Etienne Laliberté, Graham Zemunik, and Benjamin L. Turner presented with the Cooper Award for an outstanding research publication in the field of geobotany
The W.S. Cooper Award honors the authors of an outstanding publication in the field of geobotany, physiographic ecology, plant succession or the distribution of plants along environmental gradients.
Etienne Laliberté, Graham Zemunik, and Benjamin L. Turner (2014) Environmental filtering explains variation in plant diversity along resource gradients. Science 345: 1602–1605. DOI: 10.1126/science.1256330
William S. Cooper was a pioneer of physiographic ecology and geobotany, with a particular interest in the influence of historical factors, such as glaciations and climate history, on the pattern of contemporary plant communities across landforms. Dr. Laliberté of the Université de Montréal (at the University of Western Australia at the time of the study), Dr. Zemunik of the University of Western Australia, and Dr. Turner of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute take a similar geobotanical angle in a study that simultaneously addresses competing hypotheses about the mechanisms that shape plant diversity along resource gradients. Specifically, they tackle an age-old question in ecology—what determines spatial variation in species diversity—using a cleverly chosen system, an ancient dune ecosystem in southwestern Australia. The end result is a rare, compelling, example of regional and historical processes being key to explaining a local-scale diversity gradient.
ESA will present the 2016 awards during the 2016 Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. The awards ceremony will take place on Monday, August 8, at 8 AM in the Floridian Ballroom AB, Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.
Read about all of the 2016 award winners in the awards master post.