Ecological Society of America Announces New Members Elected to Governing Board

November 15, 2019
For Immediate Release

Contact: Alison Mize, 202-833-8773, gro.asenull@nosila


The Ecological Society of America (ESA) is proud to announce the election results for its governing board members. Those selected by the membership to serve are Member-at-Large Zoe Cardon, Ecosystems Center at Marine Biological Laboratory; Vice President for Finance Jeannine Cavender-Bares, University of Minnesota; President-Elect for 2020 Dennis Ojima, Colorado State University; Vice President for Public Affairs Laura Petes, NOAA Office for Coastal Management; and Member-at-Large Sasha Reed, research ecologist.

“With the newest members elected to the ESA governing board, the Society will continue the tradition of strong leadership and dedication to the science of ecology,” says ESA President Osvaldo Sala. “I look forward to the new perspectives and experiences they will bring when their terms begin in August 2020, and I offer congratulations to each person joining the board.”

Dennis Ojima

President-Elect for 2020 Dennis Ojima is a professor emeritus at Colorado State University in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability and a senior research scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory. An ESA member since 1984, his research applies social-ecological approaches to climate and land use changes in dryland and grassland systems worldwide, including Mongolia, China, Central Asia, parts of Africa, and in the U.S. Ojima is instrumental in the development of many international science programs; he is named Champion of the Environment by the Mongolian government and is recognized for his contributions to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the International Panel on Climate Change. He is also active in training young scholars and professionals in social-ecological system approaches to dealing with climate change impacts and responses in the United States and Asia.

“I am honored to be selected as President-Elect of the Ecology Society of America,” says Ojima. “Serving ESA over the coming years, and representing the members in their quest to pursue sound ecological research and to provide a platform to engage and communicate with civil society will be a role I will execute with integrity and with members’ guidance.”

Laura Petes

Vice President for Public Affairs for the term of 2020-2023, Laura Petes is the manager of the Coastal Communities Program in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management. Petes has conducted research on coral disease and on the physiological ecology of rocky intertidal mussels, and she previously served as assistant director for climate adaptation and ecosystems at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP). There, she led the OSTP resilience portfolio under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and launched a Climate Education and Literacy Initiative, which engaged federal agencies, companies, non-governmental organizations, and hundreds of students and educators. Petes is currently serving a second term on the ESA Public Affairs Committee.

Jeannine Cavender-Bares

Jeannine Cavender-Bares, a professor at the University of Minnesota, will serve as vice president for finance for the term of 2020-2023. She is interested in plant function, integrating ecology and evolution, and exploring ways to detect biodiversity and ecological processes. Over the last two decades, Cavender-Bares has led major research grants from multiple federal and state institutions and managed budgets for these projects, and she currently serves on NSF’s Biological Sciences Advisory Committee and its NEON subcommittee. As vice president for finance, she will aim to work with the Society to invest in activities that benefit ESA members while maintaining the Society’s solid financial path.

Zoe Cardon

An elected member-at-large for the term 2020-2022, Zoe Cardon is a senior scientist at the Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), located in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. She is an ecosystems ecologist with roots in mechanistic plant physiology, and she considers ESA her “home” Society. Her diverse career path includes prior positions with UC Berkeley, Bowdoin College, and the University of Connecticut. Cardon works to build interdisciplinary communities supporting training and collaboration essential for understanding and sustaining Earth’s life support systems.

Sasha Reed

Sasha Reed, also elected a member-at-large for the term 2020-2022, works as an ecosystems ecologist and biogeochemist focusing on understanding how terrestrial ecosystems work and respond to change. She believes in linking relevant and accessible science with those who can use it; enjoys addressing complex problems with diverse groups; and thinks highly of the power of strong mentorship. Reed serves on a number of boards and committees, including ESA’s Publications Committee and on the Advisory Board for ESA’s Issues in Ecology.

“I continue to be impressed with the dedication of ESA’s volunteers that step up for board service,” says ESA Executive Director Catherine O’Riordan. “I want to extend a big thank you to the membership; this election process is important for providing the vision and voices needed to guide the Society’s efforts to positively affect and advance the community and science of ecology.”

The current ESA Governing Board Members are President Osvaldo Sala, professor, Arizona State University through August 2020; Immediate President-Elect Kathleen Weathers, senior scientist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies; Immediate Past-President Laura Huenneke, emeritus professor, Northern Arizona University; Vice President for Science Diane Pataki, professor, University of Utah; Vice President for Finance Evan DeLucia, professor, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Vice President for Public Affairs Frank Davis, professor, University of California, Santa Barbara; Vice President for Education and Human Resources, Pamela Templer, professor, Boston University; Secretary, Jessica Gurevitch, professor, Stony Brook University; Member-at-Large Manuel Morales, professor, Williams College; Member-at-Large Kathleen Treseder, professor, University of California, Irvine; and Member-at-Large Jacquelyn Gill, associate professor, University of Maine.


The Ecological Society of America (ESA), 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 the science of ecology. Visit the ESA website at