Ecological Society of America Announces New Members Elected to Governing Board

November 16, 2020
For Immediate Release

Contact: Heidi Swanson, 202-833-8773 ext. 211, gro.asenull@idieh

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) is pleased to announce the results of its recent election for three positions on its governing board. Those selected by the membership to serve are President-Elect for 2022–2023 Sharon Collinge, University of Colorado Boulder; Vice President for Education and Human Resources Carmen R. Cid, Eastern Connecticut State University; and Member-at-Large Jennifer Funk, University of California, Davis.

“I am delighted to welcome these exceptional leaders to ESA’s Governing Board,” said ESA President Kathleen Weathers. “Each of the new members brings valuable insight and experience that will help ESA continue to evolve in its mission in service of ecology and the ecological community.”

ESA President-Elect for 2022-2023 Sharon Collinge. Photo courtesy of Patrick Campbell/Univ. of Colorado.

Sharon Collinge, ESA’s new president-elect for 2022–2023, is a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado Boulder and the executive director of the Earth Leadership Program, a program of Future Earth in collaboration with the University of Colorado Boulder and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. She also formerly held the position of chief scientist and observatory director for the National Ecological Observatory Network. Her interdisciplinary research, mentoring and community engagement activities focus on human–environment interactions in urban and wild landscapes, with a focus on policy and planning regarding endangered species and habitat protection in the western United States.

As president, she will aim to ensure that ESA provides opportunities and support to ecologists in a variety of professional settings throughout their careers and plans to collaborate with ESA’s sections, chapters and leadership on activities that promote anti-racism and inclusivity within the Society.

Collinge counting vernal pool plants in permanent plots during field research on ecology and restoration of vernal pool plant communities at Travis AFB, California. Photo courtesy of Kika Tuff/Impact Media Lab.

“ESA has been my primary professional society for the past 30 years, and I am committed to providing a welcoming and meaningful professional home for all ecologists,” said Collinge. “I’m excited to continue the great work of our ESA leadership and members toward enhancing opportunities and engagement with our membership throughout their careers in ecology.”

Carmen R. Cid, 2021-2024 Vice President for Education and Human Resources.

Vice President for Education and Human Resources Carmen R. Cid, elected to serve for the term of 2021–2024, is a professor and the dean of arts and sciences at Eastern Connecticut State University. She has been working for three decades to improve career development success of women and minorities in science. Cid has focused on elevating the human dimension in the teaching of ecology, engaging educators and diverse communities in promoting appreciation of nature through development of widely used multimedia and bilingual environmental education resources. In 2017 she was elected as an ESA Fellow and is the recipient of the Connecticut Science Center’s 2020 STEM Achievement Award.

As Vice President for Education and Human Resources Cid will advance ESA’s strategic plan’s goals to link education, communication and diversity efforts in expanding the ESA membership.

Carmen R. Cid collects field observations at a wetland in Eastern Connecticut State University’s arboretum. Photo courtesy of Gary Hochman.

Jennifer Funk, ESA member-at-large for 2021-2024

Jennifer Funk, ESA’s new member-at-large, is an associate professor at the University of California Davis. She previously served as the director of Chapman University’s biology program and was a mentor for the school’s STEM Scholarship program for students facing difficult life and economic circumstances. Funk’s research focuses on plant ecophysiology, invasion ecology and restoration ecology, and she co-founded ESA’s Invasion Ecology section in 2015. She has been a board member and scientific advisor for the California Invasive Plant Council, an organization that translates and synthesizes invasive species research for the direct use of land managers.

Funk is passionate about enhancing diversity within STEM and looks forward to working with ESA’s leadership, staff and membership to support the Society’s mission during a critical period in Earth’s history.

Living the dream! Jennifer Funk measures photosynthetic rates at the beach in Spain. Photo courtesy of Will Stock.

Our member-elected Governing Board plays an important role in determining strategic direction and serving ESA’s membership,” said ESA Executive Director Catherine O’Riordan. “I’m grateful to everyone who made their voice heard in this election and to all of the candidates who were so willing to dedicate their time and effort to the Society. I look forward to working with the new board members in the years ahead.”

The current ESA Governing Board Members are President Kathleen Weathers, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, through August 2021; Immediate President-Elect Dennis Ojima, Colorado State University; Immediate Past-President Osvaldo Sala, Arizona State University; Vice President for Finance Jeannine Cavender-Bares, University of Minnesota, through August 2023; Vice President for Public Affairs Laura Petes, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, through August 2023; Vice President for Education and Human Resources Pamela Templer, Boston University, through August 2021; Vice President for Science Diane Pataki, University of Utah, through August 2022; Secretary Jessica Gurevitch, Stony Brook University, through August 2022; Member-at-Large Jacquelyn Gill, University of Maine, through August 2021; Member-at-Large Zoe Cardon, Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, through August 2022; and Member-at-Large Sasha Reed, U.S. Geological Survey Southwest Biological Center, through August 2022.

ESA thanks all of the candidates for their dedication to ESA’s mission and congratulates the winners of the election. ESA is grateful for its members who voted in the election and contributed their voices to the future of the Society.



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