Ecological Society of America announces 2019 Fellows

April 4, 2019
For Immediate Release

Contact: Zoe Gentes, 202-833-8773 ext. 211, gro.asenull@setnegz


The Ecological Society of America (ESA) is pleased to announce its 2019 Fellows. The Society’s fellowship program recognizes the many ways in which its members contribute to ecological research and discovery, communication, education and pedagogy, and management and policy.

Fellows are members who have made outstanding contributions to a wide range of fields served by ESA, including, but not restricted to, those that advance or apply ecological knowledge in academics, government, non-profit organizations, and the broader society. They are elected for life.

Early Career Fellows are members within eight years of completing their doctoral training (or other terminal degree) who have advanced ecological knowledge and applications and show promise of continuing to make outstanding contributions to a wide range of fields served by ESA. They are elected for five years.

ESA established its fellows program in 2012 with the goal of honoring its members and supporting their competitiveness and advancement to leadership positions in the Society, at their institutions, and in broader society. Past ESA Fellows and Early Career Fellows are listed on the ESA Fellows page.


Fellows elected in 2019 in recognition of their contributions to the science of ecology:

Peter B. Adler, Professor, Utah State University, Department of Wildland Resources

Elected for providing critical insight into climate change impacts on biodiversity through the application of sophisticated statistical analyses to extensive datasets, and, more broadly, for leadership in generating and preserving the spatially and temporally extensive data needed to observe and forecast anthropogenic impacts.



Steven R. Beissinger, Professor, UC Berkeley, Department of Environmental Science, Policy & Management, and Museum of Vertebrate Zoology

Elected for innovative research that quantifies the effects of a century of contemporary climate and land-use change on birds and mammals; that integrates field studies, analytical methods, and models for managing threatened species; and that advances understanding of the ecology and behavior of birds.



Ottar N. Bjørnstad, Distinguished Professor, Pennsylvania State University, Department of Entomology and Biology

Elected for advancing the way time-series methods are applied to long-term population dynamic data for small mammals, insects, and fisheries and for developing new ways of analyzing and understanding data for influenza and measles – the two most important directly transmitted viral diseases of humans.



Gordon B. Bonan, Senior Scientist, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Department of Climate and Global Dynamics

Elected for research linking terrestrial ecology with atmospheric science and enabling pioneering contributions to the quantitative understanding of how ecological processes operating at small scales can collectively influence Earth’s climate.



Elizabeth T. Borer, Professor, University of Minnesota, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Elected for transforming how ecologists do science through her leadership of the global plant Nutrient Network, and for advancing understanding of how global changes impact the composition, diversity, and function of ecosystems, and the disease dynamics and microbiomes of interacting species.



John F. Bruno, Professor, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Department of Biology

Elected for excellent research in the fields of ecology, evolutionary biology, conservation biology, climate change, and marine science, including experimental field and synthetic work that has advanced and even overturned major theory and sparked important debates in conservation biology.



Ingrid C. Burke, Dean, Yale University, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Elected for advancing fundamental understanding of ecosystem processes, particularly carbon and nitrogen cycling in semi-arid rangeland and grassland ecosystems, and applying those biogeochemical principles to rangeland ecosystem management.



Daniel F. Doak, Professor, University of Colorado Boulder, Environmental Studies Program

Elected for fundamental contributions to population ecology and conservation biology, particularly through the use of quantitative methods in population projection and matrix modeling, and for his long-term commitment to mentoring graduate students and other young professionals.



Tadashi Fukami, Professor, Stanford University, Department of Biology

Elected for contributions to advancing community, ecosystem, and evolutionary ecology through a novel focus on historical contingency in community assembly, and to promoting inquiry-based education in ecology.



John Harte, Professor, UC Berkeley, The Energy and Resources Group/ESPM

Elected for foundational leadership on early work on climate change and education of the ecological crisis to come, for pioneering work on feedbacks and synergies among global change drivers, and for development of the maximum entropy theory of ecology.



Bruce A. Hungate, Regent’s Professor of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Center for Ecosystem Science and Society

Elected for advancing understanding of how soil nutrients regulate terrestrial ecosystem feedbacks to climate change and for developing new tools that fuse the molecular revolution in microbial ecology with quantitative ecological insights using stable isotopes, metabolic flux analysis, and ecological theory.



Felicia Keesing, Professor, Bard College, Department of Biology

Elected for pioneering research in the ecology of infectious diseases and community ecology of African savannas, and pedagogical research that she has integrated into a vision and practice of college science teaching for enhancing scientific literacy.



Jonathan M. Levine, Professor, Princeton University, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Elected for research that fundamentally advances understanding of biological invasions and species coexistence, often by deploying creative, highly controlled experimental units across landscape-scale environmental gradients in natural communities and integrating field data with theoretical models.



David Lindenmayer, Professor, Australian National University, Fenner School of Environment and Society

Elected for outstanding conceptual and long-term empirical research on interacting drivers of landscape transformation in forests, plantations, and agricultural environments, and seminal contributions to understanding how pre-existing landscape conditions interact with land use change to shape temporal and spatial patterns of biodiversity occurrence and ecosystem conditions.



Thomas E. Lovejoy, Professor, George Mason University, Environmental Science and Policy

Elected for research showing how effects of Amazon deforestation led to loss of species over time, and for leadership as the spokesperson and educator for ecological concepts dealing with sustainable tropical forestry and biodiversity.



Brian J. McGill, Professor, University of Maine, Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions & School of Biology and Ecology

Elected for important contributions to the fields of macroecology, population and community ecology, spatial ecology, and global change, and for exceptional service to the discipline via editorial work and the Dynamic Ecology blog.



Rosamond L. Naylor, Professor, Stanford University, Department of Earth System Science

Elected for designing ecologically and economically sound practices that protect native species and enhance global food security in marine and terrestrial ecosystems.



Diane E. Pataki, Professor, University of Utah, School of Biological Sciences

Elected for advancing new approaches to understanding the interactions between humans and ecosystems in urban systems.



Catherine M. Pringle, Distinguished Research Professor, University of Georgia, Odum School of Ecology
Elected for contributions to understanding stream ecosystems through the perspective of leading long term research from tropical to temperate systems and sustained mentoring to generations of students in aquatic conservation ecology.



Matthias C. Rillig, Professor, Freie Universität Berlin, Institute of Biology

Elected for outstanding contributions in plant-soil-microbial ecology, seminal discoveries in ecosystem processes, fostering a scientific culture of international collaboration, and providing a supportive environment for early-career researchers.



Pamela Templer, Professor, Boston University, School of Biology

Elected for advancing understanding of the effects of climate change on biogeochemical cycles in forests, the patterns and mechanisms of nitrogen retention and loss in temperate and tropical forest ecosystems, and the effects of urbanization on air and water pollution, nutrient cycling, and carbon sequestration.



Scott R. Saleska, Professor, University of Arizona, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Elected for seminal contributions to global ecology and earth science including pioneering novel methodologies that have revolutionized understanding of the drivers of productivity and forest dynamics in the Amazon and of microbial dynamics in thawing permafrost systems, and for contributions to international educational infrastructure and national environmental policy.



John (Jack) W. Williams, Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Geography

Elected for fundamentally important contributions in paleoecology, biogeography, and climate change ecology, notably no-analog climates and ecosystems, the role of megaherbivores in regulating late-glacial vegetation, and creative applications of paleoecoinformatics, and for his generosity and impact in mentoring and collaboration.



Jianguo Wu, Dean’s Distinguished Professor, Arizona State University, School of Life Sciences and School of Sustainability

Elected for outstanding contributions to landscape ecology, urban ecology, and sustainability science, particularly in the areas of hierarchical patch dynamics, spatial scaling, habitat fragmentation and biodiversity, ecological impacts of urbanization, and landscape sustainability.



Early Career Fellows (2019 – 2023) elected for advancing the science of ecology and showing promise for continuing contributions: 

James C. Beasley, Associate Professor, University of Georgia, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Elected for outstanding contributions internationally in applied ecology through his research in invasive species ecology, carnivore ecology, scavenging ecology, and wildlife population ecology in landscapes abandoned following nuclear accidents.



David J. Civitello, Assistant Professor, Emory University, Department of Biology

Elected for advancing understanding of infectious disease dynamics in a changing world through his work integrating mathematical modeling, field studies, and laboratory experiments on how biodiversity, resource, and competition gradients affect disease risk.



Gregory R. Goldsmith, Assistant Professor, Chapman University, Schmid College of Science and Technology

Elected for outstanding contributions to research in the plant physiological ecology of tropical forests and for innovative contributions to engaging diverse audiences through both formal and informal education.



Elise S. Gornish, Cooperative Extension Specialist, University of Arizona, School of Natural Resources and the Environment

Elected for her exceptional leadership in advancing impactful, stakeholder-driven research in the field of ecological restoration; outstanding contributions to outreach, science communication, and education; and dedication to translational science partnerships to enhance management and policy decision-making.



Erin Mordecai, Assistant Professor, Stanford University, Department of Biology

Elected for advancing understanding of infectious disease dynamics in a changing world through her work on how pathogens maintain species diversity in natural communities and how climate and land use change affect the dynamics of vector-borne disease in humans.



Malin L. Pinsky, Associate Professor, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources

Elected for advancing fundamental understanding of the ecological and evolutionary consequences of global change for marine populations and communities, and for facilitating the use of this knowledge in conservation and public policy.



Ashley Shade, Assistant Professor, Michigan State University, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, & Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences

Elected for advancing understanding of the consequences of microbial diversity for resilience, how the interactions among microbes impact resilience, and how microbiomes can be leveraged to support plant stress tolerance and ecosystem stability.



Abigail L. S. Swann, Associate Professor, University of Washington, Department of Atmospheric Sciences and Department of Biology

Elected for advancing understanding of linkages between vegetation change and the atmosphere via “ecoclimate teleconnections,” including understanding of the climate impacts of plant distributions and plant functioning, and of the processes responsible for plant-climate interactions.



The Ecological Society of America, founded in 1915, is the world’s largest community of professional ecologists and a trusted source of ecological knowledge, committed to advancing the understanding of life on Earth. The 9,000 member Society publishes five journals and a membership bulletin and broadly shares ecological information through policy, media outreach, and education initiatives. The Society’s Annual Meeting attracts 4,000 attendees and features the most recent advances in ecological science. Visit the ESA website at