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The Aquatic Ecology Section offers four awards:
1. Thomas M. Frost Award for Excellence in Graduate Research
2. Exceptional Promise in Graduate Research Award
3. Best Student Talk in Aquatic Ecology Award
4. Student Travel Awards 

Best Paper Awards (Frost & Exceptional Promise Awards):

Thomas M. Frost Award for Excellence in Graduate Research

The Aquatic Section of the Ecological Society of America is pleased to sponsor the Thomas M. Frost Award for Excellence in Graduate Research.  Thomas M. Frost was the director of the University of Wisconsin Trout Lake Station from 1981 until his death in 2000.  His colleagues will remember him as a dedicated and creative scientist who brought a gentle, caring humanity to our endeavors.  This prize, founded in 2001, honors his commitment to aquatic ecology and to graduate student education.  Graduate students and recent Ph.D. recipients (within two years of receiving the Ph.D.*) are both eligible for the Frost Award. The recipient will receive a plaque and a $500 cash prize.

*Note that this deadline will be extended by one year for the birth or adoption of a child or for another  life event (e.g., major illness) that substantially impacted the ability to work.

Exceptional Promise in Graduate Research Award

Only current graduate students are eligible for the Exceptional Promise in Graduate Research Award. The recipient will receive a cash prize of $250. This award has been established through a generous gift in honor of limnologist Stuart Neff.

Eligibility and nomination for both Student Research Awards: These awards will be given to scientists in recognition of an outstanding paper resulting from research done as a graduate student. The nominee must be first author of the paper if there is more than one author.  Nominated papers must be published in a peer-reviewed journal and be in the area of aquatic ecology.  The nominee also must be a member in good standing of the ESA Aquatic Section at the time of nomination.  Self-nominations and nominations by colleagues are welcomed.  Applications will be reviewed by the Awards Committee appointed by the Officers of the Aquatic Section. Candidates will be judged based upon the paper’s contribution to the field, including its originality, study design, and impact. At the time of the nomination deadline, the paper must be published and the nominee must be a graduate student or have received the Ph.D. within two years (see additional criteria above).

Nomination packets should include:
1. A copy of the paper
2. A brief letter describing the impact of the paper on the field and stating the date of completion of the degree if the nominee is no longer a student
3. A letter of support from the major professor that also confirms eligibility of the nominee for the award
4. A CV from the nominee


Best Student Talk in Aquatic Ecology

The Aquatic Ecology Section also gives an award for the best talk in aquatic ecology presented at the annual ESA meeting by a student in the Aquatic Section. The student must apply for the Section’s award by sending an email with the subject line “Best Student Talk” to the Section Secretary, Chip Small (

We also are seeking volunteers to help judge the Best Student Talk Award. Judges will evaluate oral presentations at the 2019 meeting. Please volunteer to serve as a judge (even if you can only judge one talk!).  Interested judges, please email Secretary, Chip Small (


Student Travel Awards

The Aquatic Ecology Section gives a limited number of travel awards to students to offset expenses associated with attending the ESA Annual meeting. The student must be presenting a talk or poster, and must be a member of the Aquatic Ecology section.