given for a paper with multiple authors, all authors will receive a plaque, and those 40 years of age or younger at the time of publication will share the monetary prize.
  • Nomination letters should include the birth date(s) of the eligible author(s) and explain the novelty and importance of the paper.
  • The paper must have been published in 2019 or 2020 to be eligible for this year’s award.
Past Recipients

Recent recipients include: Brett Jesmer, Jerod Merkle, Jacob Goheen, Douglas Rasher, Marcelo Ardón, Jennifer Gremer, and Jennifer Williams.

Awards Committee

Explore this year’s members.

W.S. Cooper Award

The W. S. Cooper Award is given to honor an outstanding contributor to the fields of geobotany and/or physiographic ecology, the fields in which W. S. Cooper worked. This award is for a single contribution in a scientific publication (single or multiple authored).

First awarded in 1985 the award recognizes recipients with:

  • $700 toward travel for the 1st author
  • Plaques for each author
Past Recipients

Recent recipients include: Songlin Fei, Johanna M. Desprez, Kevin M. Potter, Insu Jo, Jonathan A. Knott, Christopher M. Oswalt

Awards Committee

See this year’s committee roster.

Distinguished Service Citation

The Distinguished Service Citation is given to recognize long and distinguished volunteer service to the ESA, to the larger scientific community, and to the larger purpose of ecology in the public welfare.

First awarded in 1975, the award recognizes winners with:

  • Plaque
  • $700 travel award
Past Recipients

Recent recipients are Charles Canham, Alan Covich, Janet Lanza, Don Strong, Carol Brewer, and Debra Peters.

Awards Committee

This year’s list of the award’s committee.

Sustainability Science Award

The Sustainability Science Award is given to the authors of a scholarly work that makes the greatest contribution to the emerging science of ecosystem and regional sustainability through the integration of ecological and social sciences. One of the most pressing challenges facing humanity is the sustainability of important ecological, social, and cultural processes in the face of changes in the forces that shape ecosystems and regions.

Introduced in 2004, this award is for a single scholarly contribution (book, book chapter, or peer-reviewed journal article) published in the last five years and recipients are provided a:

  • Plaque
  • $700 travel award
Past Recipients

Recent recipients are Timon McPhearson, Steward T. A. Pickett, Nancy B. Grimm, Jari Niemelä, Marina Alberti, Thomas Elmqvist, Christiane Weber, Dagmar Haase, Jürgen Breuste, Salman Qureshi

Awards Committee

See this year’s members.

Commitment to Human Diversity in Ecology

The Commitment to Human Diversity in Ecology Award is in recognition of long-standing contributions of an individual toward increasing the diversity of future ecologists through mentoring, teaching, or outreach.

Introduced in 2010:

  • This ESA award is for a single scholarly contribution (book, book chapter, or peer-reviewed journal article) published in the last five years.
  • Awarded annually with a plaque.
  • $700 travel award.
Past Recipients

Recent recipients include: Maria Miriti, Charles Nilon, Mary McKenna, Frank Day, and Gillian Bowser.

Awards Committee

Explore this year’s members.

International Ecology Award

This award is for an early or mid-career ecologist from the developing word.

Started in 2015,

  • The International Ecology Award is an honorary award that recognizes an ecologist with an earned doctorate and an outstanding record of contributions in ecology.
  • The International Ecology Award specifically recognizes an outstanding ecologist in a developing country. They can be at any career stage. The International Ecology Award provides funds for travel to the United States for research or to attend the ESA meeting, covering expenses up to $1200.
  • It is awarded every odd numbered year with a plaque.
  • Awarded up to $1400 for travel expenses.
Past Recipients

Recent recipients include: Jingyun Fang David B. Lindenmayer, Petr Pyšek, Ezatollah Karami, Simoneta Negrete-Yankelevich

Awards Committee

Explore this year’s members.

Murray F. Buell Award & E. Lucy Braun Award

These are two specific awards.

Murray F. Buell

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.

Started in 1977 the award offers:

  • A certificate and a check for $500 will be presented to each recipient at the following ESA Annual Meeting.
  • The student will also receive up to $700 for travel expenses to the Annual Meeting.
Past Recipients

Recent recipients include: Sara P. Bombaci, Benjamin J. Wilson, Michael J. M. McTavish, Cody S. Clements, and Nina Lany.

Awards Committee

Explore this year’s members.

E. Lucy Braun

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.

Started in 1988:

  • A certificate and a check for $500 will be presented to each recipient at the following ESA Annual Meeting.
  • The student will also receive up to $700 for travel expenses to the Annual Meeting.
Past Recipients

Recent recipients include: Jacqueline J. Peña, Michel T. Kohl, Julienne E. NeSmith, Timothy Fegel.

Awards Committee

Explore this year’s members.

ESA Fellows Program

These are two specific awards.

ESA Early Career Fellow

ESA designates an Early Career Fellow of the Society as certain early career members (typically chosen within 8 years of receiving the Ph.D.) who have begun making and show promise of continuing to make outstanding contributions to a wide range of fields served by ESA. Such contributions include, but are not restricted to, those that advance or apply ecological knowledge in academics, government, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector.

  • 5 Year Term
  • Certificate
Past Recipients

Recent recipients include: James C. Beasley, David J. Civitello, Gregory R. Goldsmith, Elise S. Gornish, and Erin Mordecai.

Awards Committee

Explore this year’s members.

ESA Fellows

ESA designates as Fellows of the Society certain members who have made outstanding contributions to a wide range of fields served by ESA. Such contributions include, but are not restricted to, those that advance or apply ecological knowledge in academics, government, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector.

  • They are elected for life.
  • Awardees receive a certificate.
Past Recipients

Recent recipients include: Peter B. Adler, Steven R. Beissinger, Ottar N. Bjørnstad, Gordon B. Bonan.

Awards Committee

Explore this year’s members.

Forrest Shreve Awards

The Forrest Shreve Student Research Fund

An award given to support research in the hot deserts of North America: Sonoran, Mojave, Chihuahuan, and Vizcaino. Projects considered are ecological and increase our understanding of the patterns and processes of deserts and/or desert organisms. Proposals are ranked based on the importance of the project toward understanding desert ecology, feasibility, experimental design and innovation.

  • $1000-2000
  • Awarded Annually
Past Recipients

Recent recipients include:

Awards Committee

Explore this year’s members.

Chapter and Section Awards

Many of ESA’s component suborganizations, the geographic chapters and interest-based sections, manage awards of their own. Visit their websites to learn more about the following:

Nomination process and schedule

ESA welcomes nominations that reflect the diversity of the Society’s members. Unless otherwise stated, nominees may be of any nationality or place of residence with priority given to ESA members.

The 2020 ESA Awards deadline is Thursday, November 7, 2019. All submission must be submitted through the online awards submission site for review. Incomplete nominations will not be reviewed by any of the Awards Subcommittees.

If you are nominating someone for the George Mercer, W.S. Cooper, Innovation in Sustainability Science Award or the Sustainability Science Award you need to include a letter of nomination with the full citation, an electronic copy of the publication and no more than two additional letters of support.

If you are nominating someone for either a Fellow or an Early Career Fellow nominations, a letter of nomination that describes the nominee’s most significant contributions and her/his impact in the areas of research & discovery, communication & outreach, teaching & pedagogy, and/or application to management & policy, a curriculum vitae at most four pages and no more than two additional letters of support.

For all other awards you should include a letter of nomination, a curriculum vitae at most four pages and no more than two additional letters of support unless noted at the top of the individual award submission page within the online submission site. For all questions, please contact gro.asenull@sdrawa.